Goodbye Perfect – Sara Barnard (15+)

This was the last book I got to enjoy on my holiday, and I couldn’t have chosen better if I had tried. I loved Sara Barnard’s previous efforts and was therefore very excited by the prospect of her latest offering. She didn’t disappoint. “Goodbye Perfect” is beautifully written and very compelling with a very believable story-line and a well developed protagonist.

Eden has had a difficult childhood, but has found stability within both her foster family and her best friend Bonnie. Bonnie is a straight A student who never does anything wrong. If you were to pick the one who would run away just before exams, and with a teacher no less, you’d probably pick Eden. And you’d be wrong.

Sara uses “Goodbye Perfect” to explore some very heavy topics – student/teacher relationships, grooming, trust and family. One of the key themes I took away from this book is that you never know what is happening with someone else, even when you think you know everything about them. I enjoyed seeing Eden’s development through the novel, both personally and her relationships with Bonnie and her family.

My favourite passage in this novel asks a very important question: “why is it that when girls like Bonnie have a ‘wild phase’ people try to understand it? But girls who aren’t like Bonnie, girls who don’t gt the A grades, don’t have the loving, supportive parents and have many detentions to their names, get written off?”. This opened my eyes. It is so true and something I’d never truly thought about. I think it’s something worth exploring further.

Overall a fantastic read that I would highly recommend. I would suggest, dues to the themes, that it is better suited for older readers.

– Danielle