4.6 319
by Ellen Hopkins

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Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their

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Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood.

Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?

A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins's Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.

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Editorial Reviews

In 2008, a writer at the publishing website Mediabistro pointed out that Ellen Hopkins, now the author of eight young adult novels written in verse, might be America's bestselling living poet. Whether or not this is true—it may well be—the author's official biography now proudly sports the title.

Hopkins doesn't traffic much in rhyme or meter; the most distinctive aspects of her verse are tricky line breaks (i.e., setting off words in the far margin to create a new sentence, such as "love is a deadly weapon") and formidably thick novels (this one runs to over 600 pages, though it can be read in a long afternoon). The viewpoint in Perfect alternates between four Nevada teens all trying to live up to the condition announced by the title: Kendra's "vanilla hair and glacier blue eyes" have kept her on the pageant circuit, but she decides that becoming a runway model will require losing dangerous amounts of weight, a rhinoplasty, and, perplexingly, breast implants (is Hopkins thinking Vogue or Victoria's Secret?).

Meanwhile, Andre Marcus Kane III can't let his wealthy, educated African-American parents know that he really wants to be a dancer, not a banker. Sean thinks of himself as "Built, " "like a builder/frames a house, " though the steroids probably help. Cara, whose twin brother has recently attempted suicide, sees her mother and her friends as "beautiful, pampered birds, / plumage-proud, but blind / to what they drop their shit on" and fears she is bound for the "same aviary. Unless I find my wings."

Sexting, stalking, anorexia, and drug use ensue; but throughout, Hopkins works to maintain a delicate touch, especially with a lesbian coming-out narrative, that keeps some—though not all—of the dramas away from easy clichés.

Amy Benfer has worked as an editor and staff writer at Salon, Legal Affairs, and Paper magazine. Her reviews and features on books have appeared in Salon, The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, The Believer, Kirkus Reviews, and The New York Times Book Review. Reviewer: Amy Benfer

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Product Details

Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.26(h) x 1.86(d)
HL570L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt



I’ve lived with the pretense

of perfection for seventeen

years. Give my room a cursory

inspection, you’d think I have OCD.

But it’s only habit and not

obsession that keeps it all orderly.

Of course, I don’t want to give

the impression that it’s all up to me.

Most of the heavy labor is done by

our housekeeper, Gwen. She’s an

imposing woman, not at all the type

that most men would find attractive.

Not even Conner, which is the point.

My twin has a taste for older

women. Before he got himself

locked away, he chased after more

than one. I should have told sooner

about the one he caught, the one

I happened to overhear him with,

having a little afternoon fun.

Okay, I know a psychologist

would say, strictly speaking,

he was prey, not predator.

And in a way, I can’t really

blame him. Emily is simply

stunning. Conner wasn’t the only

one who used to watch her go

running by our house every

morning. But, hello, she was

his teacher. That fact alone

should have been enough warning

that things would not turn out well.

I never would have expected

Conner to attempt the coward’s way

out, though. Some consider suicide

an act of honor. I seriously don’t agree.

But even if it were, you’d have to

actually die. All Conner did was

stain Mom’s new white Berber

carpet. They’re replacing it now.

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Perfect 4.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 319 reviews.
enticed More than 1 year ago
I have read all Ellen Hopkins's books & I have truly loved each and every one of them. Can't wait to read more.
imawesome88 More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the Ellen Hopkins books. This one was a little slow in the begginning but as the book went on, it got very intereasting.My favorite character is Sean because he is like a crzy psycho stalker and he always keeps you guessing what is going to happen next.
iCarlyGleek More than 1 year ago
I have read every single Ellen Hopkins book & I have truly loved each and every one of them. I STRONGLY recommend them! :)
ASparrowWrites More than 1 year ago
So the begining started slow and it got me a bit confused until i leaened the characters connections. But mid book its like BAM and epic twists and turns. And the end is like OMG. Definitly worth reading. Another win for ellen hopkins! Cant wait for Triangles!
Samantha Maskey More than 1 year ago
Please read impulse first, the two are so much more impacting when read together
kelsey prough More than 1 year ago
Her books r the best!!! I will cry to death if she stops writing!!! Cant wait for next ones i preorder them all..
TEST NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
ellens books arent just for teens! theyre for everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really great book, it was sad though because there are people/kids with problems like these. The ending was a little disappointing because I feel like they left some peoples ending out but overall great book, hope they make a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a beautifully written story that I guarantee will leave you in tears
truth3 More than 1 year ago
This book is totally perfect. It shows you how people may look perfect on the outside but inside their heart and whole body organs are shredding into pieces, like everyone else, they all have a "happy" place they rather be than at home or with boyfriends or friends. If you are looking for a book that will make you learn lessons in life and cry this is it. All I can say is that Perfect by Ellen Hopkins is P-E-R-F-E-C-T
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so REAL. It truly related to every single aspect of my life at one point in time. It strongly emltional and has almost evertluthing in it. The beauty the emotion the reality in this book was breathtaking. Please read.
JeanGrey94 More than 1 year ago
Ellen Hopkins is a phenomenal writer with a storyline that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. Hopkins breaks many social, mental and emotional barriers in "Perfect" and its a must read for teens of all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt stop reading it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ellen Hopkins did it again! What a great way for us to get a glimpse of what really goes on in the lives of teens today. Not to mention an easy read with Ellen's writing style! Looking forward to another book soon.
DustinDJ More than 1 year ago
It was really good but i hope she writes another one to go with it because the ending was not the way i wanted it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was not my favorite book by ellen hopkins but it was still good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A thriller of a novel. Ellen Hopkins writes all of my favorites and this is by far one of her best yet!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I strongly recommend every single on of her books! I read CRANK several years ago and have been addicted to her books ever since!!
Queen_Lover More than 1 year ago
I almost screamed when I saw this. Ellen Hopkins hands down is one of my favorite authors. Impulse is my all time favorite book and I can't wait for this! And awesome cover
Bubblezmarie More than 1 year ago
Ellen Hopkins, Hands down my FAVORITE author! Her books are soo real and true yet with a twist of a little fantisy. Reading her books take you too your own world and you will never want to put her books down. I cannot wait for this book because it looks amazing and I wish with all my heart that I didn't have to wait til August to red it! <3
Brittsmiles More than 1 year ago
Impulse was simply amazing and this one is going to be like it then i will surely love it and i recommend it for anyone to read.
shayb_ 9 months ago
I really like this book, it provides great insight as to the lives of seemingly perfect teens who are actually super messed up and I especially found Kendra interesting, an aspiring model who had developed a eating disorder.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im like the devil and she is God. I want to BE her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago