Title: Goodbye, Perfect
Author: Sara Barnard
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Sara Barnard’s ‘Goodbye, Perfect’ is the story of best friends Eden and Bonnie, two teenagers who are just days away from taking their GCSEs. While Eden is the ‘rebel,’ Bonnie is the ‘good’ girl and ‘Head Prefect’ who plays the flute, lives for exams, and is a model student. Poles apart, the two understand each other and are BFFs.
The story begins when one fine Saturday morning Bonnie runs away with her secret boyfriend, Jack, and the police arrives at Eden’s doorstep to question her. For the latter it’s a bit of a surprise as she discovers that the secret boyfriend is their music teacher, Mr Cohn. Eden suddenly finds herself facing the toughest situation of her life. Though she denies knowledge of her best friend’s whereabouts, it’s not true. Bonnie has been in touch with her through her texts. Eden’s dilemma only surmounts as she is sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty to her friend. She knows she won’t betray her friend for Bonnie was the one who made Eden feel at home in a new school when she was placed with a new foster family. Until Bonnie, Eden hadn't had a proper friend. She wants to do right by her. But what is right — being silent or speaking up?
Sara Barnard tackles some serious issues in this novel and she does so with tremendous empathy. While Eden’s dilemmas are clearly visible, it is Bonnie whose problems don’t seem like much on the surface. Under pressure to be the perfect student, always achieving good grades, and never misbehaving — is it any wonder Bonnie finds her life stifling and falls for the one man who appears to understand her? There are multiple layers of intricate relationships and tensions throughout the story.
Barnard has beautifully captured the voice and experience of teenagers. The issues that she raises hit home with a silent thud. Readers will likely relate to Eden and Bonnie’s struggle to navigate the treacherous teen waters rife with unhealthy relationships, temptations, and self-doubt. It is definitely an amazing story about friendship, family, and loyalty.
A realistic, worthwhile look at dating violence and unhealthy relationships in teenage years.
Sara Barnard lives in Brighton and does all her best writing on trains. She loves books, book people and book things. She has been writing ever since she was too small to reach the 'on' switch on the family's Amstrad computer. She gets her love of words from her dad, who made sure she always had books to read and introduced her to the wonders of second-hand bookshops at a young age.
Sara is trying to visit every country in Europe, and has managed to reach thirteen with her best friend. She has also lived in Canada and worked in India. An important voice in contemporary YA, she is the author of the bestselling, Zoella Book Club choice Beautiful Broken Things, and A Quiet Kind of Thunder.
I'd like to thank the publisher for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!