Monday, May 5, 2008

Perfect You--Elizabeth Scott

I actually got this book so I could enter a contest. Don't get me wrong--I'd wanted to read it in the first place, but this contest was just more incentive to buy it at that particular time, that particular moment. So there I was in Book-a-Iillion, and I picked up this book (after searching for some time because for inexplicable reasons, I kept missing it). I'd liked the cover already, but seeing it in person was better. I turned the book over and read:

Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast. Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.

And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.

Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen -- but only if she lets them....

Now, I must say, that's a pretty good summary, except for the terribly cheesy third paragraph that seems to be one every book...but I'd still like to elaborate.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Kate's dad doesn't just quit his job to sell vitamins, he quits because his desk broke in half. Steve Brown has a dream of selling Perfect You vitamins and when he walks into his office late one morning and his desk is broken, everything on it as well except for the single bottle of Perfect You, he decides it's time to go after that dream, leaving his family with financial issues.

Also, there's Anna, her ex-best friend who ignores Kate for no reason. That sucks. Especially because Kate is left with no one to talk to about her problems. But she does have somebody she seems to want to talk to:

Will. I think the second paragraph captures Will in a nutshell, except for a few vital opinions on him, which I'll gladly add--in just a second.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book--and Elizabeth Scott's style in itself. I felt connected to some of what was happening--even though I've never experienced any of it.

And I felt strongly about each character. With Will, those feelings were positively directed. His character was dynamic, witty, smart, and personal; he wasn't a distant crush or a brother or just a friend of a friend. He was always there. His actions were played out in the best ways, making him a bit confusing and entertaining but all the while you knew exactly who he was and what he was thinking. He was real and funny and undeniably awesome.

As for Kate, not so much. My thoughts about her were negative--with the exception of laughing at her and Will's witty banter. I thought she was selfish, whiny, masochistic, oblivious, a jerk, stupid, and egotistical. I absolutely hated her. All this horrible stuff was happening in her family and all she could think was that she wished Anna would talk to her (aww, poor Kate, her overly-ambitious friend won't talk to her anymore and that's more important than her family), that she hated Will but couldn't stop thinking about making out with him, that she had "the worst life ever."

It just annoyed me so much. so much that I'm giving this book--this book that I actually liked--only 3.5 cups of coffee--albeit delicious, strong coffee with two extra shots, caramel, cinnamon, and chocolate in it. I'm deducting the 1.5 just for how much I dislike Kate.

Not a remarkable novel, but definitely a worthy read.

having the sudden urge to eat tacos in the park and wishing the title had come from something better than the name of the pills,

p.s. there are so many post scripts that I'm not even going to bother with the multiple posts, I'm just going to number them:

1) Happy Birthday to Hank Green who turned 28 today!!!! Who coincidentally has the same birthday as
2) Scott Westerfeld who we are also wishing a Happy Birthday towards and
3) There will soon be a review of Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde plus
4) An author interview with the same so
5) Look out for those to come soon!


Liv said...

I loved the review! I liked this book a lot and I can totally see where you were coming from when you were complaining about Kate although I don't necessarily agree. :D

Rachel said...

I liked this review. I havent read this book yet, and everyone I talk about it with says it was good; its nice to hear the other side of it.

Teen Troves said...

I thought this book was pretty good. I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Scott's first book, Bloom. If you haven't read it I would highly suggest it. I thought it was much better.

Caroline said...

I agree, of course, but you already knew that. What I just noticed is that the cover says that Will is unattainable, despite Kate's constant whining and the Jennifer's/Anna's constant bitching about how HE IS SO ATTAINABLE! How he would hook up with anyone, it's nothing special that he's hooking up with me, wah wah wah. That's annoying. But I did, actually, really like this book.
P.S: And don't lie, you know that the 3.5 cups of coffee was at least partially because you're so sick of the constant 5. :)

Heather♥ said...

yes, partially, but I wouldn't have just taken it off of any old book. I was orginally going to just take off the one and then I was like, Hmmm, I'm not grading like I should be. I'm too generous. Because I did hate her for 1.5 cups worth, I didn't feel bad about doing it.
And yeah, I realized the attainable/unattainable thing when they first actually SAID the word attainable in the book when describing Will

Reviewer X said...

Haven't read this yet. Probably the ONLY reviewer who hasn't posted a review for it. >.<


BooksandLove said...

gosh, I feel like I'm the only one who hasn't read this book *pouts*

ambeen said...

Great review guys! I have this book but haven't read it Steph, you're not the only one to not review it yet. :P