A Poignant, Real Book // REVIEW: Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

Title: Goodbye, Perfect
Author: Sara Barnard
Publication Date: February 8th 2018
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Pan Macmillan India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Wordery || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Google Books
Blurb Description: When I was wild, you were steady . . . Now you are wild - what am I? 
Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with the boyfriend Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. Especially when the police arrive on her doorstep and Eden finds out that the boyfriend is actually their music teacher, Mr Cohn.
Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts.
As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.
I’ve had my eye on Sara Barnard’s shiny cover books for YEARS now – each of them sound so intriguing and real and I was eagerly waiting for the day I got the chance to dive into one. And so, when Goodbye, Perfect showed up in a surprise package from Pan Macmillan India, I was over the moon!

Let’s break it down:

·         I read the entirety of this book in LESS than a day. It was its own kind of addicting. For the first time in a long time, as I was reading Goodbye Perfect, I found that teenagers were portrayed as REAL people – partially grounded, figuring things out, learning to love themselves, and I absolutely loved that.

·         I also REALLY loved the mature relationship that our protagonist had with her boyfriend, Connor. I loved how they just hung out together without any life-altering drama, and how they handled pressure and sex as a couple.

·         I ALSO LOVED EDEN’S FAMILY, AND HER BACKSTORY. I loved her sisters, especially Valerie, because we got to see more of her and also her adopted parents. It was such a beautiful thing, and I absolutely loved it. It was so nice to see INVOLVED parents, actual examinations that don’t magically fly by, “ teenage rebellion” that wasn’t the whole story and a blended family.


·         While there was so much I loved about Goodbye Perfect, I kept waiting for the protagonist to make the right decision in regard to her friend, Bonnie, running away, but she never did. Not until the last 50 pages of the book, and then the impact on Eden and Bonnie’s friendship was SO RUSHED OVER that I felt like it was an incomplete ending/ pages had been ripped out of my copy.

·         I really liked this book – REALLY – but I feel like what would have made it EXCEPTIONAL was if we occasionally heard from Bonnie as well, over the course of The Week. I loved seeing it from her best friend’s perspective, but I wished we saw her thinking as well.

ALL IN ALL, I would DEFINITELY pick up another Sara Barnard book, and I would DEFINITELY recommend this one.

A poignant, real look into the life of two teenage girls, Goodbye Perfect handles a taboo topic with grace and maturity and it was a stunner of a book!

Sara  BarnardSara lives in Brighton and does all her best writing on trains. She loves books, book people and book things. She has been writing ever since she was too small to reach the “on” switch on the family Amstrad computer. She gets her love of words from her dad, who made sure she always had books to read and introduced her to the wonders of secondhand book shops at a young age.

Sara is trying to visit every country in Europe, and has managed to reach 13 with her best friend. She has also lived in Canada and worked in India.
Have you read any of Sara Barnard's books? What do you think of them?
Which one is your favourite?
What are some of your FAVOURITE YA Contemporary reads?
I'd love your recommendations!

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