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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  12,860 ratings  ·  1,209 reviews
Depicting with humor and insight the pressure to be outwardly perfect, this novel for ages 10-13 shows how one girl develops compassion for her own and others’ imperfections.

For 13-year-old Isabelle Lee, whose father has recently died, everything's normal on the outside. Isabelle describes the scene at school with bemused accuracy--the self-important (but really not bad) E
Paperback, 172 pages
Published September 16th 2004 by Milkweed Editions
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-ˏˋ Zoe ˊˎ- Yes! It absolutely is. Don't judge a book by its first 9 or 10 pages. Try to get to at least page 20. If you still do not like it, I won't strain on y…moreYes! It absolutely is. Don't judge a book by its first 9 or 10 pages. Try to get to at least page 20. If you still do not like it, I won't strain on you. But yes, it is worth reading. (less)
Benji If you're looking specifically for other books about eating disorders, you may be interested in Winter Girls which deals with both anorexia and Bulimi…moreIf you're looking specifically for other books about eating disorders, you may be interested in Winter Girls which deals with both anorexia and Bulimia.

Nothing deals with bulimia (and the protagonist is a male which you don't see often).

A Trick of the Light deals with anorexia, and also has a male protagonist.


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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  12,860 ratings  ·  1,209 reviews

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As eating disorder books go, Perfect by Natasha Friend is pretty standard. It checks off all the movie-of-the-week cliches while remaining largely unsatisfying. However for junior high students, Perfect is....well....perfect. Detailed without being graphic.

To sum up: If you're over 13 years-old, read Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson instead.
Elle (ellexamines)
Perfect is about eating disorders and teenage pain, and it's absolutely brilliant. This story is incredibly short and incredibly powerful.

I don't know exactly why this book stands out. Maybe it's the emotional touch. Isabelle and Ashley both come off as incredibly real characters, despite the short length. The story is so raw and real, far more than many books about eating disorders.

Maybe it's the reasonable, understated tone. This story is well-written and well-executed.

It's ridiculously sho
Emm C²
You are never alone in anything, no matter how it feels. Everyone must face their own tragedy, and deal with their own disorder. Some are just better at seeming composed.

I could read this book about a thousand times and find scarce to dislike. I believe this is one of the absolute best young adult books, especially for girls. Friend, I've noticed, takes care to challenge the conventional concept of perfection, and if it's even necessary. Which it isn't, spoiler alert. Coming from a staunch perfe
I had a hard time deciding on rating this book. I didn't know if I wanted to give it 3 stars or 4 stars. Then, i finally decided with 3.5 stars.

Normally when I expect to read pink, little book like this one, I don't expect the tone to be dark even if the back of the book already said that it was. Eating disorders and death. What a great theme for children who needs to have their eyes open for the real world.

Isabelle Lee(Cool name, by the way) is a thirteen-year-old bulimic. Ever since her dad di
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!!!!
Perfect by Natasha Friend, Milkweed Editions,2004, 232pgs.,$6.95,ISBN 1-57131-651-5

Who doesn’t want to be perfect? I thought. Everyone desires a perfect body, glamorous and appealing. Following the death of her father, Isabelle, a thirteen-year-old,tries to reach her goal, almost leading to the condition of an eating disorder. This summer Isabelle attends the “Eating Disorder and Body Image Therapy Group” which is part of “the deal” with her mom. Isabelle is going to seek the truth in the worl
3 stars.

A pretty basic novel about eating disorders (bulimia). Considering its aimed for 10-13 year olds I found it to be pretty good for that age range. It's one I'd recommend for that age group mainly.
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teenage girls
This is a YA book that I would definitely recommend to teenage girls. Friend has a simple, pleasant writing style that makes the novel a quick read, yet she still hits home on the issues of bulemia, loss of a parent, and most importantly, appearance vs. reality in the world of teenage girls. The progression the main character makes throughout the novel is entirely believable, as is the fact that she doesn't have it all figured out by the end of the novel, but she realizes it will come in time. F ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amal Bedhyefi
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Writing on such delicate subject in a book targeting mainly teenagers( 13-14 years old( is a huge responsibility in which Natasha has failed miserably .
Sep 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: to any teenager who has an eating disorder
Perfect by Natasha Friend, is a book about a girl named Isabelle Lee, who has and eating disorder. She is thirteen years old, and the book tells about how her life is and all the problems that are going on, since her dad died. She has to start Group, after her little sister told on her, when she caught her throwing up. She is surprised when she sees Ashley Barnum, the most popular girl in the eighth grade, walk in. In Isabelle’s eyes, Ashley is perfect, and that is what she wants her life to be ...more
Becky Schroeder
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marina S.
Sep 15, 2009 rated it did not like it
Perfect by Natasha Friend

Natasha Friend's book, Perfect, has a fairly simple story about a teenage girl with an eating disorder. The only twist is that the family of the main character, Isabelle, is coping with the tragic death of her father. As Isabelle's mother and sister are dealing with problems of their own, Isabelle is struggling with bulimia for her own reasons and is not happy when she is sent to 'Group' to take care of her problem. With the most popular girl at school also going to thes
Karina Perales
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The cover and the title of the book really caught my attention and make me want to read it.

In this book it tells the story of Isabelle Lee who is basically your normal teenage girl. Just like every girl she has some issues with her body and just problems with her family. Except Isabelle's problems with her body lead her to making herself throw up and just do bad things to her body. And then there's the fact that her Father died and her Mother isn't really a mother to her anymore. Her mother ju
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Read this back in seventh grade and loved it. It gave me more of a idea of who I didn't want to be and convinced me not to become a binger. My middle school years were not the best and I almost did some pretty bad shit. I almost started bad habits and said very ugly things to my family and this was were books became part of my foundation more that they ever were for me and reliever and a place I could escape life. Now I am happy and better but this book convinced me that binging is bad and that ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I love how easy this book was to read, so it would be great for a reluctant reader. That being said, I felt like the book glossed over the seriousness of eating disorders and needed to have some information in the back about them for readers. The other thing that made this book just okay for me was that it ended too quickly. I really wanted to know more about the other girls in the group. Their stories would have been interesting too. All in all, it is a good introduction to why someone might de ...more
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Sooooo good!
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I read Perfect by Natasha Friend and enjoyed it a lot. The main character, Isabelle Lee has just lost her father and now is developing a serious problem, she is never comfortable with her own body. She wants to appear as a perfect 13 year old. But, one day when her evil 10 year old sister, April (Ape Face), walks into her leaning over the toilet forcing herself throw up, she ratts her out to her mother. When this happened Isabelle’s mother made her go to an Eating Disorder and Body Image Therapy ...more
Daija Jefferson
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Have you ever made yourself throw up because they didn't like how you look ? If so this is the book for you.The genre of this book is drama. This book is basically about a girl that was over weighted in she didn't like it so she decided to make herself throw up instead of exercising. She think that writing in her journal, and making herself throw up was her exercise. She really wanted to be like this girl named Ashley because she believe that she was so " PERFECT". I really like this book becaus ...more
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Fresh out of eighth grade, I really wanted to read this book to see how “realistic” it was, considering it was based around two eighth graders.

Surprisingly, it was nearly exact in the way people are in middle school nowadays. The love notes from Brian may be a little farfetched (anyone who did that would be totally mortified), but hey, it just adds to the story.

Isabelle Lee was caught by her sister April throwing up in the bathroom. And, no, she didn’t have the flu. She was purging. So now, as p
Jan 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is basically about a girl named Isabelle. She has a health problem. She throws up after she eats. When her mom finds out, she sends her to Group. But in Group she out Ashley, the most popular girl in school is also there. The main characters are Isabelle and Ashley. An internal conflict occured when Isabelle wasn't sure if she wanted to continue to throw up.
In this book, I could make a text to text connection. This book can also connect to "It's Not the End of the World" by Judy Blu
Korie Born
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
While I appreciate this book, I think that the writing style is very juvenile and renders a serious topic (such as eating disorders) a little less serious. The story does a fair job explaining the struggle, secrecy, and complications of bulimia, and I think that as an introduction to the topic for adolescents, it serves its purpose.
Annie K.
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was cute. I liked the way that April and the mom changed, and how everyone's relationships changed. I didn't love some of the language, but I wish that we could have gotten to meet the dad, because he seemed awesome. ...more
Oct 23, 2019 is currently reading it
The book “Perfect” is about a 12 year old girl named Isabelle who has a diffictult life . Two summers ago , her dad had passed , and that tor her and her family apart . Isabelles sister , mom , and Isabelle never really spend quality time together and never really talk things out with eachother . On top of that , Isabelle also has an eating disorder . She is very insecure with her body and thinks she is too fat as she would say . In her oponion , she thinks the best way to lose weight is to thro ...more
Karlee Kamberling
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I retained a lot of useful information from this book. My favorite character in this book, Isabelle Lee, is a teenager who is very sensitive about her weight. She cares a lot about what people think of her and she stuffs her face with food then forces herself to throw it all up. This book is about Isabelle, her sister, and her mom and how they are struggling from the loss of their dad/husband who died from a sickness. Isabelle's mom makes Isabelle go to a support group to talk about all of her p ...more
Apr 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I found it hard to really get into this book. I feel like a lot of books now are all about eating disorders and similar things. Even though books like this one are good for people to get help or to see how dangerous eating disorders are. In the beginning I was quite mad about how Isabelle and her mom took to her dad's death. I realize that losing someone so close to you can be terrible, but learning how to cope with death is so much better than harming yourself. Why did her mom take everything a ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Blech... This book was just sooooooo boring and sooooooo just anti-climatic. To put this in simple language, don't waste your time on this book. I picked this up at the library cause I was just looking for a quick, easy read. What I expected was a book similar to Donna D. Cooner's "Skinny" And I got this waste of paper and resources. REVIEW TO COME....... ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just finished read The Girls at 17 Swann Street which reminded of a book I read in middle school called Perfect. Considering I still remember this book over decade later, and it still haunts me I give it 5 stars.
Hailey Bianchi
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This harsh tale describes the difficulty of eating disorders and having such a strong desire to fit in. Natasha Friend explains how eating disorders aren't a choice, but rather seen as a necessity to some. Highly recommend this book. ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Isabelle & Ashley 3 4 Jan 21, 2019 01:58PM  
drama 1 2 Nov 04, 2015 12:47PM  
More James he's a tough one and he's going to 1 1 Mar 05, 2015 02:24AM  
Giving and once people realize the 1 1 Feb 27, 2015 12:10AM  
Are simple nature and their man 1 1 Feb 26, 2015 09:49PM  

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Natasha Friend is the award-winning author of Perfect, Lush, Bounce, For Keeps, My Life in Black and White, Where You'll Find Me, The Other F-Word, and How We Roll. When she isn’t writing, she is building forts and making chocolate-chip pancakes. Natasha lives on the Connecticut shoreline with her husband, three children, and dog, Beckett. ...more

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“When you believe in something, stand up for it, even if everyone is sitting.” 122 likes
“It's funny. When we first started hanging out I didn't want Ashley to think I was a pig, so I was careful not to eat too much in front of her....Now, I don't even think about it.” 4 likes
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