Lisa Nocita's Reviews > Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
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Jul 26, 2011

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bookshelves: young-adult
Read from July 25 to 26, 2011

Logan has lived in the same small central Missouri town his whole life. He was looking forward to his senior year, graduating, and heading off to the state university in the fall with his long time girlfriend. Turned out that Brenda didn't feel the same way and Logan is reeling from his first heartbreak until a new girl, Sage, moves to town and shows up in his first hour Bio class. There's an instant chemistry and soon Logan's heartbreak over Brenda is a distant memory. But Sage is keeping a big secret and in equal turns pulls and pushes Logan to and from her. Despite the usual teenaged preoccupations and concerns about image and sex, Logan is inherently a good guy and he wants Sage to trust him enough to confide in him. Logan could have never have guessed Sage's secret and once he knows, things can never be the same for Logan and he will question everything he has always believed about himself and relationships and what it means to truly love someone and stand by and support unconditionally.

Katcher's first novel, Playing with Matches, was set in a small town in Missouri and touched on many of the same themes as Almost Perfect. Almost Perfect is refreshing in that Katcher can craft a small town character who is mostly believable, open minded, and fairly progressive despite the stereotypical conservative and backwater reputation I generally associate with small midwestern middle America. That said, Almost Perfect takes on some very serious issues that are best suited to mature readers. It may well cause some discomfit in conservative communities. It is well written and never gratuitous. You experience Logan's discomfort, hurt, and confusion as acutely as he does as he tries to wrap his brain and heart around completely alien ideas and feelings. He doesn't always react nobly or with good intentions, making him all the more human and honest. I did find the repetitiveness of his preoccupations and musings to be egocentric and whiny at times, but again, I think this is what makes the character a believable teenage adolescent. Rated M for mature.
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