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Perfect [Library Binding]

Natasha Friend
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 9.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Kindle Edition 3.59  
Library Binding 9.48  
Paperback 6.79  

Book Description

9 April 2009
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 dealth 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.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Library Binding: 172 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439574170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439574171
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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APRIL USED TO BE MY SISTER. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another to add to my list! 20 Dec 2008
Format:Paperback
Like "Massive", "Second Star to the Right", "Fat Chance" etc... this is a brilliant fast-read.
It's written well and doesn't have useless sub plots to bore you with.
See also "Lush" by Natasha Friend
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So realistic! 22 Aug 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read this book thinking it would probobaly turn out to be just like all the others but it didnt at all. It talked about all the pain and suffering that you go though when your anorexic. The others actuaally taught me "tricks". This book gives hope and comfort to those suffering through the disease. The happiness at the end of her story gave me the strenth to overcome my own pain
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So realistic! 22 Aug 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read this book thinking it would probobaly turn out to be just like all the others but it didnt at all. It talked about all the pain and suffering that you go though when your anorexic. The others actuaally taught me "tricks". This book gives hope and comfort to those suffering through the disease. The happiness at the end of her story gave me the strenth to overcome my own pain
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Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So realistic! 22 Aug 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read this book thinking it would probobaly turn out to be just like all the others but it didnt at all. It talked about all the pain and suffering that you go though when your anorexic. The others actuaally taught me "tricks". This book gives hope and comfort to those suffering through the disease. The happiness at the end of her story gave me the strenth to overcome my own pain.
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Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  125 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Keeper 27 Oct 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This was a hard book for me to review because I had an eating disorder when I was a teenager. Only in those days there was no knowledge to be had of eating disorders let alone help and support. You were just told to go on a diet. I remember a particularly nasty one where I could only eat grapefruit, hardboiled eggs, plain toast, and salad without dressing. Yet I was determined to look good in my cinch waisted skirt with layers of petticoats like all the popular girls in school.

I'm sure this is how the protagonist Isabelle Lee in Perfect feels. You'd do anything to feel good, not only in your clothes, but inside your vulnerable self. Isabelle's eating disorder is Bulimia: eat, purge, eat, purge. How else can she cover her feelings about her father's death, her mother's denial of it, and her seeming lack of popularity in her eighth grade class? To her horror her younger sister discovers Isabelle vomiting. Her mother makes her go to an eating disorder group for girls her age. To her amazement the most popular girl in school, Ashley Barnum, is there in group as well. Ashley's disorder is that of taking laxatives. They bond together to go through the stages of recovery filled with distrust, shifting friendships, courage, and finally confidence. Along the way Isabelle helps her sister and her mother face their grief, just by being more sure of who she really is.

Eating disorders are all too common in younger and younger children in our society, ranging from rampant obesity to anorexia. Perfect describes in page turning novel form how young girls can find help and support in eating disorder groups where confidentiality, mentors, and understanding of their disorder offer deep encouragement and healing. This book can give young people insight into the nature of eating disorders through a compassionate story without at all being preachy.

Perfect is a most important, even landmark, book. Kudos to author Natasha Friend for writing such an insightful young adult novel. Perfect is highly recommended for children from 10 years and older. I wish I had it when I was young. It will also be a valuable aide in eating disorder groups and women's studies groups in high school. What a great starting point for discussions.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa.. real 20 Mar 2005
By fiona - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Perfect was a very good read.

I read it in one day.

This novel probes the life of 13-year-old Isabelle, who is bulimic. Her father is dead. It seems her whole family is unstable. Her mother, although putting on a happy facade, cries at night for her dead husband. Her annoying sister is sad, too. Isabelle is also sad. It seems she is oppressed in expressing her feelings, though, which is why she chooses bulimia - as an outlet.

Isabelle is forced to go to Group - a group that helps people with eating disorders. To her shock, Ashley Barnum, the most popular girl in school, is also in Group. They develop a friendship that makes Isabelle learn more about who Ashley really is, and, ultimately, about herself.

This book is one book that you must read. Although it is geared towards younger teens, I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good book about an eating disorder - and, not only that, but one of coming of age. This would also be a great book for parents to read.

The characters are real. You feel their emotions, and you are taken on a journey through Isabelle's life.

Honest and well-written, Perfect is a book that should be in every library's shelves.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely acurate, great read! 20 Feb 2005
By Rowena - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Although I am far above the recommended age of reader, 23, I picked up this title because I have struggled with anorexia and bulimia for 12 years. Unlike many other eating disorder fictions, which I usually find cliche, too textbook case, unrelatable, this book was dead on. It did not shy away from specifics about the life of a bulimic, it was candid, emotional, and in so many parts mirrored my own life exactly. I recommend this book highly to any pre/early teen girl, and also to older teens and adults who have patients, children, siblings with eating disorders, as this book does an excellent job of explaining the mindset of someone with an e.d. Those who, like myself, have had an e.d. will relate to it. I also highly recommend "Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia" for readers over 15 and "Stick Figure: A diary of my former self" for any reader over 11 years.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is amazing! 21 Oct 2004
By S. Wengender - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book will entertain you so much with it's light and easy style. Humor mixed with strong emotion. I could actually say i came to know and love her well built characters. I was struck by her original points of view on such an emotional and challenging topic. There are a lot of books out there on eating disorders but very few of them can tackle this important topic while weaving a story that all girls of all ages can relate to and really learn something from. Anyone who has themself struggled with an eating disorder will relate to the pain, or if they know someone who is battling an eating disorder will find this book to be just the right book to open up the lines of communication and start the healing process. I urge all mothers to buy this for their daughters. This topic is so relevant in our world today. As a mother of two beautiful daughters i feel this book has a very important place in their library. Don't wait until you think there is a problem. Let this book be a teaching tool to hopefully avoid an eating disorder problem in your world. Thank you Natasha Friend and please keep writing for our girls!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars definitely perfect! 3 Jun 2007
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I really loved this book! Its about a thirteen year old girl named Isabelle Lee. Her father died about two years ago, and nothing has been okay since then. She has a depressed mother who cries herself to sleep and an annoying, lonely little sister. The thing is, nobody ever talks about the problems they have. Isabelle and her family try to pretend everything's always perfect, even when it's not. Sadness about her father leads Isabelle into binging and purging. When her little sister catches her making herself throw up, her mom makes her go to an eating disorder therapy group for teen girls. isabelle is shocked to see ashley, the most popular, "perfect" girl in school there. the two become good friends and they binge and purge together. Isabelle learns that Ashley's life is far from perfect. Even though Ashley seems so "together" on the outside, she struggles with body image, family issues, and schoolwork. I won't spoil the ending for you, but let's just say that Isabelle learns a lot of things. One, she learns that just because someone looks perfect on the outside, it doesn't always mean everything's okay for that person (like Ashley.) She also learns that saying everything is "fine" is just a coverup, and it's important to talk about things and not keep feelings bottled up. The author, Natalie Friend, is an incredible writer who seems to know exactly how teens think. Her words will make you laugh, cry, and pray for Natalie's family. I recommend this book for anyone in middle or high school. It's a really fantastic book!
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