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One Whole and Perfect Day

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,045 ratings  ·  186 reviews
In this Michael L. Printz Honor Book, Lily wishes she could be like the other girls in her class. But how can she? As the only sensible person in her family, she never has time to hang out with friends. Someone has to stay home to look after her brother. Maybe she should fall in love! What could be less sensible that that?
When her grandmother invites the whole family to a
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Boyds Mills Press (first published August 1st 2006)
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,045 ratings  ·  186 reviews

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Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first picked up this book at an 'Op Shop', drawn in by the cover. Mine is slightly different to the hardccover image show here, showing a blue but cloudy sky, and a pink chocolate cake with a bite missing on a pink plate. For some odd reason I felt like I should read this book, so I bought it and put it off for a few weeks until reading it today.

This is the story of family. Not the family, not a family, but of everyone's family. We have members who miss other family members, miss friends, miss
Oct 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YA fiction fans, fans of magical realism
Whoo Hoo! Today this won a Printz Honor! I mentioned it at a meeting of all of the children's librarians at DCPL last month. Here's what I had to say before today: This book is full of satisfying coincidences and serendipitious occurrences. Plus it's funny and quirky. 4 1/2 stars (almost 5 stars). January 2008: Made YALSA's BBYA list!
One whole and perfect book filled with wacky, but realistic and endearing characters, family problems, love, forgiveness and a whole bunch of delightful coincidences - felt like it was written just for me.

I am so glad that I had finally caved in and ordered a copy. The Printz Honor title entered and left my wishlist several times starting in 2008, when the home of my virtual shelves was still at But somehow my positive gut feelings overpowered the doubts brought on by the bad averag
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was definitely an enjoyable read. It doesn’t have an intense plot, or any gasp-worthy twists and turns. The title is perfect, because that’s what the main extent of the plot is- family and friends trying struggling to be whole, and one girl who pushes for it so she can have her “perfect day.”

What I really liked about it was the changing characters. Though it’s written in 3rd person, each character has a story and purpose (except for one character- Jessaline. I didn’t really understand how s
**Audible Review**
Aussie Reading Challenge #8

One Whole and Perfect Day was a pleasant and enjoyable read. The reader for the audible, Gretal Montgomery, was a delight to listen to. Her voice was sweet and joyful and kept me quite entertained. Her Australian accent was delightful to hear especially when she said "Pop", "Lonnie", "Clara". I could still hear her sweet and cute voice in my head and picture the characters in my head as clear as day.

One Whole and Perfect Day is about the life of a se
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
Lily Samson is sure her family is the craziest. Her brother lolls around, dropping in and out of school, unable to find a path in life. Her Pop, though she loves him, is a bona fide racist (as far as she's concerned), her Nan has an invisible friend, her mother is fond of bringing home clients from work to stay with them, and Lily, in all her Year Ten glory, is the responsible one in the house. Her friends giggle about boys, she makes shopping lists. Her friends makes up new words, she makes din ...more
This is completely a character-driven book. It took me a while (after some confusion) to realize this book wasn't what I had expected. There is not much of a story, which I had to train myself to get used to. Once you realize it is all about the characters, it becomes interesting. It felt like I was an observer of one chunk of life that begged me for character analysis, especially as it relates to my own life, knowledge, and experiences.

The book was much lighter than I expected--especially as i
What if you could have one, whole perfect day - a day as perfect as your gran's spongecake, as a pure blue sky, as a shiny coin or as perfect as a cool breeze winding its way through a hot town in summer? How much effort would you put in? Who would you include? And what changes would you make in your life, and to yourself, to try and make it last?

A heartwarming, raw and simply put tale of a family whose idiosyncrasies, imaginary friends, red faces, dishcloths, Bestie magazines and Bronte books m
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars -

This is really a lovely, beautiful little book about an average family in Australia. I particularly enjoyed the story being told from all the various points of view, even those characters who would normally be throw-aways in other novels. I also loved how all those various threads came together in the end to create Lily's whole and perfect day. Highly Recommended!
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nerdprintz
This book droned on an on for much longer than a day. I just couldn't attach to any of the characters and I wonder if any teen readers would...
This book was much too predictable and it was excruciatingly slow.
The fact that it had so many POVs could have been interesting but it ended up confusing and clumsy
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a good contemporary novel, especially the Aussie ones :)
I am now officially addicted to Aussie YA books, especially the ones which have been short-listed or have some award-stamp on the cover. What can I say, I have high standards hahaha.
When I first began reading this novel, say when I was about two chapters in, the first thing I took note of was Judith Clarke's writing style. How she took the classic approach, introducing the family first and then going into the story. I loved it, because most of the books I've been reading lately have just gone s
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
The characters spend a fair amount of time sleeping and dreaming, and the book ends up with an appropriately dreamy quality to it. It's got its details, though, and a delightfully large cast of characters, and the loveliest little descriptions of things. And while there is a great deal of coincidence, particularly at the end, the characters admit that so much coincidence is bizarre, and that things like this never happen to their family, and probably never will again: it is, of course, their one ...more
May 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
It wouldn't be nice to go into all the reasons I didn't like this book. Let's just say the action is predictable and convenient. This is one of those books that gives the YA genre the reputation of being just for kids.
Christine Williams
Mar 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, brits, family
I couldn't finish this book. The characters were interesting, but not enough to keep me entertained. It felt very disjointed, and I was disappointed because normally I enjoy stories about wacky families, but this was one I just couldn't finish.
May 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
I had a hard time getting into this one. It jumped around a lot and I never really connected with anyone in the story.
Jun 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, printz
This was a quiet, sweet story where I cared about the characters, and I liked how the stories were interwoven.

Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
I don’t know if I have simply become too old and disenchanted for the young adult genre, or if my standards have become too high, but it’s a shame because I have always loved and been passionate about Australian young adult fiction. Unfortunately, I really couldn’t bring myself to love or be passionate about Judith Clarke’s “One Whole and Perfect Day”.

Firstly, it felt really dated. Even though it was published in 2006, somehow it felt incredibly outdated. I can’t quite pinpoint why, maybe the co
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Taylor Cox
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lily Samson's family life is a little less than traditional. A absent father who took off before she was born, a mom who is constantly working and unable to keep up the housework (lily does that), a grandpa and grandma who is old and batty, her brother at university has been disowned by his grandfather. which leaves lily with a life she wishes was different. for once, she wishes she wasn't so responsible and dependable.
This book was really good. I was so shocked at first because the first 20 p
Annabel Risson
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Little bit all over the place - took a while to grasp the story.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
GREAT BOOK!!!!! This is a TOTAL must-read for EVERYONE!!!😍😍😍 This just made like, my top ten fav books!! Plz read!!
Most of us have experienced some time in our lives when we wished we could change our families. A brief moment in which they would either disappear or magically change overnight. It is often the typical nightmare of a teenager to have mom or dad pick them up at high school and show up in horrid clothes or greet them in some other bizarre manner. It seems to be a right of passage to have at least one embarrassing experience with a loved one. As we age we come to understand that those moments that ...more
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen-books
2Q 1P MJ

One Whole and Perfect Day is a multi-point of view novel set in Australia. The main character, Lily, is a girl who wishes that she could pause the chaos that exists around in her home life and at school and have one whole and perfect day (hence the title). While the book mostly follows her, it also gives the perspectives of her mom, grandparents, her brother, her brother’s girlfriend and her parents, the girlfriend’s roommate, among others. I tend to be partial to books that give you mul
May 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Lombardi
Feb 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
One Whole and Perfect Day follows the lives of several people in Australia. Each character is connected; some know their relationship, some are unaware of it. The main character, Lilly, is a teenage girl who lives with her mother and has never met her father. Lilly's life is constantly occupied with practical matters, usually those involving household chores or smoothing over matters between her brother and grandparents.

Lilly provides the reader with an example of a teen who is in the process o
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it

Lily is the sensible one in her family of rather eccentric characters; however she is tired of always being sensible and everyone always counting on her. Many things in Lily’s life are troubling her: why, for example, does she have to live in the dumpiest house in the neighborhood; why did her grandfather (Pop) threaten her brother with an axe and tell him he no longer has a grandson; why does her mom keep bringing home patients from the nursing facility where she works?

Lily finds her ideas abo
Feb 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
If there are too many coincidences in your book, just call it Magical Realism!

Lily is the responsible, sensible one in a family she thinks of as completely dysfunctional. Her father left before she was born; her dreamy, unsettled older brother is estranged from the family after a fight with their short-tempered grandfather; the grandmother is normal enough except for her imaginary friend… and Lily is tired of being the responsible, sensible one. She decides that she wants to fall in love.

Her gra
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me of the movie Crash, with its following the story of all characters through the third person omniscient narrator. I loved how the lives of all the characters were woven together. Though it could be seen as too fantastic that such a "whole and perfect day" could end up coming together, I still believed it. I think I wanted to believe it, just as I think most young people want to believe that their dysfunctional families can have at least one day of norma ...more
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Printz books just don't disappoint.

Usually books like these just don't work well in third person. Hard to connect, sense of distance, too plain...yet I don't think this book should've been any other way.

Told from multiple different perspectives, a hundred tiny little stories are woven into a humongous plot to create one huge, dysfunctional family. A pint of humor, a dash of sappiness, and dozens of everyday issues people like us deal with daily. The Australian setting was quick to learn too, wit
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Judith Clarke was born in Sydney and educated at the University of New South Wales and the Australian National University in Canberra. She has worked as a teacher and librarian, and in Adult Education in Victoria and New South Wales.

A major force in YA fiction both in Australia and internationally, Judith Clarke's novels include the multi-award-winning Wolf on the Fold, as well as Friend of my Hea