Better Than Perfect
by Melissa Kantor
Publication: HarperTeen on February 17, 2015
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Family
Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early action, and live happily ever after.But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she's always lived by. Suddenly it's difficult for her to remember why she cared so much about rocking Latin exams or snagging elite internships . . . or if her family was ever as happy as she thought they were. And then there's Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous - and who's totally off-limits.Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn't all it's cracked up to be?
After reading Melissa Kantor's Maybe One Day last year, I was eagerly awaiting her next title, Better Than Perfect. Once again, the public library came to my rescue, and I found Kantor's newest release waiting patiently for me on the library's "new book" shelf!
Let me start off by saying I know a lot of people didn't particularly like or enjoy this book. I however, much to the contrary, did. Other reviewers said they couldn't relate to the main character and her sometimes very impulsive, rash decisions. Others said they hated the slow pace of the story. And others just simply couldn't stand the main characters, as they were sometimes annoying to the reader.
I'm not going to completely disagree with all of those claims. Juliet was quite honestly, your typical high school overachiever. She was extremely rash in certain circumstances, and as a reader, her impulsiveness caught me off guard at first, making me blink twice and having to reread the page. I also felt at first, it was a bit difficult to get perfectly comfortable with the book and fall into the story. However, as I continued reading on, I definitely fell into the storyline and craved each page.
And unlike a number of others, I could relate to Juliet. Besides the two of us having quite similar names, I also feel as if I am, like Juliet, on the "overachiever" side, always striving, always wanting perfection. For this reason, I loved reading about Juliet's story. Though I am only a high school sophomore, I can completely relate to her SAT woes, her having to maintain her grades in school, and then, having to juggle everything else life unkindly throws at you. Since I could relate to the main character on such a better level, it undoubtedly contributed to how I felt about the story.
Oh, and I love Melissa Kantor's writing. I do. Like Maybe One Day, her true gift with words was showcased in Better Than Perfect. She can make you laugh, she can make you cry, she can make you want even more of her writing.
The ending was perfect in my opinion. Better than perfect. Melissa Kantor is always able to nail the very last page, the very last sentence. And she did. She has once again.
I don't know why this book is receiving such low ratings. I quite obviously disagree.
Read this book. It's another Melissa Kantor novel you can't live without.