Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard
Date read: 9th July 2018 – 10th July 2018
Page count: 300
Genre: Young adult
Format: Paperback (from local library)
I’ve read all three of Sara Barnard’s books now, the first of which is reviewed here. I enjoyed her second quite a bit, but this book got enough going in me to warrant another in depth review.
Goodbye, Perfect is the story of Eden, an adopted teen going through her GCSEs, and her relationship with her best friend Bonnie. However, it is soon revealed that Bonnie is having a relationship with their music teacher from school, and they run away together, in an attempt to be in a relationship.
This, of course, doesn’t turn out well. Eden is torn between helping the police in their attempts to find Bonnie, and helping her friend escape with her new… Boyfriend.
I really didn’t like Eden’s decisions in this, as true to life as they were. She spends a lot of the book keeping secrets, that would ultimately help Bonnie and her – a testament to childhood naivety, but also just an awful prospect. The portrayal of a student-teacher relationship from a teenage perspective was refreshing to read in YA, but also there were a definite lack of consquences for Bonnie in this.
Although Eden’s character could be annoying at times, I really love how Sara Barnard constructs her characters, and makes them unique in ways you wouldn’t expect (as in, away from the YA norm). Her relationship with her sisters was also pretty touching, and had just as much of a part to play as her relationship with Bonnie.
I think this book might have been better with slightly older characters; the way Bonnie acted was confusing, considering her age (fifteen), and maybe I’m stretching too far here, but I would have liked to think that a sensible, intelligent sixteen year old would know better than to let her friend get away with something so obviously wrong.
This book didn’t quite hit the heights that Sara Barnard’s other books did for me, but it was still interesting, and was, in keeping with Barnard’s other works, very well written and put together. One of the most important parts of young adult fiction, at least in my eyes, is putting across messages and ideas in a sensitive way for a younger audience. And at least in that respect, this book delivers.
If you enjoy Holly Bourne‘s or Cat Clarke’s novels, I recommend giving Sara Barnard a go!