by Natasha Friend
4.6 290

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Perfect by Natasha Friend

Depicting with humor and insight the pressure to be outwardly perfect, this novel for ages 10-13 shows how one girl develops compassion for her own and others’ imperfections.

For 13-year-old Isabelle Lee, whose father has recently died, everything's normal on the outside. Isabelle describes the scene at school with bemused accuracy--the self-important (but really not bad) English teacher, the boy that is constantly fixated on Ashley Barnum, the prettiest girl in class, and the dynamics of the lunchroom, where tables are turf in a all-eyes-open awareness of everybody's relative social position.

But everything is not normal, really. Since the dealth of her father, Isabelle's family has only functioned on the surface. Her mother, who used to take care of herself, now wears only lumpy, ill-fitting clothes, cries all night, and has taken every picture of her dead husband and put them under her bed. Isabelle tries to make light of this, but the underlying tension is expressed in overeating and then binging. As the novel opens, Isabelle's little sister, April, has told their mother about Isabelle's problem. Isabelle is enrolled in group therapy. Who should show up there, too, but Ashley Barnum, the prettiest, most together girl in class.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571318015
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 596,489
File size: 518 KB
Age Range: 11 - 13 Years

About the Author

Natasha Friend has taught at the The Brearley School in New York City and at Ecole Bilingue in Boston. She currently directs the Brimmer and May summer camp in Massachusetts. She received her B.A. in psychology from Bates College, where her senior thesis focused on women and body image, and has an M.A. in English from Clemson University. She has written for Family Fun magazine. An essay she wrote about being a Big Sister appeared in "Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul." She also has written a resource book used in camp counsellor orientation throughout New England. This is her first book. She is married with one young son.
Contributor residences (city, state or country if outside the US or Canada): Quincy, Mass.

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Perfect 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 290 reviews.
destineetena More than 1 year ago
This book really touched me because it reminded me of one of my friends and I could relate to it. I think it encourages other teens out there to pull through whatever struggles you might be going through, maybe if you have problem at homes or anything that they can be resolved and you don't have to beat yourself down because of it. You can get help and there are people who are there for you and would like to help.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i HATE to read.. but i loved this book... i read 1/2 of it and had to stop(for a school book i had to read) but then this year i read the the hole thing again front to back. i was the best book i have read in a long time.
lauraelizabeth More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book about what girls with eating disorders are actually going through. I was highly recommend this book. It teachs what people may be going through without anyone else realizing it and how to be more understanding towards other people. It also helps teach self respect and seeing yourself as a beautiful person. Very good book for young teens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about Isabelle Lee, a 13 year old girl who has battled bulimia for two years, when her dad dies.Her sister April (more commonly reffered as Ape Face) tattles on Isabelle when she catches her throwing up. Isabelle and Aprils depressed mother, sends Isabelle to Group therapy (called Group), where she befriends the most popular and pretty girl in school,Ashley. Ashley and Isabelle hang out a lot, and they also binge and purge a lot. Soon, there is a surprising twist in the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book. This author descibed in detail being bulimic. However she did not make it gross like to detailed. However she did say that they did throw up when they threw up where they threw up an sometimes but rarely she said why
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect by Natasha Friend Isabelle Lee is a young teenager in 8th grade. On the outside she looks like a normal girl but on the inside she has many problems. Ever since her dad died two years ago she has been very sad and lonely. Although her depressed mom and annoying sister April miss their dad too, she feels that she cannot talk about her feelings with anyone so she washes out the pain by purging. One day April finds her throwing-up in the bathroom and tells their mom. As part of the deal Isabelle is forced to join “Group”. Group is the therapy group that her mom found for her to join because of her disorder. The leader is Trish and she is a bouncy and joyful person. All the members of Group are introducing themselves when suddenly Ashley Barnum walks in. Ashley is the prettiest and most popular girl at Isabelle’s school. After a few sessions of Group Ashley invites Isabelle over to her house. That’s when she realizes that Ashley is everything but perfect. They slowly build a special bond with each other and hang out almost every day. After some private meetings with Trish Isabelle starts to realize how horrible Bulimia is and tries to stop it. Natasha Friend author of Lush and Bounce, has a writing style that pulls you in from the very first to the very last page. This book Perfect is modern fiction. It is set in modern time in a regular small town. I think that this book is more for teenagers and adults. The content is much too old for kids 10 and under to be reading. I would really recommend reading this book. I enjoyed reading it and I think you will too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great story that shows a family that has been struggling through their father's death for quite a while. Isabelle has had enough with her sister, april (a.k.a ape face) when she basically ratted her out to her mother. Isabelle was forcing herself to throw up and ape face saw her and told her mom. Now isabelle has a punishment. She has to go to a eating disorder and body image therapy group. She ends up seeing the most popular girl, ashley barnum there. They end up being really good friends either know they live two completely seperate lives.
CHOLE More than 1 year ago
Isabelle Lee has a problem. GROUP. After Ape Face aka April catches her sister puking out her dinner one night, Isabelle gets taken to GROUP by her mother. There she finds out she is not alone. The most popular girl in school is there...for the same problem. They become friends and in the end, Isabelle decides not to be bulimic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book teaches kids at around middle school age that you don't have to make yourself a perfect person. Looks may get you friends but inside you may have an ugly truth. Isabelle learns that Ashley is not who she seems to be. If you want to know more read the book. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book I cant stop reading it! I wish i could be like the Ashley in the book. its really good i finished it in a im kinda a slow reader so for me to finish a book in a day it has to be really good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you liked perfect then you should read the books in the more by this auther section. Like bounce.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm back Caleb hope ur here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best I've ever read. Natasha Friend has writen many of the best books I've ever read. I highly recommend all of her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one of my favorite books. Iove Isabelle. It has a lot of drama. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sorry i wont be writing soon my parents took my internet. email me at
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whats going on with the "blog"? - Isabel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi so we chat at 8/9 pm eastern time...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book years back in middle school and it had become the first book I absolutely loved. I read it in one day. I highly recommend this book. One of the first books to ever move me. It shows how one, even at a young age, can conquer any hardship. It takes time, but it's possible. Much love and adoration for Natasha Friend. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An example of trust and perservearance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing book that proves perfect is not perfect.A touching read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kids should really read this book