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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) English teacher, the boy that is constantly fixated on Ashley Barnum, the prettiest girl in class, and the dynamics of the lunchroom, where tables are turf in a all-eyes-open awareness of everybody's relative social position.

But everything is not normal, really. Since the death of her father, Isabelle's family has only functioned on the surface. Her mother, who used to take care of herself, now wears only lumpy, ill-fitting clothes, cries all night, and has taken every picture of her dead husband and put them under her bed. Isabelle tries to make light of this, but the underlying tension is expressed in overeating and then binging. As the novel opens, Isabelle's little sister, April, has told their mother about Isabelle's problem. Isabelle is enrolled in group therapy. Who should show up there, too, but Ashley Barnum, the prettiest, most together girl in class.

172 pages, Paperback

First published September 16, 2004

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About the author

Natasha Friend

9 books510 followers
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, How We Roll, and The Wolves Are Waiting. Natasha lives on the Connecticut shoreline with her family.

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5 stars
3,878 (28%)
4 stars
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,284 reviews
Profile Image for Kathryn.
168 reviews284 followers
April 5, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
June 1, 2017
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 short, but it's definitely worth a read.
Profile Image for Merary.
231 reviews197 followers
February 9, 2017
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 died two years ago, she, her mother, and sister has been grieving. Isabelle wants to be perfect like the most popular girls at her school. That's what leads her to throw up. When her sister, April tells her mom about her bulimic business, she's sent to a Therapy Group. This could had been your typical eating-disorder recovery if it wasn't because of Ashley Barnum, the most popular girl in school. What is she doing here? She's beautiful and perfect, she doesn't have any problems. Or does she?
Isabelle discovers that the exterior is not always what it seems and that everybody suffers of their own insecurity.

I wasn't expecting Perfect to be good. It was quick and easy to read but still affected me somehow because . . . well just because.
I found Isabelle irritating at first, but at the end you start feeling sympathy for her. And Ashley is a very interesting character. Not because of her looks, but because she also suffers the same kind of demons some young girls face.

I also found Isabelle and Ashley's throwing-up encounters very disturbing.

Perfect has a very satisfying ending, leaving you with some hope for the characters.

A must read.
Profile Image for Benji.
47 reviews10 followers
April 15, 2018
I checked this book out from the library assuming it was for teenagers, but quickly learned the protagonist is only 13. This book, as such, is written in a way that makes me feel it is more for middle schoolers - those between the ages 11 and 14, at the most. That slight hint of immaturity makes it really hard to get through it. Perhaps if I had read it at 12 or 13 I would have enjoyed it more. For a tween or a young teenager, I give it 3.5 stars.

For content, 3 stars would be too generous. As far as eating disorder books go, it's pretty cliche. You have the "perfect" girl who is beautiful and has an eating disorder despite appearing perfect to everyone else (including the protagonist), and then you have the imperfect protagonist. The problem lies in the pathology of their eating disorder. I feel the "perfect" girl may have been more believable with anorexia, however it is not too far a stretch for someone with her personality to have bulimia. So, I will not nitpick that part.

What bothers me is that this book seems to be printed by a company that pushes for "change" yet does little for eating disorder awareness. The raw realities of bulimia are overlooked, even shrugged off by both the main characters. When the "perfect" girl has blood on her mouth/teeth, it is shrugged away as though it is nothing at all. I know the book is aimed at younger teenagers and tweens, but they should not be shielded from the reality of bulimia. As the book is written, there is literally nothing in it that would make a kid realize how dangerous bulimia actually is. The "perfect" girl remains well loved, the protagonist never suffers any physical symptoms, and the reality of the eating disorder is brushed aside. Nothing is said about tooth loss (surely she'd have been made to see a dentist), nothing is mentioned about the blood beyond bringing it up in passing, the protagonist never finds herself suffering symptoms of malnutrition...

And another thing that really irked me was the way the "fat" girl in the group was spoken of. For a book that is supposed to deter girls from developing bulimia, they sure ripped into her (Mathilde? I may have spelled that wrong). An overweight girl reading this who realizes she is developing an eating disorder (the type of people likely to read it) would quickly be triggered by how they strip her of her humanity to just talk about her body. The depiction of the girl was anorexia was pretty accurate, but all the side characters barely exist. We learn nothing of them. Which would be okay if she wasn't spending an entire day with them once a week.

All in all, I do not recommend this for anyone wishing to learn about eating disorders. However, for a small introduction to the psychological impact (the only serious part of them it touches on), it is good for tweens.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Suki.
91 reviews
March 25, 2008
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 world where appearances are all that matters.
Gladly, Isabelle, the main character, learns the importance of believing who she is and overcoming her grief, bitter and painful. There are moments that she was foolish to force herself to throw up. It is somewhat depressing and shocking to the reader.
At the beginning of the story, Isabelle is imprudent and foolish, but her character begins to change throughout the story. Attending to the “Eating Disorder and Body Image Therapy Group” made her realize how crucial that she should be happy of whom she is and appreciate how she looks. Also, letting go the pain that was always in her heart.
Irreplaceable, it is an extravagant novel since it is relatable to nowadays teenagers and everyone wants to be perfect. This novel teaches you about life and perfection. It left me with mixed feelings, happy and sad during her highs and low’s of her journey.
Although, appearance does really matter in our society, but what really matters is you having the confidence of who you are and how you look. The ending is sensational and very phenomenal. Hopefully, if you reach across the title Perfect by Natasha Friend on the book shelves, why don’t you take the challenge!
Profile Image for Rachel.
1,406 reviews146 followers
September 18, 2019
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.
5 reviews1 follower
June 15, 2008
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. Friend is careful not to overload the book with too many issues of being a teen; she chooses a few and develops them well. I also enjoyed the fact that Friend did not feel the need to use a lot of foul language or any sex scenes - this book doesn't need them to be a great read!
Profile Image for Catherine.
23 reviews83 followers
October 2, 2021
[tws: eating disorders, familial death]

This book follows 13-year-old Isabelle Lee as she goes through her journey of eating disorder recovery.

I did a review on this as my first bookish post (now archived)

As someone who is still struggling with disordered eating, I feel like this book had a decently good representation, of course, everyone’s experiences are different. This book never got graphic and for me, that was one of the reasons why I was able to continue reading this.

the factors of toxic friendships and the struggle of eating disorder recovery felt too close to home and were all too real for me. The way that Natasha wrote how Isabelle experienced grief was accurate to what a 13-year-old would experience.

if you are older than 13, I suggest looking into other books to read about eating disorders but for those who are 10-13, this is a great option.

This book doesn’t have many cons except for the fact that it would’ve been a lot better if it was a YA book and more mature. There were some things that though might sting to read about, needed to be expanded on.

It seemed like Isabelle's growth was a sudden change rather than the gradual change someone would experience in real life. I wish we could’ve explored what, besides the death of her father, triggered her etc.

overall this is a middle-grade book and it's good, and in the past, I loved it but looking back I’m glad I read it but I’ll probably look for more mature options.
1 review
September 15, 2009
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 these sessions, the two teens suddenly become close friends, which I find very unsurprising. I feel that Natasha Friend rushed into this very new friendship, as she also rushed the majority of the book.
While the topics of eating disorders and lost family members may be a bit overwhelming or too strong of a topic for younger readers, it seemed to be written at a level for a much younger age group than the average 12-14 year old. There is a lack of interesting and clever qualities in Friend's writing and before the reader has a chance to even be hooked, the story is over. It is a boring quick read with a predictable ending and I would not recommend this to anyone.
Profile Image for Beth.
910 reviews
October 12, 2018
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 develop and eating disorder, but it needed more substance.
Profile Image for Amal Bedhyefi.
196 reviews638 followers
November 11, 2017
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 .
Profile Image for Toughlove.
17 reviews
October 15, 2007
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 like. Then when she starts to get to know Ashley, she finds out that everything is not how it seems. Ashley has problems going on and she deals with them by eating, and throwing up, just like Isabelle does. This book was written by the same person, as Lush, but I liked Lush a little better.

Natasha’s purpose for writing this book was to give all the readers a look at the other side. What I mean, by that is, when people think about the people who have these disorders, they automatically think of them as weird or strange, but they do this, because something isn’t right their lives. They are going through some things, and the only way they can handle it, is by hurting themselves. Also, is to let people see, that just because some one looks like their life is great, wonderful, or even perfect, that that might not always be the case. For example, Ashley is the last person that people would think has an eating problem, but that is because no one knows how her life is. They don’t know what goes on at her house or in her mind, so they assume that everything is fine. I would recommend this book, to any girl or boy that has an eating disorder. I am sure that it would give them the courage to talk to some one, because they do need the help.
15 reviews3 followers
December 8, 2013
In the book, Perfect, thirteen year old, Isabel, is suffering from bulimia. It all started from her father's recent death. Her mom and younger sister are all having problems coping with his death, too, but they never seem to talk about it. I had many reactions to this book. One of them is that things are never as they seem. Isabel ends up going to a group therapy and meets Ashley Barnum, the most popular girl in 8th grade, and Isabel finds out that Ashley has bulimia, too. Through Isabel's eyes, Ashley was this perfect teenage girl with everything together, but eventually she found out it was just a front. Another reaction that I had was when Isabel and her mom and sister would never talk about her dad. They would all be crying at night, but in the morning they would pretend like it never happened. If this happened to me, I would have wanted to talk about it with the rest of my family, and I think that's what Isabel really wanted deep, down inside. My final reaction is that it's okay to not feel perfect and popular. Everyone, whether they like to admit it or not, has problems. Also, everyone has value, and in no way should resort to self-destructive behavior.

I would reccomend this book to any girl really, but mainly to girls in middle school or high school. It talks about a lot of problems that girls in that age group may be facing. Overall, this was a great book and I would definatly read it again.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Karina Perales.
19 reviews
November 5, 2010
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 just cries and puts on a fake smile but Isabelle sees right through it. When Isabelle's mother find out about her making herself throw up she makes her go to Group. There Isabelle finds out that even though a persons life might seem perfect on the outside doesn't mean it always is. Ashley, a popular girl from school, actually goes to Group and finally notices Isabelle. Isabelle couldn't be happier when they become friends and she suddenly gets to eat at the "popular" table, but soon she learns of Ashley's life and why she's at Group.

I really liked this book and it made me see that sometimes life isn't perfect for anyone even if it might seem like it.
Profile Image for SmilingDork.
243 reviews
September 20, 2015
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 the world and other's world's are not all that they seem. So HIGHLY recommend this book to many teenagers and anyone looking for a book reality check. ;P
Profile Image for milena.
40 reviews8 followers
May 29, 2022
I was reading this book like 4 months? but I was in reading slump so that’s why🧍🏼‍♀️. It is difficult for me to judge it because I do not remember what happened at the beginning, unfortunately half of the books made me bored and had to take a lot of breaks. the main character is struggling with eating disorders, but I can't say any more because spoilers

recently I have hardly read for 3 months, so I am proud of myself that I have finished this book.
well you can not call it "fun and fast read" a lot of people said that.

I do not know how to evaluate this book, I wanted to give 2/5⭐️ at the beginning, but I put it on 3/5⭐️, we'll see maybe I change my mind
5 reviews
March 4, 2015
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 Group every week to help with her problem, but it might just makes it worse. The first day Isabelle walked into Group and sat down, the most popular and prettiest girl in school, Ashley Barnum, walked into the room. Throughout the book, Ashley and Isabelle bond over their similarity and become very close friends. When Isabelle finds out that all Ashley wants is someone to keep her company and be a good friend, Isabelle get deeper and deeper into this friendship. She starts sitting with the most popular girls in school at lunch. Because of this Isabelle’s “unpopular” friends become angry and upset. This is because she abandoned them for the rude, popular people that they despised. Mostly every night Isabelle would go over to Ashley’s house, eat a lot of food, and throw it up. After a while Isabelle realizes that making herself do this is the wrong thing and stops. She tries to help Ashley, but is it very difficult with her family problems in the way. Her parents are never home, but Isabelle resolves this problem and moves on. But, she realizes that her old friends will never forgive her because of her betrayal. When Isabelle realizes that they will never forget about her ditching them for Ashley, she agreed with herself that she has to tell them about her previous problem. When she is done telling them they understand, make-up, and have a sleepover.
The title, Perfect, impacts the reader’s understanding of the book because the whole story is about Isabelle’s problem with intentionally throwing up to get the perfect body. She is not comfortable with her appearance and wants to be more like the perfect, popular girls in her school. The settings takes place mostly at school, this impacts the reader’s understanding of the book because Ashley and Isabelle has to deal with their eating disorder at lunch. Also, Isabelle has to face her old friends that now hate her for leaving her for the popular girl. The point of view from Isabelle helps the readers understand more about what she is thinking during her disorder and her experience with Ashley. Another reason this helps readers understand more because it helps them get deeper into her thoughts and what she is feeling throughout these problems. For example, when Isabelle saw Ashley on the first day of Group and when she was hanging out with her, you could understand her experience with her and what she thought about hanging out with her. Throughout the book the mood was set as dramatic and this impacts the reader’s understanding of the book. I think this because Isabelle’s secret causes a lot of drama with her friends. Another example from the book that the mood was dramatic is when Isabelle’s mother found out and sent her to Group, this caused Isabelle to be mad but also her mother was upset and angry. In this book, foreshadowing is used to impact the readers understanding. This is because throughout the book Isabelle eats and big amount of food while crying over the death of her father. After this happens she throws it all up and repeats this process everyday. This hints to the readers that the reason she is doing this to herself is because of her missing her dad so much. Another example of foreshadowing is when Isabelle was over at Ashley’s house but realized Ashley’s parents were never home when she came. This gives hints throughout the book that Ashley is throwing up on purpose because of the fact that she barely sees her parents. Foreshadowing is found from the beginning to the end of the book to give hints about why these two girls are doing this to themselves.
I would recommend Perfect to any teenage girls because they can most likely connect to the characters. This would not be a good book for boys though because there is a lot of drama and girly content that boys will find unamusing and boring. I would recommend this book because the drama and the thoughts of Isabelle going through about her problem is interesting to read about. It is filled with detail, events, and a plot that will make you want to read on. If you have already read this book I recommend reading the next book in the series, Lush.
Profile Image for Daija Jefferson.
9 reviews3 followers
February 5, 2015
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 because i love books about drama but if you love books about drama you would like it to.

This book basically takes place at school and in the main character's house. She was a very intelligent person but she wanted to be better than Ashley.Have you ever felt that your over weighted and you want to be somebody other than you always think of the most positive things about yourself because that always change all the negative thoughts in your head. If I was the author I wouldn't have chose that title because its called perfect in she not perfect she wants to be perfect so i would have called the book wanting to be perfect.If you ever feel the same way that this character has been feeling the best thing to do is read this book so that you can see what she did to improve herself in what you should do to improve yourself. I believe that this is an person verses person conflict because she believed that making yourself throw up will help you loose weight.

I didn't agree with the fact that she thought that making herself throw up would help her lose weight. I didn't agree because its very unsafe and unhealthy and you can become very ill. If you ever think that making yourself throw up will help you loose weight then you can always go get help if you don't like excising. The main character problem was the fact that she didn't want help she wanted to continue to make her self throw up she felt that was the right thing to do even though it wasn't.

I couldn't understand why people would bully her about her imperfections if we all have some. I don't think people should bully other people because everybody isn't perfect not even the person who is doing all the bullying. I believe that people out there should be getting mad because the person that is bullying them isn't no better. I also believe the reason why bullies bully people is because their jealous of that person or something is going at home that is really hurting them in the inside. So if you're a person that is getting bullied, don't worry what other people think they might be jealous or something might be happening in their family or household.

I would give this book a 4 because it was really good but some things i really didn't understand because why would she make herself throw up?

Profile Image for Cayla.
5 reviews
July 6, 2012
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 part of a “deal” with her mother - which we never do find out what that deal was; probably the only disappointing part of this book - she has to attend group sessions for eating disorder counseling.

Of course, Isabelle is in no way, shape, or form happy about this, but she goes in anyway. And guess who she sees? The most popular, perfect girl from school, Ashley Barnum, who is just as sick - if not more - than she is. People are pulling Isabelle a million different ways, she is still coping with her father’s death, her mother is sad all the time, and she doesn’t know how to deal. It sucks.

The first thing I noticed about this book that I really liked was the really clean, thick white pages and the very crisp black font, as silly as that sounds. But really, who wants to read a book that has thin yellow pages with smudgy font? I don’t know, but that’s what almost stopped me from reading Pet Semetary by Stephen King. I did end up enjoying that book, but I tore about seven pages and had to read so close to the page I nearly had my nose touching it.

I read My Life In Black and White by Natasha Friend as well, and Perfect was a huge step up from it. I guess it just all depends on what she’s writing about, because she really is a good writer… I think.

Overall rating: 10/10
Profile Image for Patricia.
37 reviews
January 2, 2010
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 Blume. In this book Karen's dad no longer lived with them either. All though the reasons are different for why there dad doesn't live with them, they both could connect to how that feels. Both of them don't have dads at home with them. I could also connect to this.
I gave this book 4 stars because this book has real life teen problems. Bolemia is a real problem that some teens go through everyday. I felt this book is a real inspiration to girls who do make themselves have all these problems.
Profile Image for Korie Born.
16 reviews2 followers
November 22, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Annie K..
163 reviews
March 5, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Jessica Craft.
5 reviews
September 22, 2022
The coming-of-age novel, Perfect, by Natasha Friend, has the potential of holding a special place in many adolescents' hearts, especially teenage girls, because of the relatability in the story. Friend does an exceptional job at portraying the mind of a teenager accurately, which makes the book overall much more enjoyable. In the book, the readers follow the story of the young, teenage Isabelle Lee. Isabelle is a relatively quiet girl and when it comes to social status at her school, she’s not a total loser but not necessarily well-known, either. Although she is reserved at school, she has lots of thoughts inside her head. Readers see how her father's death, bulimia, and friend/family relationship issues affect and shape Isabelle's life. The start of her eating disorder is ultimately linked to the death of her father, which not only affects her, but her entire family, and we see these struggles throughout the book. This leads to her mother signing her up for a therapy group filled with other girls suffering from similar food-related issues. At first, Isabelle expects the group to be a snooze-fest, but what she doesn’t expect is for The Ashley Barnum to show up. Ashley Barnum, the school’s sweetheart, with the perfect body, perfect smile, perfect friends, perfect life, perfect everything. But as Isabelle gets closer to Ashley, she discovers that Ashley may not be as perfect as she seems. When applying the reading techniques that Foster writes about in his book, the chapters that stood out to me the most were; Every Trip is a Quest, both chapters of symbolism, Don’t Read with your Eyes, and acts of communion. Friend’s purpose for writing her novel was to show how eating disorders can derive from darker and more complex issues than just wanting to look like a model you see in a magazine. Overall, I gave a rating of four out of five stars, simply because I believe that Friend could have included more scenes from Isabelle’s therapy, and the resolution of the book seemed a little rushed. Other than that, the book was very enjoyable. The target audience is most likely teenagers between the ages of thirteen to eighteen. Lots of teenagers, especially teenage girls, can relate to the issues that Isabelle faces throughout the book. I might be a little biased because I find myself relating to Isabelle a lot, making the book overall more interesting for me to read, but I still recommend it to basically anybody attending Norris high school, but especially teenage girls or boys who struggle with self-image.
10 reviews
Currently reading
October 23, 2019
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 throw everything up after you eat it . Her sister tells their mom about Isabelles problem , and Isabelles mom makes her attend a group full of girls who are going through the same thing . While at the group , she discovers that the schools most “ perfect “ girl also attends the group , Ashley Burnam .

Isabelle really admires Ashley . She says that she would die to look like her . Ashley and Isabelle have two different eating disorders . Ashley can’t gain weight , and Isabelle feels like she gains too much weight . Isabelle and Ashley get closer because of the group and Isabelle quickly realizes that Ashley isn’t perfect either . She has family problems also , and she isnt always the nicest person in the world . “ I had to realization that Ashley is not as perfect as she seems . Maybe Mrs. Turner was right about the halo effect “ . The halo effect is when you automatically think somone is perfect because of the way they look or act .

In conclusion , I would recommend this book to people who struggle to love themsleves . This book by Natasha Friend teaches you that looks don’t really matter ,and that no one will ever be prefect . Everyone is unique in thier own way .
March 2, 2017
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 problems. At the end, they all start becoming a normal family again and you will see how once you read the book. This book can really teach you a few things in life that some people will want to know. It really helps you build all kinds of confidence in yourself. My favorite part in this book is when Isabelle met someone in the support group who shared the same problems as her and they eventually worked them out together and became good friends.
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9 reviews
February 1, 2022
While reading the book, "Perfect", it began to just sit in my bag. I didn't not like it, I just am not a big reader. As I kept reading the book began to get even better and easier to read and understand. The book is aged around middle school and high school girls so it was nice to understand. I liked how the book was always explaining things and how well it flowed through. Some parts were weird because I didn't know ed was like this for people. but it opened my eyes to what people go through just because of body image.

I would rate this book 4 stars because I enjoyed it and I think others were too. It was an easily comprehensible book and allowed me to take time between reads and still remember what was all going on. Having this book recommended was a great read and was very visible during the read. I think this is a good read and never got boring or not wanting to read while you have it.
7 reviews
April 19, 2017
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 away that was associated with her dad. One thing I do like is how the author shows how friendships can be and not everyone acts like they look.
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9 reviews
July 29, 2017
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.......
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