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Stupid Perfect World

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,970 ratings  ·  270 reviews
In this future-set novella by bestselling author Scott Westerfeld, Kieran Black lives in a "perfect" world. Disease and starvation have been eradicated, sleep is unnecessary, and it takes no time at all to go from the Bahamas to the moon. But now Kieran has to take Scarcity, a class about how people lived in the bad old days. And as if sitting through an hour of Scarcity ...more
Kindle Edition, 56 pages
Published December 4th 2012 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  1,970 ratings  ·  270 reviews

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Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

The time is the future, and the world is perfect. Ridiculously perfect. Stupid perfect.

In this future world, teens must enroll in a mandatory class called "Scarcity" in which they must participate in a unique class project - they must endure an experience that their ancient human ancestors would have had, for a whole two week long period. Some students choose to have the common cold. Some choose to relinquish their teleportation privileges. After
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why is this a novella? I could've read a whole book, a long one, even a series. Scott Westerfeld has a vivid imagination, especially when it comes to creating alternative futures, in fact , his series Uglies is among my favourite novels ever.

I loved the idea of the perfect future in this book : no health issues, no poverty nor wars. A reality which is questioned by teenagers, who would rather dream and fall in love than enjoy a life without all the "inconveniences" of our century.

Stupid Perfect
Wart Hill
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-scifi-fantasy
This was very, very good.

It's not a dystopia. It's a utopia for actuals, which is pretty sweet. This is a future where disease, war, famine, it's all gone. Conquered, I guess you could say. And for a school project, kids have to experience something from before.

Kieran chooses sleep, Maria chooses hormones. Between dreams and teenage angst, the two are brought closer by their experiences.

And it's very well done.

I'd like if Westerfeld took this concept and kept going with it. But the novella's
Lindsay Cummings
I love everything this man writes. he's ridiculously awesome.
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Um… what did I just read? That’s the question I want to ask myself as I get to the very abrupt ending of this piece. Granted, it is a short story—novella, whatever you want to call it, and I think that fact hinders the author’s ability to write a really deep story. Because there is so much more than I wanted from this novella than what I got. The blurb promises to reveal “something [that] has been missing from their perfect lives after all”, but I don’t think it ever does. I mean, yeah, Kieran ...more
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This book was not spectacular, or wonderful, or anything of the sort. There is exactly one good scene in the entire novella (which only spans a few sentences) and that one scene is what raised this rating from a two star rating to a three star rating.

I don't really recommend this book to anyone. The romance in it is not at all heartwarming, and actually kind of gross. I love Scott Westerfeld, but this is the sole piece of writing of his that I don't really like at all. I was fooled into
I would definitely give it four stars if it was longer, would love to see more books taking place in this world.
Jaime Arkin
I really enjoyed this and was sad when I turned the last page. In Stupid Perfect World, Westerfield has created a society set in the future where the things that we have to 'endure' no longer exist. No hunger or disease... travel is simple and easy and sleep isn't necessary.

Students are required to take a class called Scarcity where they learn about how people lived during the old days. (our present time!) Part of their grade is based on a final project where they are expected to pick something
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve finally read a Scott Westerfeld story! I don’t know why but life seems to enjoy throwing curve balls whenever I try to read something by him but when I heard about HarperCollins new imprint, HarperTeen Impulse, and that his novella was one of the firsts…I jumped at the chance. Like I said, Stupid Perfect World is a novella which means that it’s too long to be a short story but too short to be categorized as a novel.

I liked it. It was a cute read and the premise was really great. The
La Coccinelle
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, novella
This is an interesting novella about two teenagers in a seemingly utopian society. Both have to come up with projects for their Scarcity class, which is where they learn about all the horrible things that beset their ancestors in the olden days. For their final projects, Kieran chooses to experience sleep and Maria chooses to experience unregulated teenage hormones.

I thought the characters were developed pretty well, even though the story was so short. The nine chapters alternate between
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novella follows the life of two teenagers, Kieran and Maria, who love in this utopian society that has cured practically every angst of the current world we're living in. They both take a class called 'Scarcity' which teaches them about what people used to experience in the 'olden days'(eg hunger, diseases, sleep, etc) . As a final exam, they are to pick one of the experiences the learned about to go through for the next 2 weeks. Kieran picked sleep and Maria picked hormones. They both go ...more
Sarena Farber
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Sarena by: nobody
I remember reading the Uglies Series and loving it. The suspense, the thrill of the distopian adventure, and the whole plot in general. I flew through those books right away, and didn't ever want an ending. Yesterday, when I found this book in the Kindle Store, I got very excited, for I found yet another one of Scott Westerfelds distopian books. I started the book at 7 in the morning, and ended it at 8 this morning. Frankly; I'm more disapointed than ever.

1) This book was much too short.
Scott Westerfeld, can I haz your world-building skillz?!

This was a short novella, kind of too short, but I liked the concept and writing too much to bear downgrading my rating. I took a module called "New Communications Technology" last semester that I wish I could've taken after reading this--discussing a "stupid perfect world" in that class would've been perfect.

One of my favourite parts:

Solomon’s gaze took a random walk around the classroom. This whole raising-your-hand thing was another of
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
I'm a big fan of Scott's Leviathan series and I enjoyed The Secret Hour, but for some reason outside of these few books of Scott's I can't really get into his other books. I don't know why that is. While I think this is a good read and a book fans of Scott Westerfeld's are going to enjoy, it's not one I loved. I admire Scott's writing, his rich world building and the characters he writes about. Kieran and Maria were two characters who's story I liked reading, but there was something I just ...more
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
In the future, deprivation, sickness, hormonal imbalances, and pretty much all forms of suffering have been eliminated. Teenagers are required to take a class in "Scarcity" to remind them of how fortunate they are. Each chooses a single affliction or aspect of the pre-utopian world. Kieran chooses to start sleeping, while Maria chooses to no longer control her hormones. While their classmates deal with the common cold or seasickness, Kieran and Maria find their perfect, balanced selves tipping ...more
T.J. Day
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish Scott Westerfeld would have done more with this - made it a whole book or even a series. The concept is fabulous and I would have liked to spend more time getting to know Kieran and Maria and to divulge in the world he created.

Five stars because I love anything Westerfeld does. Everything he writes is unique and beautifully written.

Kieran is adorable to read and Maria is a character I can relate to well. I love the teasing between them and how it grows into something stronger. I love
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Scarcity class idea was really interesting. Westerfeld was able to create a futuristic world within this short story that's unique and interesting. Kieran and Maria were good main charaters and I liked how the story alternate from their POV in each chapters. Both of the characters needed each other to finish it and that ended up being a wonderful story. It was a fun read.
Heidi (yabibliophile)
Love, love, love this short story... just wish I would have known it was the same one I read in the Love is Hell anthology. I bought it without reading what it was about because I wanted to read all the Harper Teen Impulse titles! Still, it's a GREAT story.
Jul 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This novella by Westerfeld did not disappoint. I just wish it had been longer. It had all the elements of a typical work of his and the same intrigue that got me to read the Uglies series; again, I just wish there had been more.
Only reason why I'm not rating this any higher is because I wish this would have been a full length novel. It's such a perfect idea, but I wish he would have had more world building.

I think this would have been better as an actual book not short story.
Joey Alison Sayers
Good Vonnegut-esque novelina by Scott Westerfeld. Made me realize I probably wouldn't have burned out so hard on YA if more of it was shorter-form.
fascinating! i wish this was longer! i can easily see this as a novel that i would read the crap out of.

3.5 stars
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was interesting, but I wish it had been longer, as the ending felt very abrupt. I guess I missed that it was a novella when I got it.
Cute YA story, not much development of characters or plot but it was very short.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-az, kindle
Thought-provoking and just very, very interesting. Scott Westerfeld has this amazing ability to suck you into a different world (in this case, a utopia of sorts - I assume because the novella length was too short to make it into a dystopia) that is incredibly believable despite how different it is than the world we currently live in. This is as true of tiny details as it is for big turns in plot, such as the little tweaks in the language that sound natural and make sense in this futuristic ...more
Mary Thompson
Jan 24, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
I will summarize this story so you don't have to read it:

Girls are really stupid! All of their thoughts and feelings and actions are so irrational! Boys should be really scared of girls' emotions because you just never know how they're going to act! Ha ha, did I mention that girls are really stupid and irrational?

Yep, that's the story. A girl allows her hormones to be regulated naturally and boom ... she's wearing black, writing poetry, risking her life, and yelling and screaming.

This story is
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was short and to the point. I seriously enjoyed the alternate future that the author created. I read his Uglies series and that was what kept me compelled to finish it. His ideas aren’t outrageous, making them all the more interesting. Plus, the way he tied together his inventions - they made sense! Loved it.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was okay. Interesting subject/world. I feel like with novellas, you don't have as much space to fit in a whole story, so it's always hit or miss for me. Either there was enough story packed in and I loved every second of it. Or it gave me a snippet of a more fuller story that didn't quite satisfy me. So I didn't hate it. Just didn't love it :)
Jay Miraldi
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian
What a cool concept for a story! It was kind of interesting to think about sleep as being something you know or don't know how to do, or longing to feel something as mundane as rain or coldness. Loved it :)
Jenny Houle
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quick Novella

I always enjoy Westerfield's ideas on what future societies will look like. Both Maria and Kieran are interesting characters, and I especially liked the rooftop scene.
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Kindle version of this book 1 12 Dec 10, 2012 11:10AM  

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Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He was born in the Texas and now lives in Sydney and New York City. In 2001, Westerfeld married fellow author Justine Larbalestier.

He is best known for the Uglies and Leviathan series. His next book, IMPOSTORS, returns to the world of Uglies. It comes out September 11, 2018.
“And even though her journal was just random sentences, she did spin stories in my head. The sound of her voice made dreams happen.” 2 likes
“Necessity is the mother of invention” 1 likes
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