Review: Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor… was less than perfect

Better Than PerfectBetter Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor
Published by: HarperTeen on February 17, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Goodreads
Rating: ★★

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 decision, 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. And to make everything even more complicated 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?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.

Guys, I’m disappointed. I loved Melissa Kantor’s other book Maybe One Day SO much! …But I didn’t love Better Than Perfect.

I felt like I just read through six months of Juliet’s life and nothing really happened. Sure there were a couple moments, but ultimately it just felt like I was constantly reading “a day in the life”, you know? It wasn’t interesting or intense enough to really grip me. It was just Juliet taking the SATs, Juliet taking a Latin test, Juliet stressing over college applications, Juliet cheating on her boyfriend, Juliet running to not be late for class… And when you combine that with a few annoying things in the book, it made for kind of a “meh” read.

The one major annoying part of the book for me was the cheating. Almost at the beginning of the story, Juliet cheats on her long-term boyfriend of four years. View Spoiler » What I hated most about this is I never felt like it was resolved. I never felt like Juliet learned anything from this cheating experience. She never really had to deal with the consequences and I just don’t feel like it meant anything. View Spoiler »

I did like certain parts of the book. There’s a pretty cool music/band aspect that I enjoyed. But again, it never felt fully explored or developed. View Spoiler »

I guess I just feel like Better Than Perfect was half baked. There were a lot of ideas like family problems, high school stress, first love, self discovery, uncertainty, music, being spontaneous, etc. But the author just scratched the surface of all of them, rather than really digging deep. I got a small taste of music, a small taste of the family problems, and a small taste of the high school stuff. But none of it was really focused on, so the book almost felt scattered. This lack of focus kind of bored me and as a result, it took me like a week to finally finish the book. I just wasn’t excited to pick it up. 🙁

The Verdict

meh

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I'm a 28 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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4 comments

  1. Aw, this is disappointing. I just read Maybe One Day last week and discovered Melissa Kantor’s actually the author of this book. I cannot stand cheating in books. At all. Especially when there isn’t a resolution or guilt or…anything to show that the person knows what they did is completely wrong. I’ll be giving this one a pass, unfortunately.

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