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Better Than Perfect

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  2,032 ratings  ·  260 reviews
Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published February 17th 2015 by HarperTeen (first published February 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,032 ratings  ·  260 reviews

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Very very VERY disappointed with this one. I loved Maybe One Day but I couldn't even finish this one. I got up to about 23% when I finally put it down. I couldn't get any emotional link with the MC, the pacing was slow and I felt like not much was happening... and well, the girl cheated on her boyfriend with a guy she just met. WTF. I might review this one but there isn't really much else to say. *sad sigh* ...more
Someone once told me that if you had to choose between two lovers, choose the second one. Because if you truly loved your boyfriend/girlfriend you wouldn't fall for someone else. The dude makes a good point but that doesn’t mean I agree with him. No way.

So... Ughhhh. What did I think about this book?


I didn't like it because I ended up disliking the book based solely on the characteristics of the protagonist. I could not for the life of me, get past Juliet's flaws. I'm sorry.

I understood that Jul
Oct 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Better than Perfect was an interesting book. I liked how the whole book centered around a normal girl's problems.. problems that we have all at least faced at one point in our lives. What I failed to really notice is the emergence of a boy, when she already has a boyfriend, and the overstepping of that line into something that I will never condone or even want to understand.. and that is cheating.

Juliet comes from a rich family but her life is far from perfect. Her dad left her mom (and herself
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Hmm. It was just okay. I enjoyed it for the most part, and loved the message that perfect isn't best. But a lot of plot points came too easily (aka if Juliet is really such an amazing singer, how did she not know that before? If she's so into getting into the perfect college you think some killer choir experience would help there...) and were wrapped up too fast (more Declan!) to make me love it. ...more
Great. Just great. It's not.

Better Than Perfect is a cliché contemporary read, I would say. This tackles the usual contemporary difficulties such as parents separating, family members falling apart, depression, medication overdose and cheating. After those were mentioned, one would think that this book will be full of drama but, fortunately, it's not. I don't think I'll be able to finish this if it ever presented too much emotionally susceptible characters.

Juliet Newman is the epitome of a girl
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Throughout Better Than Perfect, Juliet faced constant struggles within herself and with her family and friends. That said, the thing that set this book apart from other contemporaries was the female empowerment soaking every page. From beginning to end, Juliet questioned her relationship with different people, but realized it was her relationship within herself she ultimately needed to fix. The message Kantor sends all her readers is that you can't turn to someone else to find happiness, you hav ...more
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
I didn't request this book, but it somehow ended in my doorstep anyway. It is not that, bad but it's not good either. ...more
Lisa (lifeinlit)
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars!

Maybe One Day was one of my very favorite reads last year. It was my first introduction to Melissa Kantor. I loved how she brought out so many feels within me. I was definitely looking forward to reading this book as soon as I saw it was coming out this year. It was tough to be patient and wait for the audio instead of jumping into the ARC that I had. But since I also listened to the audio of Maybe One Day and it left such a lasting impression on me, I was eager to feel all the same em
Kantor’s Maybe One Day was one of my favourite reads last year, Kantor’s beautiful writing and characters just struck a chord with me that I had the book on my mind for weeks and months after, I thought this would be the case with Better than Perfect too, although I was mesmerised by Kantor’s gorgeous writing once again, I had a tough time connecting with the characters.

First there was our MC Juliet, she had a gorgeous boyfriend in Jason, she had a lovely home, a doting mother and if she continu
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Solomon
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-favorites
This book has a lot in common with Melissa Kantor's 2014 book MAYBE ONE DAY. Both are emotional rollercoasters with realistic friend/family/boy relationships and protagonists who make some bad but justifiable decisions. But BETTER THAN PERFECT's theme of choice (How do you know if the path you've worked so hard to stay on your whole life is right for you? Or if you and your long-term boyfriend are meant to last? Or who you should be?) rang so true to me.

I found Juliet's personal journey intensel
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Juliet Newman, from the outside, appears to have it all. She lives in a gorgeous home, she is very smart, and her boyfriend adores her. In fact, they are both planning on going to Harvard. But if you look closer, things aren't what they seem. Her father moved out and set up shop with another woman. Her mother can't recover from this blow. She finds herself wallowing in sadness day in and day out till one day she overdoses on prescription drugs. Juliet finds her mother unconscious and sprawled ou ...more
Samantha Daly
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Originally at The Secret Life of a Bookworm

Better Than Perfect follows a girl who has a perfect life. But after dad leaves and her mum spirals into depression and eventually ends up in hospital, she begins to realise that her perfect life may not have been as perfect as she thought. Everything in her life becomes complicated, and she begins to realise that being perfect isn't the most important thing in the world - having fun and enjoying h
Kelly Hager
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Anyone who has ever been a senior in high school can relate to this story. It's a time of so much pressure: homework and probably a job and extracurriculars and SATs and, of course, getting into college. Junior and senior year is the first time where you can really see that everything you do can have a major impact on your future.

That's definitely the case for Juliet. She's been working her whole life to get into Harvard, and now that the finish line is in sight, she should be relieved---except
Bibliophilic Richard
Thank goodness for the last part ^_^
Jaime Arkin
On the outside Juliet has everything… the perfect family, the perfect grades, the perfect boyfriend… and a plan for her future.

Or so it seems
Juliet’s perfect plans start to crumble when her father moves out of their house and her mom seems to fall into a pit of despair. Everything she thought was important suddenly changes and maybe acing those SAT’s and going to Harvard were never really her goals.

And then she meets Declan on one of the worst nights of her life and she’s no longer sure what s
Sarah (Head Stuck In A Book)
3.5 Stars.
Better Than Perfect is a contemporary novel about a girl Juliet Newman who has what she believes is the perfect life, when her Dad ups and leaves her Mom isn't coping well at all, and life as she knew it is changing in ways she never expected.

Juliet and her boyfriend Jason both have their futures mapped out including attending Harvard together, but Juliet is coming to realise that all that she's strived so hard to achieve may not be what she really wants after all, especially after mee
Maxine ❃ etherealpages
This book is a better than perfect read. I love how realistic and relatable it is, it just gets you. It shows so much of real-life situations such as having a broken family, feeling pressured due to schoolwork, feeling like the world is against you and making mistakes when you think you just can’t. I applaud Melissa Kantor for writing a beautiful book not only for teenagers but for people who are experiencing these things in general.

I really recommend this book if you’re having family, school an
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Trigger warning for attempted suicide very early in the book. Sorry not sorry for not tagging this as a spoiler bc people should know why they're getting into. But anyway I read this in less than 7 hours after starting it this morning like wow it was pretty good and pretty real. ...more
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor totally hit my sweet spot.Read my full review here Review goes live 11/9/16 ...more
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Aw! Predictable kind of but I loved it anyway!
May 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ann  Andrea
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ann-s-owned-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Autumn Bridger
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is just so pointless and cliche. Not even the kind of cliche that makes you want to excuse it. It's just annoying. Sorry I can't bring myself to feel bad for the poor overprivledged girl whose problems are only semi-serious and used as an excuse to disregard how she treats other people. ...more
Nereyda (Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist)
I must be one of the few readers out there who is not bothered by cheating in books. I'm not okay with this in real life of course, in fact, that's one of my deal breakers. And even though I don't mind it in books, I hate seeing it in tv shows or movies. It's weird. But, I like for the cheating to be different other than the usual person-falls-for-new-person-and-cheats-and-ends-up-with-new-person type of story. I want something different, kind of what Colleen Hoover did with Maybe Someday. I don ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
May 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed-by-zed
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: An average contemporary read about self discovery and dealing with family issues.

Opening Sentence: “I’m going to miss you.”

The Review:

Juliet’s life was perfect until her father left home and her mum overdosed on her pain meds, or so she thought. What she didn’t know is that her mother had been unhappy for a very long time but she just hadn’t noticed it. The picture perfect family Juliet believed she had was all a lie and once she realises this,
catherine ♡
Actual Rating: 3.25

Better than Perfect started out very "wobbly", in my opinion. And honestly, I wasn't even sure if I would be able to make myself continue reading.

If anything, it was frustrating to read.

Normally, the cheating main character would be a deal-breaker for me, but in this case, I actually felt okay about it, knowing that later on in the book, there would be the big reveal and Juliet would be able to redeem herself.

But that never happened.

Yes, you read that right. Juliet deci
Sarah Elizabeth
3.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Juliet has the perfect boyfriend and a perfect life planned with him, until her mother tries to commit suicide, and she ends up in the arms of Declan, a boy with a guitar and a band.
Can a perfect SAT score lead to a perfect life? And is a perfect life really what Juliet wants?

This was a good contemporary story, about one girls struggle to find what she r
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Better Than Perfect ended up being a much more interesting story than I thought it would be. Juliet is your typical over achiever. Good grades, sweet boyfriend, a highly scheduled day, high SAT scores…I could go on and on. The catalyst of her new and painful chapter is her mother’s breakdown and admittance into a mental health facility. While trying to keep everything in her life going, she starts to see that the world doesn’t end when things don’t go as planned. This whole book is her
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, book-recs, 2017
Personal reaction:
I'm having a hard time suspending my disbelief regarding Juliet singing with the band. I can believe that she doesn't sing much, but I have a hard time with the idea that no one has ever told her that she has a good voice. She was so surprised! If The Clovers were so impressed with "Happy Birthday," how has no one else ever told her that she sings well?

There was something else I was going to mention, but I no longer have a clue. Maybe I'll remember.

Official BookRec Review:

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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 30, 2016 08:55AM  

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Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
80 likes · 29 comments
“And then I thought that it wasn't fair that at seventeen you could make choices that you might regret for the rest of your life because you really had no idea what you were doing and the stakes were just too high.” 4 likes
“It was strange how we could talk so much and say so little.” 2 likes
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