Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Perfect” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  8,983 ratings  ·  891 reviews
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) E...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published September 16th 2004 by Milkweed Editions
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyLooking for Alaska by John GreenSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Best Teen Books About Real Problems
69th out of 1,739 books — 9,685 voters
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonJust Listen by Sarah DessenPerfect by Natasha FriendIdentical by Ellen HopkinsKeeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
YA Eating Disorder Fiction
3rd out of 102 books — 343 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I had a hard time deciding on rating this book. I didn't know if I wanted to give it 3 stars or 4 stars. Then, i finally decided with 3.5 stars.

Normally when I expect to read pink, little book like this one, I don't expect the tone to be dark even if the back of the book already said that it was. Eating disorders and death. What a great theme for children who needs to have their eyes open for the real world.

Isabelle Lee(Cool name, by the way) is a thirteen-year-old bulimic. Ever since her dad di...more
Mar 25, 2008 Suki rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone!!!!
Perfect by Natasha Friend, Milkweed Editions,2004, 232pgs.,$6.95,ISBN 1-57131-651-5

Who doesn’t want to be perfect? I thought. Everyone desires a perfect body, glamorous and appealing. Following the death of her father, Isabelle, a thirteen-year-old,tries to reach her goal, almost leading to the condition of an eating disorder. This summer Isabelle attends the “Eating Disorder and Body Image Therapy Group” which is part of “the deal” with her mom. Isabelle is going to seek the truth in the worl...more
Jun 15, 2008 Michelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teenage girls
This is a YA book that I would definitely recommend to teenage girls. Friend has a simple, pleasant writing style that makes the novel a quick read, yet she still hits home on the issues of bulemia, loss of a parent, and most importantly, appearance vs. reality in the world of teenage girls. The progression the main character makes throughout the novel is entirely believable, as is the fact that she doesn't have it all figured out by the end of the novel, but she realizes it will come in time. F...more
Marina S.
Perfect by Natasha Friend

Natasha Friend's book, Perfect, has a fairly simple story about a teenage girl with an eating disorder. The only twist is that the family of the main character, Isabelle, is coping with the tragic death of her father. As Isabelle's mother and sister are dealing with problems of their own, Isabelle is struggling with bulimia for her own reasons and is not happy when she is sent to 'Group' to take care of her problem. With the most popular girl at school also going to thes...more
This book is basically about a girl named Isabelle. She has a health problem. She throws up after she eats. When her mom finds out, she sends her to Group. But in Group she out Ashley, the most popular girl in school is also there. The main characters are Isabelle and Ashley. An internal conflict occured when Isabelle wasn't sure if she wanted to continue to throw up.
In this book, I could make a text to text connection. This book can also connect to "It's Not the End of the World" by Judy Blu...more
Karina Perales
The cover and the title of the book really caught my attention and make me want to read it.

In this book it tells the story of Isabelle Lee who is basically your normal teenage girl. Just like every girl she has some issues with her body and just problems with her family. Except Isabelle's problems with her body lead her to making herself throw up and just do bad things to her body. And then there's the fact that her Father died and her Mother isn't really a mother to her anymore. Her mother jus...more
Oct 15, 2007 Toughlove rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: to any teenager who has an eating disorder
Perfect by Natasha Friend, is a book about a girl named Isabelle Lee, who has and eating disorder. She is thirteen years old, and the book tells about how her life is and all the problems that are going on, since her dad died. She has to start Group, after her little sister told on her, when she caught her throwing up. She is surprised when she sees Ashley Barnum, the most popular girl in the eighth grade, walk in. In Isabelle’s eyes, Ashley is perfect, and that is what she wants her life to be...more
Fresh out of eighth grade, I really wanted to read this book to see how “realistic” it was, considering it was based around two eighth graders.

Surprisingly, it was nearly exact in the way people are in middle school nowadays. The love notes from Brian may be a little farfetched (anyone who did that would be totally mortified), but hey, it just adds to the story.

Isabelle Lee was caught by her sister April throwing up in the bathroom. And, no, she didn’t have the flu. She was purging. So now, as p...more
Becky Schroeder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Taylor Stumpf
Oct 03, 2014 Taylor Stumpf is currently reading it
In the book “Perfect” by Natasha Friend is about a teenage girl, Isabelle, with a intense eating disorder. The grief of her dad's death has been very harsh to her and the mother causing Isabelle to have an eating disorder. The time they figured out that Isabelle had an eating disorder was when her younger sister caught her forcing herself to throw up. Isabelle begged for her sister not to tell mom but yet she told her mom. Ever since that day Isabelle has called her sister ape face. Ape face doe...more
Perfect is a book of deep understanding and therapeutic remedies for anyone that suffers from eating disorders. This book shows how the loss of someone, the divorce of someone's parents, or any unwanted experience can lead to any effect. This book is about Isabelle who lost her father and how she deals with it by following the eating disoder of bulimia. All of her family can't get over the lost. Her mother is always crying and never wants to do anything or talk about anything, she just pretends...more
Olivia A
In the book Perfect by Natasha Friend, Isabelle Lee is a thirteen year old girl has a lot going on in her life and no one to turn to. She lives with her mother and little sister April that she calls “Ape Face.” The loss of her father has been very difficult for her family. Her perfect world is not perfect anymore and causes her to have an eating disorder.

Isabelle has very few friends and does not have the greatest relationship with her mother or sister. After her sister tells her mother about h...more
I read Perfect for by Natasha Friend. I liked this book and thought it was a quick and easy to understand book. I would recommend this book more to girls than boys because it is told for the girl perspective. This would be a good book ages 12-15 to read over the summer. It was a fun book to read and has a nice ending,
` Perfect, was about a girl Isabelle you had an eating disorder, so every night so would go and throw up what she ate. Her younger sister April told her mom and no has to go to meet...more
Angie Crew
I read this book in about 2 hours and I liked it, I just didn't love it. I am a teacher so I enjoy reading books I can pass on to my students. I think this is a great book but I don't think my students will dig it. While it is very realistic, I think there is not enough action to keep the interests of students today UNLESS they are going through something similar. I did fear suggesting this book to my students for the following reasons...
1. You don't see any of the major negative effects of bing...more
Jana Rolann
Oct 15, 2009 Jana Rolann is currently reading it
Shelves: ssr
In the book Perfect, itis about a girl named isabelle. Isabelle has a problem, she makes herself throw up afer she eats. Isabelle does this because she is in pain from her father dying three years ago. Throughout the book, she makes a new friend in one of her groups. Her name is Ashley. They become great friends throughout the book and they both eat then make themselves throw up together. throughout the book, isabelle helps around th house and basically becomes the mother because her mo is depre...more
May 02, 2009 Staci rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Teens
Shelves: 2009-reads
This author does a great job of introducing harmful body image and eating disorders to the 12 year-old demographic and above. I have found that my middle-school students really like reading her books and we find a lot to talk about. I know of girls who at the early age of 10 don't eat lunch and think they're fat. Friend takes the reader into the life of Isabelle and shows the reader how through depriving herself of food, Isabelle thinks she's controlling a part of her life that she feels is tota...more
Jolene Lower
The book "Perfect" by Natasha Friend is one of the best books I have ever read! it is a story about a young girl with an eating disorder called bulimia. She also struggles with problems at home with her mother. Her mother is depressed about her husbands death and cries herself to sleep every night. this scares Isabelle (a.k.a belly) and her little sister Aril (a.k.a ape face) constantly. Natasha Friend talks about many different difficulties in her story, such as, family, self esteem, popularity...more
Loriann Oberlin
I chose this book years ago when conducting both middle and high school girls groups in my private practice. It was a fun activity to engage group members over summer months having them read and discuss the same book, and this activity helped those members who traveled over the summer feel connected.

It's very challenging to find good books that weren't focused on merely boys and going to the beach -- but books that might have a somewhat therapeutic theme for young readers. I loved how Natasha Fr...more
Perfect is a fictional book written by Natasha Friend. It follows a 13-year-old girl named Isabella Lee and her desire to achieve outward "perfection". She is fixated on the "popular" kids and longs so greatly to be excepted by them. In particular, Ashley Barnum, the prettiest girl in her class who has all the boys fawning over her. Isabella has recently lost her father, and although her family may look fine from the outside, right under the surface it is obvious they are far from it. Isabella's...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan Brooker
I know what you're thinking. Not another problem book for middle school girls that talks about both everything and nothing at the same time (or maybe not, that is an oddly specific thing for two people to be thinking about). However, even though Perfect isn't going to be a book you love as an adult just as much as you would've as a teen it will make you remember what it was like growing up.

I think the real strength of Perfect is its characters, or more specifically the character development. At...more
Emmy Nicholson
"Perfect" by Natasha Friend

This book is about a girl named Isabelle Lee, whose dad died. She now lives with her mom, and her sister April. Her world at which she thought was perfect, wasn't anymore when she found out she had an eating disorder. She goes to something called group where girls like her go and they get help. Then one day she found out the most popular girl at her school goes to group with her, and found out that they both have the same eating disorder. After that day Isabelle was...more
This was a very well written book, though it ended with me wanting about twenty more pages- like it should have had another chapter or two. I would have given it five stars except I'm not sure about the graphic and detailed descriptions of binging and purging. It was good but being that the book was aimed at a middle school audience, they don't need to know techniques for bulimia. A little too much "how to". It's important not to gloss over what eating disorders are so that maybe someone will re...more
This book shows the emotions that a teenage girl with an eating disorder would have. After the loss of her father she is willing to try anything to be model ready.She deals with the most popular girl in school, and having to say no to her when she wants to change her eating habits. her mother is not helping my crying all the time over the loss of her father.This book i recommend to people who have interests with eating disorders.
Janel Katherine
This book captivated me from beginning to end and I couldn't put it down at all.Its such a realistic read that touches upon many subjects that infect the lives of young people today.Although this book is supposed to capture 12-18 year olds,I think this should be handed to everyone from 12 to whatever because it can honestly change your views on these touchy subjects.

This book is about a 13 year old girl named Isabelle.She and her family are still dealing with the sudden death of her father,and b...more
Kathryn Merwin
When I read this book, I was a little girl with an eating disorder who only found refuge in books. I would spend long hours in books stores and libraries hunting down novels in which I could find a little comfort and understanding about the painful secret which was weighing me down. This book stands out in my memory as a particularly safe place. Relating as strongly as I did to Isabelle was such a comfort to me as another thirteen year old girl with Bulimia who also attended group-therapy sessio...more
Maureen Halpin
Perfect by Natasha Friend tells the story about a girl named Isabelle whose father two years ago and to cope with his death she became bulimic, since no one in her family wants to talk about his death. One day Isabelle’s little sister she her throwing up and tells their mom. Isabelle’s mom sends her to group therapy to help her through her eating disorder. At the group therapy she soon becomes friends with Ashley, a popular classmate who Isabelle thought was perfect and wanted to be like. As th...more
13 year old Isabelle Lee seems like a normal 8th grader on the inside,but on the inside she is the exact opposite of normal. Ever since her father died almost 2 years ago,her whole lifee has been turned upside down with her mom giving up on cleanliness and neatness,her sister becoming a total beast and always teasing her,and even having to go to "Eating Disorder Therapy Group" beacaue of her eating disorder. When she finally goes to the therapy group she is sure it will be a waste of time,yet wh...more
Isabelle was never the perfect girl that she wanted to be, but after the death of her father everything in the house was different. April, Isabelle's little sister,found Isabelle on the bathroom floor with her head over the toilet throwing up and her little sister told on her. Isabelle's mom made her go to an eating disorder and body image therapy group, which was part of "the deal" with her mom. After a few therapy sessions, her group leader, Trish, wanted to meet with just Isabelle. Trish sai...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
perfect 16 60 Jun 13, 2013 03:40PM  
Class of 2014: Milenia 4 14 Feb 15, 2013 12:41PM  
  • Feeling For Bones
  • Looks
  • Goodbye, Paper Doll
  • Massive
  • Unwell
  • Thin
  • Nothing
  • After the Strawberry
  • Purge: Rehab Diaries
  • Skinny
  • Life-Size
  • Purge
  • Perfect: Anorexia & Me
  • Slim to None: A Journey Through the Wasteland of Anorexia Treatment
  • Diary of an Exercise Addict
  • Diary of an Anorexic Girl
  • Skin
  • Thinspo
A writer and full time mom, Natasha (Tasha, Tash) Friend has taught at the Brearley School in New York City and Ecole Bilingue in Cambridge. She also served as Director of the Brimmer and May Summer Camp in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Her writing has appeared in "Family Fun" magazine and "Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul." Tash lives in Connecticut with her husband and two little boys.

More about Natasha Friend...
Lush Bounce My Life in Black and White For Keeps Gobsmacked

Share This Book

“When you believe in something, stand up for it, even if everyone is sitting.” 105 likes
“It's funny. When we first started hanging out I didn't want Ashley to think I was a pig, so I was careful not to eat too much in front of her....Now, I don't even think about it.” 0 likes
More quotes…