Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.
And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.
Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen -- but only if she lets them...
I almost DNF'd this book in the first 30 pages because it was depressing and the protagonist was so passive and unwilling to stand up to her family (a big pet peeve of mine). I don't do sad contemporaries and the only thing that kept me reading was the writing style (first-person sarcastic and hilarious) and then drool-worthy Will....
And then I just kept reading and it got really good. And damn it, that sad world sucked me in and made me feel things. Honestly parts of this book felt so real they hurt (family issues). And there were parts I wanted to punch Kate in the face because she was so in denial/naive/meek around Will and her idiot dad and her lazya$$ brother. But you know what? I don't care. Because it was such a good book and I couldn't stop. So many contemporaries are funny-but-not-real or real-but-not-funny and this book was both. Elizabeth somehow managed to channel my angsty highschool self perfectly and I just effing loved every second of this. It had love-hate banter and insults and fuzzy feelings and realness and funny and finding yourself all in the same book.
I'm not going to gather up the energy to do an actual review because I read this – truly, I can't remember when I picked this up. Anyway, this book is one of the explanations on why I'm not a big fan of contemporary YA romance books.
The basic story is: The book revolves around Kate who works with her father selling Vitamins in the mall. Her best friend has become popular and ever since that occurred, she acts as if Kate is invisible. And...other cliché teen drama crap, which I will not bother to list.
Okay, the novel does deal with significant challenges of being a teenager such as divorce and selfish parents.
But what irritated me to the point of insanity was the ending.
Nothing gets fixed. Nothing.
But one thing.
That one thing is her relationship with Will. The guy who, in my view, was a complete player. Kate wasn't any nicer to him either...I guess that makes it even.
“What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen -- but only if she lets them...”
But good things didn't ensue! I felt like I personally knew the message that the author was attempting to deliver in this book.
Everyone gather around for the compelling message.
It doesn't matter if your parents are getting divorced or your best friend basically ditched you, but as long as you have an amazing douchebag boyfriend then your life is complete.
This book is equal parts adorable and frustrating. The romance had a lot of promise, and the family and friend dramas were engaging. But it takes way too long for Kate to wake up to what's really going on with her best friend, way too long for her to figure out whether Will is actually sincere, and the thing with the dad played out for way too long as well. And after she does wake up, we don't get much time to enjoy it before it all ends.
All in all, this could have been a great book, but as it is, it didn't quite make the mark for me.
Perfect You cemented, for me, the fact that Elizabeth Scott is without a doubt the next Sarah Dessen. In other words, a writer whose books CANNOT be missed because they are so utterly perfectly right. My first introduction to Elizabeth Scott came last May when I read and reviewed Bloom. If you haven't read it yet, you don't know what you're missing. Okay, that's not doing Scott much service. If you're a girl who loves realistic teen romance novels that make you grin from ear to ear then you should definitely seek out Elizabeth Scott's books. There, that's more specific.
I also had the pleasure of interviewing her last fall.
On to Perfect You.
Vitamins had ruined my life. Not that there was much left to ruin, but still.
How many novels have you read like that? Not many I'm betting. It continues, "I know blaming vitamins for my horrible life sounds strange. After all, vitamins are supposed to keep people healthy. Also, they're inanimate objects. But thanks to them I was stuck in the Jackson Center Mall watching my father run around in a bee costume."
Even if I wasn't previously familiar with Scott's work (or her blog), I think I'd be intrigued by the bee costume. It's a fact that teens are embarrassed by their parents. Often. A bee costume I think everyone can agree on is just cause for embarrassment. Our heroine, Kate, is a sophomore whose life has gone from middling to worse. She's never been popular. She's never been one of those girls who with a toss of her hair and a flash of a smile gets the guy. But her life has always been somewhat normal.
When Kate's father has a light-bulb moment involving a bottle of Perfect You vitamins, Kate's world begins to collapse. He quits his job, rents a booth in the mall, and proceeds to tormenting his family by living out his dream. The family goes from functional to dysfunctional very very quickly. But even with her home life in chaos, it would all be okay if her best friend in the entire world was speaking to her.
Anna. Anna was her best friend. Her best friend. They told each other everything. They were always there side by side through it all. Neither girl being popular. Neither girl getting the guy. Neither girl the life of the party. But it was all okay. They had each other, right?
When the novel opens, Anna and Kate are long through. Anna having lost considerable weight over the summer is now an IT girl. She's popular as can be, and is dating one of the hottest most popular guys at school. Kate is so very beneath her now.
Dumped by her best friend and forced into working at the geeky vitamin booth at the mall while her dad practices new ways to humiliate her, she thinks life couldn't get any more complicated.
Enter Will. Enter Grandma.
Oh, this novel is so good. So very, very good. Elizabeth Scott is a master at characters. Both Bloom and Perfect You have weight and substance. Yes, romance is involved in both. But life is always more complicated, more complex than just that. Her writing is for the heart, the mind, and the soul. Life. Love. Friendship. Family. School. Life isn't always beautiful. It isn't always fair. Its full of beginnings and endings. Some times you have to go with the flow.
I loved Kate. I loved her story. I highly recommend it.
I think this one would pair well with Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. It also vaguely reminded me of Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. (Except, and here's the thing, Sloppy Firsts and the subsequent sequels always annoyed me in parts. Perfect You was a better match for me.) Notes On a Near-Life Experience by Olivia Birdsall is another one that comes to mind. And of course Sarah Dessen fans should definitely try Elizabeth Scott.
Good Golly! I think this is one of those books where you want to shake the main character to get her to open her eyes. Kate is m.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e. It isn’t that she’s unpopular… that’s the least of her worries. One, her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall. Two, she has to work as his assistant. Three, her “nightmare” of a grandmother has moved in to help out. Last, her best friend has turned into a beauty and totally forgotten her. The only bright side is her love/hate relationship with Will- her school’s hook up king. *more on him later*
I really did not like how self-involved they all were. And I do mean all of them! Her father was too wrapped up in his dream to notice their home life was crap. Her mother was too wrapped up in supporting her husband. Todd, was too wrapped up in being a man about town. Her grandmother was too wrapped up in appearances. Her best friend was too wrapped in being popular. And she was too wrapped up in being miserable.
Wait, am I making them out as hateful? Well they are! Or they were. Her blinders came off slowly, but with each realization, I would go, “Oh, thank gosh.. She’s thinking!” Once her blinders were off… once her mother’s blinders were off, I liked the changes that happened. Once they recognized the gem that her grandmother was (convenient, I know,) I felt relief.
“If they’re all so hateful, why bother?” one might ask. I could not help myself. The story is just that good. Even if the individuals were crappy, and even if the relationships were all screwed up, I liked how honest the story was. Honest. How? Well, there’s no denying that they were flawed, (except for Kate, the MC, it seemed. She just kept on denying till the very last moment when she couldn’t anymore) BUT there’s also no denying that they’ve got a good side too. Her father with his passion (blind as it was,) her mother with her loyalty, her brother with his humor, her grandmother with her willingness to assist (wanted or not.) And Kate with her (slow) discovery and acceptance of those flaws and merits.
But let me get down to the happy-happy side: Will. I really enjoyed him as a character, and then later, them as a couple. They start out a bit juvenile (think boy hair pulling to get the girl to pay attention,) all very love/hate. Deep down she liked him, but just couldn't face another rejection so she'd reject him at every opportunity. Until a very sudden twist of events, then she just couldn’t get enough of him and vice versa. Except, it didn’t stay that way, because like her grandmother said, Kate's used to being miserable. I love how their relationship developed and that the more she learned of him, the more she liked him. I didn’t like the yo-yo that was her emotion though.
Well, this was not what I was expecting. Will I ever learn not to judge books by their cover?!?!? Probably not. I'm not really liking this cover, but the insides made up for it! This was my first E. Scott book and I do not believe it will be my last. I liked it. I'm not jumping up and down ecstatic over it, but it was still a good read.
Kate was a different sort of "girly book" character. She was self-conscious, not popular, sad, tough, opinionated, moody-yet still likable. She was too hard on herself. But that is part of what made her and Will's back and forth relationship so cute and enjoyable. There were times I just wanted to hug her and there were times when I wanted to scream at her.
Anna was absolutely horrid. I really don't know why Kate put up with her at all. She is nicer than I am, I guess. I was really hoping for that moment when Kate was just going to blow up on her and tell what a horrible friend/human being she was. I got so tired of hearing her excuses and whining. If this was a horror movie, I would be hoping she was the first to be axed!
Favourite Quote: You tell yourself you aren't something or that you can't be something and you know what? It will become true. You have to decide who you are and what you can do and then go after what you want. Because believe me, no one is going to give it to you."
Okay, first up I have to admit I am on a bit of Elizabeth Scott binge at the moment. I just the love the way her books make you feel - happy yet at the same time makes your heart ache a little. And Perfect You is a perfect example of that.
Like I have said before Scott writing is stunning. Her voice is so true to life. She deals with some compelling issues with honesty and heart. Her charaters always draw you into their world and are always unforgettable.
Kate, is a character that I just get. Someone so easy for me to connect with. She is someone who doesn't realise her own self worth. She pushes away Will because she doesn't think he is really into her. She believes that her Anna can be bestfriend again even though Anna treats her like dirt. Her family is falling apart and she feels like she has no-one to turn too.
And Will, I adore. Completely irresistible (and yes book boyfriend material). I love, love, love the playful banter between him and Kate. The really had great chemistry.
"Kate, don't be like that. You know I only did so well because I yearn-see, SAT word- to follow you to college and steal your heart." "Uh-huh. Too bad for you I don't plan on attending clown college." He grinned. "Only you would ignore the incredibly sweet thing I just said." "Only you would describe one of your asinine comments as incredibly sweet."
"I know you secretly have being dying to check me out" "All right, you caught me. I'm secretly obsessed with you and spend all my free time writing about you in my journal. 'Dear Diary, today Will was an ass for the 467th day in a row. He's so dreamy".
Want to know my favourite part of this book? The yummy kissing scenes. Before reading Perfect You Alexa from Not Enough Bookshelves and Nomes from Inkcrush did mention some delicious kissing scenes (and this may have been the main reason I desperately ran out and bought a copy) and they were right. I just love the build up and the tenderness of moments between Kate and Will. They are one of my all time favourite couples.
Overall, Perfect You is a charming and clever read that I couldn't get enough of. If you love a good coming of age story with a nice touch of romance then you shouldn't miss this.
LIke all of Elizabeth Scott's books, this one was fabulous. It's a sweet and quirky romance with a load of family tension - which Scott has proven to be GREAT with.
And, for you romance fans, I assure you that the love interet is HOT. I love Will. He's the boy Kate wants so badly to hate. The boy who teases her and who has a rep for hooking up with everyone. But he's attractive, and somehow, she can't completely hate him.
Especially when they start making out. OF course, that's also when things get super complicated.
This is my first introduction to Elizabeth Scott, and to a young adult novel not considered a classic. (I went through the list of the first 200 most widely read YA novels, and discovered I have read at least 30.) So, the competition is pretty tough for a contemporary writer of YA novels.
I have to say that I did not find Kate, the main character, all that likeable. To me, she came across as a pretty shallow person. The irony in her refusal to accept the loss of her best friend, Anna, is that it was because of Anna’s own superficial personality that the friendship ended. And the number of times Kate interrupted Will when he tried to talk to her made me wonder why Will would even bother continuing to pursue her.
With family, friendship, and love the main themes, this is probably a typical story geared for teens: mainly girls, but my guess is that boys might enjoy it, as well. As an adult, I did actually find myself laughing out loud, because parts of the story really are quite funny. So I think I am going to give Bloom, Scott’s debut novel, a try as well.
This was...awful. And it definitely did not satisfy my rom com craving.
The main character was whiny the entire time. She pinned over a TERRIBLE ex-best friend and a boy who I honestly don’t get the hype around. She complained about every single thing her family did and argued with Will just to be dramatic. And the “relationship” between her and Will was just pages after pages of kissing. Ick.
Nothing was resolved at the end; the family was full of drama from beginning to end and I had no idea what the “lesson” or character development was supposed to be, until the epilogue, where it was pretty much stated explicitly.
Overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott. There were parts I truly enjoyed, and there were aspects of the story that frustrated me and made me mad. However, I think it was intentional on the part of Scott because in hindsight, I realized my feelings paralleled Kate’s whirlwind of emotions she experienced throughout the book.
About the book: Kate’s life cannot get any more craptastic. Her father quit his job to chase his pipe dream of selling Perfect You vitamins at a kiosk in the mall, where she is forced to work… with no pay, the business is not doing well, and the money situation is deteriorating by the minute. As a result, her family is losing their house and falling deeper and deeper into debt. To top it all off, her best friend had a major transformation over the summer, landing her a spot in the popular crowd and leaving Kate in the dust. Kate handles the situation the best way she knows how, which is to lash out at those who are trying to befriend her, and that includes Will, the cute guy in her class that has a reputation of hooking up with girls. Because of all that’s happening in her life, Kate is having a hard time focusing on the positive and trusting people’s true intentions. As the story progresses, she learns some important lessons, one of which is despite how negative everything seems around you, stop and try to focus on the positive and you’ll be sure to find someone or something that can make your day a little better.
Overall I felt compassion for Kate, but I have to admit, I was put off by the way she treated Will for the majority of the story and how she kept chasing after Anna’s friendship. However in the end, I’m glad it all worked out and she was able to pull herself out of her downward spiral. Great book, with some valuable lessons and bittersweet ending. I definitely feel comfortable recommending this book to my fellow avid readers.
Kate's life just isn't going very well lately. Her father quit his job and decided to seek his dream and sell vitamins at the mall and Kate has to work with him. Embarrassment is an understatement. Then she losses her best friend to popularity making Kate invisible and the school-player starts to take an interest in her. Even though she can't stop herself from being attracted to Will, she doesn't want to be another notch on his belt. Kate's afraid to get hurt but then she realizes that maybe if she let the wall down long enough to actually let someone in, she could actually be happy.
This was a cute book, but wow, was Kate ever frustrating. She was basically on constant defense-mode the entire book, not that I can blame her, but still. She was a very conflicting character for me to like, but I could also sympathize with how she misses her friend and thought she was the better person when she came back around. Will, I just loved! Adorable with that cool-sexy vibe that just lingers while reading those scenes. It was really cute the way he would get under Kate's skin. Lots of yummy kisses in this book guys, lottts! Very swoon-worthy stuff.
Overall, Perfect You was a good read. Light, fluffy, annoying and adorable. Perfect if your looking for a smile.
This book initially struck me as rather flat imitation of a Sarah Dessen novel. It picked up toward the middle, but in the end I reverted back to my original "meh" feeling.
The characters were pretty much all flat stock characters, including the protagonist, who has the unfortunately unmemorable name "Kate." Kate is snarky, has a too-quick wit (she's way, way wittier and funny than any 15-year-old on earth) and apparently book-smart (she spends most of her time doing homework and her SAT scores are mentioned as being high) but is such an idiot when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Her idiocy is explained by several characters saying, "Boy Kate, you always think the worst of people!" but that doesn't go far enough to explain how dense she is, especially regarding the "hero," Will, who makes it clear about 20 times how much he likes her, only to be shut down again and again by Kate thinking that he's using her, or gossiping about her, or feeling sorry for her, blah blah. At one point she throws a shoe at him, and that's where I pretty much lost all feeling of solidarity with Kate.
I did read this book all in one sitting, but I didn't have other books along and it was a quick, fluffy read. The deteriorating relationship between Kate's parents and the character of Will salvaged the novel for me, as did the smart, funny half of Kate's personality (which I'll call Normal Kate). The other half of Kate's character (I'll call this Lame Kate; the same half that creates 20 too-dramatic moments from harmless interactions with Will) is what takes this book down into two-star territory. Lame Kate also has a pathetic plotline involving her ex-best-friend Anna. Where Kate always thinks the worst of Will and everyone else, she blindly thinks the best of Anna, who has become popular and sexy after leaving for the summer and somehow losing 90 POUNDS during that period of time. Really. 90 pounds. I kept waiting for the "I haven't eaten anything since May and I'm starting to lose my hair but I don't have a problem" storyline to pop up, but it never did. Anna just magically lost 30 pounds a month, dyed her hair blond and became popular (that's all it takes in a book like this). And, even though the book establishes over and over again that Anna is a shallow liar, Kate keeps pathetically hoping that they'll be best friends again.
By the time the book finished, I wasn't surprised that Anna ignored Kate and laughed at her. I was surprised, though, that the people in her life hadn't driven Lame Kate out to the country and abandoned her there. As well as being all dramatic with Will, Lame Kate also lashes out at her family members, yelling cliched things like "I have the worst life ever!" at her mother just moments after Normal Kate felt shocked and serious after seeing her usually together mother break down and cry. There are several sobering moments like this one that dissolve into "You've got to be kidding me" moments when Lame Kate puts her two cents in.
If Kate had continued to be smart and funny instead of lapsing into unexplainable periods of shouting, whining and all-around lameness, this would've been a pretty good, diverting read. No such luck. Despite the trying-to-be-Sarah-Dessen cover, Perfect You is nowhere close.
I probably won't be trying any of Elizabeth Scott's others, either, because the chapter preview for "Something, Maybe" revealed a character who talks and thinks EXACTLY like Normal Kate and deludes herself just like Lame Kate--except this time, her problem isn't her deteriorating family and missing best friend--it's the fact that she's the daughter of a Playboy Playmate and Hugh Hefner and thus has big boobs and a self-absorbed sex-kitten mom. Really. And somehow, being raised in a totally different environments and being--oh yeah--totally different characters, Kate and the "Something, Maybe" Chick are written exactly the same. No thanks, Elizabeth Scott. I am not putting myself through THAT ever again. Let me know if you write a spin-off about Will and Kate's parents.
Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast. Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.
And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.
Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen -- but only if she lets them.... (summary from back of book)
What a great read! This was my first time reading Elizabeth Scott and she will definitely be an author I will continue to read! Perfect You was an insightful look into a teenage girls life, Kate’s confusion over her lost friendship is beyond believable. You see that happen all the time in high school. I guess I was lucky I moved in the fifth grade and didn’t have to experience losing my childhood friends, although at the time I didn’t see it that way. The supporting characters and the back ground story, was something that I think I actually enjoyed the most. I love when a story goes beyond focusing on the main character, sometimes the background characters are what make a story seem real. I was happy to see that in the end Kate learned to give people a chance and not always assume the worst.
The entire time while reading this book I just wanted to slap some sense into the characters , they were utterly frustrating!
Main character Kate was whiny, moody, unnecessarily mean to Will and blind to Anna's actions.
The dad was the most irresponsible and selfish character imaginable and I cannot believe that everyone kept sticking up for him opposed to the grandmother who was the only likeable and sensible one in the house (until Todd grew up). For all the mentions in the book of how much the father loved his family above everything else there wasn't a single thing he did that proved this to actually be the case.
The mother was an idiot for standing by her husband despite everything he'd done and was basically making the same mistake her mother had made when it came to men.
Anna was a bitch, enough said.
Will was too one-dimensional and it made absolutely no sense that he liked Kate what with all her whining and thinking the worst of him.
And as soon as Kate dared to pick up the phone herself to call will the novel states "the end". WTF? There's one chapter after this that basically says that everything in Kate's life is still horrible but who cares, she has a boyfriend. Because obviously that's more important than friends, a family, or even a house…
I'm giving this 2.5 stars because despite its many (MANY) flaws, for some absurd reason I still wanted to finish the book.
Wow this book was something... a waste of time. I have never found a book that I really didn't like, I will have to say this one was the first and most likely the last. I'm not picky at all about books, seriously, I'm not. Most of the time even if I don't like the story exactly I still recognize that the writing is great. This book happens to be centered around a girl who believes that she is a victim in a cruel, cruel world and she does absolutely nothing about it, being rude to everyone around her all the while. Read the first couple pages and you'll have read the whole book other than maybe the last 3 or 4 pages. Mind you it is 282 pages long.
Pretty standard set up, girl in high school, lusting after playboy, home life is falling apart and she's lost her best friend who gave her up to retain her newfound popularity.
The characters just weren't up to scratch and were pretty one dimensional.
And of course how to keep a romance going when the two leads were making out by page 20? Oh yes, the dreaded miscommunications. Unfortunately they weren't very realistic miscommunications and were mainly due to MC Kate's stupidity and unbelievably low self esteem.
I found the whole family drama incredibly sad and hopeless and not at all funny, which I felt like the author was pushing for for some reason. Like the story needed comedic relief and she decided that using a broken and somewhat manic father was a good way to do it (he was in a carrot hat so haha). Throw in a shallow and superficial (but rich) grandmother and we've got ourselves a knee slapper.
It all came across just wrong. Not just the family but the high school environment was hard for me to swallow. Kate's other relationships were all a bit ridiculous as well.
I hated Anna, the ex best friend and I could not understand why Kate would want her back. She was such a giant waste of time. Kate refused to see it, and continued to let the girl use her. It would have been one thing if Anna had been a convincing character, then I wouldn't have really blamed Kate. Anna was so obvious though, so ridiculous and over the top about her hidden relationship with Kate that I once again found Kate's decisions idiotic.
I guess I really didn't like this one that much because of how much I disliked Kate. She was such a master of her own doom.
However, with all this said, I still found the book just entertaining enough to finish it. I think that had to do with Will. He was the only interesting character and so I did at least get to the end to see what happened to him.
I never thought that I would love this book as much as I do. The reason that I started reading this book was because I wanted an easy read. Something light. And I did get what I want and more.
I love every character in this book except for Anna-Kate's popular ex-best friend.
Kate, is a character that I just get. Someone so easy for me to connect with. She is someone who doesn't realise her own self worth. She pushes away Will because she doesn't think he is really into her. She believes that her and Anna can be best friend again even though Anna treats her like dirt. Her family is falling apart and she feels like she has no-one to turn too.
Will is such a swoon-worthy. He made the novel funnier with his wit and charm, and the most interesting parts were when Kate's own cleverness popped out while she bantered with Will. Even on paper, they have so much chemistry you'd think the book would be sizzling right now. I also loved Kate's grandmother and Todd.
This novel is so good. So very, very good. Elizabeth Scott is a master at characters. Both Bloom and Perfect You have weight and substance. Yes, romance is involved in both. But life is always more complicated, more complex than just that. Her writing is for the heart, the mind, and the soul. Life. Love. Friendship. Family. School. Life isn't always beautiful. It isn't always fair. Its full of beginnings and endings. Some times you have to go with the flow.
This book felt very authentic to me, the character of Kate and her sadness by the loss of her best friend, not understanding why the friendship ended and thinking that if she can just have her back that life will be better and back to normal, felt very real. I understood why she didn't feel that Will would be interested in her; she didn't see herself as worthy of his attention, she did't see herself as being worthy of being happy. She believed all the rumors about Will, without considering whether or not the rumors about herself or her family were true. Kate's feelings come through clearly and her underlying anger made me sad for her. Her family is well drawn, from her father who's either having a sever mid-life crisis or is simply selfish and unable to see the truth about their life and how his behavior is affecting everyone. Kate and her brother's relationship rang true, in their interactions, both loving and irritating each other. I enjoyed their comments back and forth. I felt for Kate's mother, caught between her childish husband and her domineering mother. And Will. He was willing to put up with Kate's bad attitude and barbs and kept coming back for more. I was glad when Kate finally believed he was serious about her and was disgusted with her ex-best friend for making her doubt him because of her own cheating boyfriend. Great read.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This was a nostalgia reread. I remember - really clearly, I was in my aunt's guestroom - reading this for the first time. This is a powerful book to read in high school. There's Kate, who isn't pretty or talented or popular, whose life is falling apart, and whose best friend isn't talking to her.
And nothing gets better. Sure, she has another friend now - but the only thing that really changes is that she decides to deal with everything instead of letting everything have its way with her.
Perfect You is a story about someone who's easy to dislike, and lonely, and strong. It's not perfect, but it's empowering, and probably my favorite of Scott's books.
Perfect You is a most ironic title for a book and protagonist that are anything but. Oh where to begin. Now I am the first to say that YA books are intended for YA, and therefore, I am not always the best judge as I am not the intended audience. However. GOOD YA books transcend the age gap and are well written, relatable, and thought provoking. This was just awful. Kate is a whiny, hateful, immature and petty narcissist who is consistently the cause of her own unhappiness and in the dumbest of ways. She is miserable because her equally immature and stupid father decided to quit his job one day because his desk broke and everything was ruined except for a bottle of Perfect You (??) vitamins, thus inspiring him to live out his dream (???) selling vitamins in the mall. This affects Kate in part because now the family has no money but more importantly than that, she now has to be like totally humiliated because she has a job at the mall. Kate's mom is a total enabler who not only stands by her man as he takes on a completely stupid job that has no hope of succeeding, but also decides that her horrible but wealthy mother should come stay with them because this will somehow inspire grandma to pay the family a lot of money. Yeah I didn't get that either. Anyway, grandma is ridiculous and over the top (how many ways can I make this woman obnoxious? Oh here's another one! Good thing those YA readers hate subtlety and are really stupid!) but at least she calls out Kate's mom for being much the same (yet somehow her saying, "You're grown ups and are responsible for being stupid with your money so no I am not paying you for being idiots" was part of what made her... mean?). In the meantime, poor poor Kate also has been blown off by her BFF Anna, who was once a big dorkwad like Kate but then over the summer magically lost 70 pounds and since it is actually only weight that makes a person unpopular, she then was able to slip into the cool crowd and had to bid adieu to Kate (this I totally understand). Kate however is all too eager to get back into Anna's good graces despite Anna making it pretty clear that she is not worth it. In terms of "making it pretty clear," this book was pretty much all Hand of Author and very little Inferences from the Reader. Turns out that the popular crowd is deceptive, shallow, insecure, and horrible. Kate, however - well! She is just awesome. Awesome enough to snag good looking Will who - and this I REALLY do not understand - actually finds her CONSISTENTLY obnoxious attitude and deliberate ignoring of his sincere advances to be charming and attractive and so they have constant make out sessions behind the garbage dump (this was, to be honest, rather apt symbolism) until they finally figure out a way to communicate. This book was so horrible. It was easily one of the worst written and poorly executed novels I have ever read. I am horrified on behalf of YA readers and the English language.
After finding his office destroyed (though there is never any explanation as to why it had been destroyed), Kate's father quits his job to follow his dream. And that dream is to sell Perfect You vitamins. At a stand in the middle of the mall. Could life get any worse?
For Kate, it can, and it does. Her best friend, Anna, will no longer speak to her. After spending the summer in Maine, Anna has come back gorgeous and is welcomed into the popular crowd. Anna snubs Kate in school, but in private strings her along, telling her that she knows Kate will always be there for her.
To add insult to injury, Kate learns that her mother has invited her grandmother to move in with them. Kate's grandmother has money, and Kate's family is now hurting financially due to her father's crazy dream.
And then there's Will. If everything else didn't already have Kate wound up, Will alone could've done that. Kate keeps pushing Will away before Will has the chance to mess with Kate's head.
During her sophomore year of high school, Kate has more than any 16-year-old should have to handle. PERFECT YOU is a story of one girl's struggle to fit in to a world that keeps changing. All Kate wants is the staid life she has come to know and expect. But no one else seems to realize that's the way it should be.
I have to admit that I was going to give this a 4 star rating. Kate was a bit annoying and constantly pushing people away. But the last fifty pages of the story changed my mind. Kate finally learned to stand up for herself and fight for what she wanted. Her grandmother and her brother finally made Kate realize that she was the one holding herself back.
If you are looking for a feel-good, easy teen novel, this is not the book for you. Ms. Scott writes a shockingly realistic look at how brutal life in high school can be. The story flows quickly and you do get caught up in the characters in the book. There are happy moments in the story, which I don't want to spoil, and you do want the best for Kate in the end. It takes Kate a while to come to terms with the changes in her life, but she does come out okay on the other side.
Three fourths of this book is amazingly stupid. First of all, I am just starting junior year. As a sophomore I was not this selfish. This the only term I think is vaguely appropriate to describe all the characters in the book with the exception of Will and the Grandmother. The main character, Kate does not think of anyone else's feelings but her own. Her mother has no eyes for anyone but her husband. Her husband does not respect his family enough to put them before his dreams. Honestly, I do not understand why the whole family dislikes the Grandmother. Guess what! Kate's grandmother is a replica of my grandmother. She loves to shop and she the money do as she pleases. However, she always looks out for our best interest. Yes, she does call me or any of my cousins "darling" whenever we talk to her. Gosh this book is so indescribably juvenile. I was so tempted to put the book down but I kept on reading. Hoping that there will be some improvement...but there was none. Kate's solution of having the Grandmother pay for the debts, buy the house, and pay for their education is hilarious. I am 16 years old and I KNOW that money is limited. In all honesty, everyone in the book acts as though they are 5 year olds expecting other people to take care of them and that one simple act is the solution to all their problems. The parents act like birdbrain teenagers in love who believe that everything will work out in its own. Thankfully, they LEARN to deal with their situation and make the best out of it. I felt as though I liked Kate, her mother, and Todd more toward the end of the book when Kate's mom and Todd proved that they actually have common sense. As for Kate, I think that her changing toward the end and improving her perspective on life made her a more likable character. Read this book at your own risk.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
A whimsical and refreshingly honest coming of age story about the blossoming sexuality of a teenage girl, based on the novel by Olaug Nilssen.
15-year-old Alma (Helene Bergsholm) is consumed by her out-of-control hormones and fantasies that range from sweetly romantic images of Artur, the boyfriend she yearns for, to down-and-dirty daydreams about practically everybody she lays eyes on. Alma and her best friend Sara live in an insufferably boring little town in the hinterlands of Norway called Skoddeheimen, a place they loathe so much that every time their school bus passes the sign that names it, they routinely flip it off. After Alma has a stimulating yet awkward encounter with Artur, she makes the mistake of telling her incredulous friends, who ostracize her at school, until Sara can’t even be seen with her. At home, Alma’s single mother is overwhelmed and embarrassed by her daughter’s extravagant phone sex bills and wears earplugs to muffle Alma’s round-the-clock acts of self-gratification. Throughout, the complexities of Alma’s burgeoning sexuality are compassionately rendered by Systad Jacobsen with a frankness that always rings true, as does first-time actress Helene Bergsholm’s funny and moving performance as Alma.
Laced with warmth and quirky humor, Turn Me On, Dammit! is a light-hearted take on a story that is told so often about boys and so rarely about teenage girls. [ click ] [ review ]
Okay, so Janette Rallison has probably ruined me for TeenLit. I guess I got use to her fun style, romantic storylines, great dialogue and loveable characters. So, needless to say, I was disappointed in this book. This sounded like an interesting premise, but ended up being pretty boring and repetitive. I never really got around to liking Kate. She complained the WHOLE time and was always feeling sorry for herself. She was upset about losing her best friend, Anna, which I can understand. I was hoping about half-way through she would get some self-respect and realize that Anna’s a huge jerk that doesn’t deserve her friendship. All her family drama got old pretty quick and the only interesting parts were with her and Will. Will is the school “player”, changing girls as often as he changes socks. Kate secretly has a crush on him but is constantly mean to him and somehow that doesn’t scare him off. Maybe he likes the thrill of the chase. Their chemistry was good (although, the more I think about it, the more I wonder what he sees in her?). I liked their storyline and it was only because of Will that I kept reading. I’ve read a few other reviews where they loved the book, so maybe it’s just me?
This is the third Elizabeth Scott book that I read (Stealing Heaven and Living Dead Girl are the other two), and I have to say that she is really good at capturing the spirit of the main character on the page. I could sense how Kate felt. Her dad was not being a dad, her mom was going along with it because of her love for him, her best friend was frankly treating her like sh!t, and her slacker brother wasn't being much help. There are happy moments in there that really made me want to keep reading the book (all the Will moments), along with all the tough stuff that Kate had to deal with. I think girls will really like the book, especially because they can relate to Kate and maybe also see that no matter how things change, you can always pick yourself up and move on. Great read.
When things were perfect, Anna was still Kate's best friend, her parents were happily married, her brother was living at college, and her father had a real job. But then, things take a bad turn. Anna has suddenly transformed into a social butterfly and is no longer talking to her. Her father quits his job to sell Perfect You vitamins that nobody wants. Her Grandma is back in town due to financial crisis in the family. And finally, Kate has an incredible time kissing Will, whom she can’t stop insulting and whom she's sure is using her.
My first Elizabeth Scott book, and well, I like it, but it needs quite some work before I can be satisfied with the novel. I mean, it's kind of unique. Nobody else's father sells Perfect You vitamins, and Kates father is an interesting portrayal of another type of fathers. Usually, you get the normal but overly obsessive and protective dad, but now, you have someone that kind of plays a bigger role in the story and his characteristics a bit different. You kind of have to hate him because of how childish he is that he gives up his family just to sell non-likable vitamins. It's not something you expect to happen in a book. I mean, 99% of the time, the parent realizes his/her mistake, grows up, learns a lesson, and becomes a better person. Here, you’re kind of blasted with a reality hit that not everyone realizes their mistakes or wants to change themselves. People are selfish, and it's a freaky thought, but it's true. This book has amazingly captured that essence of realness that's made me think a lot about fathers, mothers and family relationships.
Apart from that, you kind of get the other basic characters. There's always the best friend (Anna), the unattainable crush (Will), the annoying brother (Todd), and sometimes, the even more annoying-but-somehow-wise figure (the grandmother). Anna is the fat best friend with a newly improved self-esteem after a summer abroad. When school starts, she ignores Kate completely, and Kate is left wondering what she did that turned Anna away.
I really hated how Kate turns into someone else when she talks about Anna or talking to her. Those parts of the story completely revolted me. I could not get pass how Kate was so willing to overlook everything Anna had done (or hadn't done, in this case) every single time. As soon as Kate was ready to forget that Anna and her would never be real friends again, Anna suddenly makes an appearance, says a sweet word or two, and Kate's all for it again. Yes, I realize that's the author's point, trying to emphasize that to certain people, it doesn't take much for that glimmer of hope to appear and disappear again, but it's so pathetic having to read those bits over and over again. And really, each encounter sounds so much alike that I've wondered whether the author has copied and pasted, then changed a few key words and the setting around! She always tries to end the chapter, or the last paragraph, with some kind of insightful comment, but it's more repetitive and annoying than ever. I mean, after the first three times mentioning how they weren't friends because of this/that, or why Anna seemed to not like her anymore, it's pointless to remind the reader that again. Also pointless is how much Dad's forced smiling is repeated. Every time Kate mentions her father, she has to say that he was smiling that fake smile of his, getting wider and wider by the minute as he unsuccessfully tried to tell people he was happy, not pissed off. And I do mean every single time. I get that it's important! But I hate it when people tend to over-repeat things. I mean, at that point, the author's really trying to test my patience because I wouldn't be able to stand reading the rest of it.
But of course, I did finish it. But it was more for Will than for anyone else, because I simply didn't care about the main character, the father, and everyone else. (Although I kind of did like the Grandmother and the purple boots.) Will made the novel funnier with his wit and charm, and the most interesting parts were when Kate's own cleverness popped out while she bantered with Will. Even on paper, they have so much chemistry you'd think the book would be sizzling right now.
There were moments that really hit home for me. One of them was Kate and Anna's friendship. I had something similar happen to me awhile back. My best friend just stopped talking to me, no explanation, to be with people we had once mocked and sworn we'd never become. Anna's character really pissed me off. She was f a k e.
Then there were moments where I just wanted to scream. Anytime Kate mentioned how awful her life was, she had the worst life ever, etc., I had to set the book down and sigh. Kate was really melodramatic. There are people dying and she's complaining about boys and vitamins and her super rich grandmother buying her stuff. It got old after awhile, and besides the whole Anna thing I couldn't bring myself to feel bad for her.
Kate's dad was a good character to have, even though I wanted to slap him in the face. He truly was an idiot. Quitting your high paying job to sell crappy vitamins that nobody wants at a mall and forcing your family into debt so deep you lose your house? Yeah, that totally makes sense
I REALLY loved will. He was cute and playful and shed light on a depressing situation. I wish the plot would have included him more, however. What happened after their first date, will never even showed up again, he was mentioned a few times but he just sort of disappeared.
The ending of the book was kind of disappointing. The entire ending was literally crammed into one page. It sort of felt like a deus ex machina. One minute Kate's life is ruined and then one page later everything was suddenly fixed. The ending just came so suddenly I set the book down and had to think for a few minutes, "... That was it?"
Overall I would probably recommend the book to someone who does not easily get annoyed by melodramatic people. I enjoyed reading this book.