Perfection and Other Illusive Things
What if you woke up one morning looking as perfect as you'd always hoped you'd be? What if you then went after all the things you were too afraid to chase after before? And what if that made everything go wrong, instead of right?
Drawn to Hawk and intrigued by his colorful best friend Ivy, Eden thinks maybe she could choose something more than the safe, vanilla life she's always had. Juggling the old and new is more difficult than she imagines though, and one night changes everything. Now she's grounded, kicked off the volleyball team, and fighting with her best friends. Fine, she thinks, if her old life doesn’t want her, she’ll burrow herself in the new. Except Ivy outs a secret Eden thought was for her and Hawk alone. Retribution comes fast, and Ivy accuses Eden of being the tattletale. If Eden can't embrace her true self and clear her name, she’ll burn everyone she cares about and lose herself in the process.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 6 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.00 out of 10
Plot: This charming, gently philosophical coming-of-age novel provides a genuine look at perception, acceptance, and growing into oneself.
Prose: Like the book’s messaging, Mercer’s prose is occasionally on-the-nose. But the author ultimately delivers a warm, enjoyable, and character-driven novel for teen readers.
Originality: While not entirely original in theme or execution, Mercer’s novel carries refreshing notes of candor and kindness.
Character/Execution: Eden is a deeply relatable protagonist who wishes to be everything she isn’t, but eventually learns she’s exactly right. Eden’s peers—even those would-be antagonists—are nicely realized and well-rounded.
Date Submitted: July 23, 2020
“Perfection and Other Illusive Things was the perfect pick me up. John Green has the knack for saying things that we all think yet we never speak them. This is a trait I never found in other writers until I read this novel by J Mercer. I enjoyed this book and wish I could give it more than 5 stars!”