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Book Review: Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

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Title: Goodbye, Perfect (2018)
Author: Sara Barnard
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary and Fiction
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Release Date: 8th February 2018
Rating: ★★★★☆
Reviewed by: Lois

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“Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with the boyfriend Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. Especially when the police arrive on her doorstep and Eden finds out that the boyfriend is actually their music teacher, Mr Cohn.

Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts.”

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Goodbye, Perfect follows the story of 15-year-old Eden whose life-long best friend Bonnie has suddenly runaway from home with her secret boyfriend. The most worrying thing is that Bonnie’s secret boyfriend turns out to be their music teacher Mr Cohn. Eden is secretly communicating with Bonnie and lying to the police and her parents in order to protect her best friend.

This book grabbed my attention as soon as Eden first got into contact with runaway Bonnie. These has been a few cases in recent years of pupils running away with their teacher and the news always intrigued me as to why both people had decided on the relationship and running away. I loved that this story wasn’t told from the perspective of the runaway Bonnie instead it is told from the perspective of Eden who is at home for the ordeal.

It was certainly different to read about a student/teacher relationship from the view of a 15-year-old high school student rather then from the media point of view. It was interesting to see a different side of the experience. I wanted Eden to do the right thing to help her friend all the way throughout the book. Eden is very loyal to bonnie and is always looking to make sure that Bonnie is her happiest. Eden is also very naive which is typical for a 15-year-old. When Bonnie claims that she is “in love” with Mr Cohn, Eden doesn’t even bat an eyelid. Eden also doesn’t seem to understand why Bonnie running away is such a huge problem that needs such a huge police investigation and media frenzy.

I really enjoyed the aspect that the media frenzy added to the narrative. It was nice to see what Eden thought about the media frenzy surrounding her best friend. Bonnie is very quickly labelled by the media as a “good” girl which makes Eden think. She believes that if she was in Bonnie’s position there would have been a more negative response to her running away.

I had never read a Sara Barnard book before picking up this book. I am certainly planning on picking up her other books thanks to reading this book. Her writing is extraordinary! I have heard so many good things about her other books and I will certainly be reading them now.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a thrilling story that on the inside appears fictional but on the outside is very very real. This book is unputdownable and I cannot recommend it enough!

Thank you to Macmillan Children’s Books, My Kinda Books, Sara Barnard and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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Until next time,


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