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Perfect

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  7,506 ratings  ·  840 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 (first published January 1st 2004)
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68th out of 1,525 books — 8,573 voters
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3rd out of 108 books — 303 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Merary
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
Suki
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
Michelle
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
Patricia
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
Toughlove
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
Becky Schroeder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah
AWESOME! YOU MUST READ!
Anniesa
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
Cayla
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
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
Bailey
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
Staci
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
Sarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.
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
7706sophia
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.
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
Emily Case
this book touched me because i loved to see how she grew ar a person. i really like the fact that it never shows her actual stopping, so you get to decide if she dose or dosn't. i must read for all girls who feel uncomfortable with them selves or their bodies. never go to the extent of hurting your self to get the body you want.
Nithusa
First of all thank you Ambika for lending me this great book. I gave this book 5 stars because most books don't talk in the the perspective of the character with the eating disorder. In a way this is like a new genre for me because this is the first time I'm reading a book about bulimia. Isabelle is bulimic once her ten year old sister told her mom that Isabelle is bulimic. Isabella started to go a "Group" once a week, but Isabella is shocked to find Ashley Branum ( popular girl ) came to " Grou...more
Isabelle
I thought this book was a really emotional book. It also made me feel as though I was watching everything go by. It was sad, happy, exciting, and in some ways annoying because I wanted Isabelle to do certain things.
Krystal
Good young adult book about a girl who has an eating disorder. It also shows that those who are popular are not perfect and that there is usually more than meets the eye regarding most people's lives.
Taylor
Overall it was a pretty good book but i got totally discusted when she puked her guts out. Not to sound like a know it all or a critic but this book relly shows how teens deal with thier problems.
Claire
I loved this book I couldn't get my nose out of it for two days. It was funny ad entertaining. I reccomend this awesome book for girls only. But boys if you really want to.
Rebecca
My main issue with this novel is the bizarre use of language that the author employs. Although the book was published in 2004, the main character refers to wearing "blouses" and "slacks" and admits to stealthily listening in on a conversation by carefully lifting up the receiver on the other land line phone (as though this is a new idea).

Aside from the author's failure to update her lexicon, the story is decent. I enjoyed watching the main character progress in her Group discussions, and I learn...more
Eriel
Sep 16, 2008 Eriel rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Girls
Recommended to Eriel by: noone
This was a great book! It really made you feel different emotions.
Chloe
I think this book is sad though important in the culture that we live in now. It shows that even though you may look perfect on the outside, you may still be hurting on the inside. Since we live in a culture now with a lot of bullying and peer pressure, we can feel more prone to do a certain thing. It was very well stated the risks of becoming harmful to your self, it can hurt you and the ones around you. This was a great eye opener for me and I think that it can really help many girls around th...more
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perfect 16 59 Jun 13, 2013 03:40PM  
Class of 2014: Milenia 4 13 Feb 15, 2013 12:41PM  
  • Looks
  • After the Strawberry
  • Feeling For Bones
  • Purge: Rehab Diaries
  • Thin
  • Goodbye, Paper Doll
  • Perfect: Anorexia & Me
  • Life-Size
  • Hunger Point
  • Life in the Fat Lane
  • Massive
  • Purge
  • Diary of an Anorexic Girl
  • Skinny
  • Diary of an Exercise Addict
  • Second Star to the Right
  • Unwell
  • Slim to None: A Journey Through the Wasteland of Anorexia Treatment
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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.

Her...more
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