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Future Perfect

3.03  ·  Rating details ·  995 ratings  ·  218 reviews
Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness.

Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by HarperTeen
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Tole Main content warning would be transphobia. It's a deliberate plot point that is treated well by the book, but it's the one most likely to trigger peop…moreMain content warning would be transphobia. It's a deliberate plot point that is treated well by the book, but it's the one most likely to trigger people. I'd be cautious how you did it though, bc I wouldn't want to turn trans people off bc it's so nice actually getting representation. The bullying and body issue stuff are there, sure, but it's obvious from the blurb. Depends on the point of your list I guess. Like I like content warnings bc the focus is more on 'here is what this is about so you can choose if you want to engage in it', and supports people choosing to seek content out as well as those looking to avoid it (less)

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Her advice to me is this: You are fat. Do not give them that foothold.

She’s not wrong. There really are people in the world who have ready a list of adjectives about a fat person—including lazy, stupid, messy, incompetent—that they are certain describes her before she ever opens her mouth. And that is unimportant, because I won’t let it be important.
This is a beautiful, touching book that deals with body image, and the issues in it are things I think all women (and some men, although they wo
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it


"Nothing will get easier. And nothing will be better. Don’t change your mind."

I don't think I've read any books that dealt with the subject of self-image and acceptance. And now I realize how much I should try and read more about the subject because I have been struggling with a similar problem.
I thought this book touched on the subject pretty well. It was a delicate subject that was handled in
Jen Larsen
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
In Future Perfect, Ashley is beautiful, confident, and fat. She’s facing a grandmother who loves her more than anything and is afraid that her weight will hold her back—and so she offers Ashley a bribe to get weight loss surgery. And Ashley is grappling with her fear that despite her own confidence, her grandmother isn’t wrong. And that’s even harder because her grandmother loves her and wants what’s best for her, right?

Jolene is a transgender girl whose parents are really struggling with accept
A poorly written -- I'd even say dangerous disingenuous -- look at a girl whose story hinges on her grandmother's offer to pay for 4 years of college in exchange for her getting "weight loss surgery."

The girl is 17, "tall," and "size 18, sometimes 20." There's never any discussion of diets, of dietitians, of being the right weight for her height and body shape. There's nothing alternative to grandma's offer except not doing it. There's nothing to Ashley as a character at all, except for this.

Paula M
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
"I am the sum of my parts. Everything I’ve ever done and everything I’ve ever achieved and everything I have ever been. Fat and smart and afraid and fierce and angry and brave all together right here, and every piece of the puzzle fits the way it’s supposed to and I can’t pretend anymore. It’s always been true, no matter what I’ve told myself or hoped or tried to believe."

That was a surprise. Future Perfect is such an empowering read! First of all, I want to dismiss the thought that boo
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Ashley Maria Perkins. 80 pounds for a new car.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl bullied to lose weight by her grandmother.

Ashley seemed like quite a well-adjusted young lady, and it was obvious that she knew her own mind and knew what she wanted, and that wasn’t to lose weight. I liked that she stood up to her grandmother, even if she did dither over the we
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
This review was originally posted on It Starts at Midnight

Le sigh. I wanted to love this one so much. The concept appealed to me on a ton of personal levels, and I was anxious to see what direction it took. I feel like some of the problems I had with the book are almost opposite of problems that others have had. For instance, I have seen a lot of reviewers completely shocked that a grandmother would bribe her granddaughter to lose weight. That didn't shock me in the least. In fact, I know a few
“Why do you need to be different from how you are now?”

With such an intriguing premise, I expected this book to be one of those wowing, spectacular reads. First of all, I want to applaud the author for writing about such a delicate topic, especially when it's one that affected her personally.

Every year on her birthday, Ashley's grandmother gives her a card. Ashley has been promised dazzling presents ever since she was little, but the cost is always the same: In order to receive these gifts,
Bibi Rose
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
This is a WALLOP of a teen book and I can't wait to sell it! More comments to follow when it's out.

OK, here we go. I enjoyed Larsen's memoir, and I knew that when she wrote fiction it would be good. The book takes you a LOT of places in 200 pages and reflects the way life starts zooming ahead at that age. I like it because it deal with issues but is not an "issues book." A lot of it feels like attending a party-- hanging out with cool people who are characters with real depth. The voice is bree
Melissa Posten
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-novels
Fantastic debut by someone who, I think, has a long future in YA.
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Huge thank you to the publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of this book

Wow this book took me by surprise! I actually liked it a lot more than another book that's coming out soon that is also about big girls and body positivity.

First off I need to say that I've seen a lot of outraged reviews crying HOW CAN A LOVING GRANDMOTHER DO THIS TO HER GRANDCHILD?! Well... the Grandmother in this book is not the type of cookie baking, present giving, snuggly grandmother, Nana, Granny, what have y
Brandi Kosiner
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars (liked it a lot)

I wanted to read Future Perfect because the premise. Her grandmother offers big incentives to try to get Ashley to lose weight, and a college ride, this year's offer, is extremely hard to pass up. But Ashley is okay with how she looks, she knows she is bigger than the average person, but she is smart, funny, and motivated, and she wants that to be enough.

I am a larger person, and I do not have near the confidence and acceptance of my body as Ashley does. And I think
Karen Bullock
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
A pretty awesome read that a lot of young girls will be able to relate too. An overweight young lady whose basically been given the "keys to the kingdom of her dreams" if she loses the weight that her grandmother bribes her into. Is it wrong when your own family pushes you to do something for all the wrong reasons? Read the book & find out!!! ...more
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Future Perfect is definitely a book with some “All About That Bass” vibes. It is extremely positive with an amazing message and a main character who is very intelligent and brave. However, I really disliked the grandmother in Future Perfect, who bribes her own granddaughter.

Future Perfect is such an influential book about body image! I found this book to very very positive, despite the fact that the main character’s grandmother is unkind towards her. The whole poin
May 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book, because I think that books about positive body image are important.

However, I think that this book lacks a certain degree of subtlety and nuisance. Without giving spoilers away, Larsen doesn't give her character any other options outside of either having the surgery or not, and going to her dream school or not.

She doesn't explore alternative financing options - e.g. student loans - doesn't consider the possibility of other schools, and doens't really think of just t
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danae West
May 21, 2016 rated it did not like it

There are a few reasons that I didn't finish this book. It was incredibly slow moving, and by the time I even got to the tuition offer I'd been tempted to give up multiple times. I thought surely the offer would speed up the pace! But it didn't.
Also, I didn't like the writing style and Ashley and her friends did not seem like realistic teens. I teach kids every day, and these characters did not read as teens. Or even people with souls. And considering all the advanced classes, and Ashley's
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
"I have a Platinum Star (which is an A plus at normal, less weird schools) in AP Organic Chemistry."


Edit: I have read this and am decidedly unsold. There was zero mention about her in AP organic chemistry class or doing AP organic chemistry questions or reading AP organic chemistry textbooks. She just said one line about getting a platinum star and you expect me to believe it??


(yes I am very sore about this whole AP organic chemistry thing because I was naive enough to thin
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Rhea Dsouza

Can't get into it. It's just long, long narrative and all of it makes me want to kill something.
JM Cabral
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 55%

So, okay. Remember when I reviewed Dumplin' and told everyone that "I'm all for the YA literary trend that relates to perfectly imperfect characters such as Willowdean Dickson"? It was actually from that realization that made me want to read Future Perfect, seeing that Ashley Perkins, the main character of this book, happens to be experiencing the same troubles that Willowdean did. She, too, was overweight and the story seems to revolve on that specific idea. I happen to love Dumplin',
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Future Perfect was unlike anything I had ever read before. The story follows a girl named Ashley who is considered overweight, though that doesn't define her. She is valedictorian at her school and is on track to go to Harvard, so she has a lot going for her. She also has a boyfriend named Hector and the two of them are very cute together.

However, every year on her birthday, Ashley's grandmother offers her a huge present in return for her losing some weight. One year she was even offered a car.
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-juvenile
This is the kind of book I love best -- rich, nuanced, sympathetic to all of its characters (which is harder to pull off in first person, but damned if she didn't do it). And it's so true to the experience of a smart teenager heading towards adulthood without a single wise adult voice to guide her. Most reviews are focusing on the weight issues, which are of course front and center in the plot, but I wish I'd had this novel when I was sixteen, and I was not overweight.

(Also: to counter other re
Bluerose's  Heart
May 18, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish
It broke my heart to not get to finish this book! I didn't get very far into the book, but I already loved the voice. The religious profanity started soon into the story, and quickly scrolling through, it happens more often. It's only one of two words that will make me immediately put down a book, so when it came into the story, my face flopped down on my arm in disappointment.

Publishers and authors....this language doesn't gain readers, but it does lose them. Please consider leaving the offensi
Kelsey Van Tassel
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book for teens about accepting your body and self as-is despite what other people might think or say, even if they supposedly have your best interests at heart. The characters are nuanced like real people and the action is engaging. I had a pretty good idea what Ashley would ultimately decide from the beginning, but I enjoyed following her thoughts and feelings throughout the back and forth. It is not clear-cut. It is like life. I hope this book will help teens feel like they are ok and no ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Gave up after about 120 pages.

Damn it, I keep coming across really diverse books that I can't click with for some reason and I'm sick of it. All I want is to read diversely, but I'm not willing to put myself through something I don't enjoy for that!

Anyway, there's a lot of great stuff here. Ashley is half-Colombian, her best friend Laura is also a POC character, and fellow friend Jolene is trans. That's just the start of it! The relationship between Ashley and her grandmother as well as the gran
Lisa Mandina
May 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Hmm, not sure exactly how I feel about this one. I'm between 3 and 4 stars. Going to sleep on it and pick a rating in the morning.

First thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an egalley of this title. And when I saw that the Fantastic Flying Book Club was hosting a tour for this, I knew I had to join in. Overall this was a pretty good book! I've always been a fan of weight loss stories. While weight wasn't an issue for me when I was in high school, it has been an adult probl
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
17yo me recognizes Ashley. And man oh man did I cry through parts of this book.
Michelle Wrona
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more! A GIVEAWAY OF THE BOOK AND OTHER AWESOME SWAG IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW, EVERYONE!

*3.5 star rating*

Future Perfect blew me away in one of those ways that I wouldn't change for the world. It's life-changing, heartbreaking and too relatable to me that I can't think about anything else anymore. It's unique, though troubling at times, especially for the main character, Ashley, who is put under constant pressure of being m
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
**3/3.5 stars**

Originally posted at:

I don't think I've read a young adult novel that features a larger protagonist and focuses on weight-loss before! This was as interesting topic at hand for me, particularly because I'm definitely a larger girl, and it's sad that I really haven't explored this topic in fiction. Future Perfect seemed like a great book, but while I did love the core of the story, I had a few issues with the plot.

Some of the story was prett
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Jen Larsen is the author of Future Perfect and Stranger Here: How Weight Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed With My Head. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco and currently lives in Vancouver, BC. Find her at

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