Goodbye, Perfect
When I was wild, you were steady . . . Now you are wild - what am I? 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.As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.

Goodbye, Perfect Details

TitleGoodbye, Perfect
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 8th, 2018
PublisherMacmillan Children's Books
ISBN-139781509852864
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Young Adult Contemporary

Goodbye, Perfect Review

  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    “I don’t think you can ever really start over. Because if you’re trying to do that, you’re basically trying to run away from yourself. And you can’t. You’re stuck with you, forever. Wherever you go.” I can’t not read a book written by Sarah Barnard. She has this honest, realistic way of telling a story. It’s brilliant. Even when the topic of the story isn’t something I’d usually want to read, I know to give it a try anyway because her writing will floor me. Seriously… A Quiet Kind of Thunder i “I don’t think you can ever really start over. Because if you’re trying to do that, you’re basically trying to run away from yourself. And you can’t. You’re stuck with you, forever. Wherever you go.” I can’t not read a book written by Sarah Barnard. She has this honest, realistic way of telling a story. It’s brilliant. Even when the topic of the story isn’t something I’d usually want to read, I know to give it a try anyway because her writing will floor me. Seriously… A Quiet Kind of Thunder is wonderful. The people that you let into your life are a choice, and sometimes that choice changes. This is the story about a girl (Bonnie) who runs away with her boyfriend, the school music teacher. Told from the perspective of the best friend, Eden, who had no clue her friend’s boyfriend was a teacher. Eden does, however, have contact with Bonnie, but is sworn to secrecy. When the police & Bonnie’s mother show up looking for answers, Eden is torn between her loyalty to her best friend and telling everyone where Bonnie is. A promise is a promise, and a best friend is a best friend. While it is usually a bit off-putting reading about a relationship between student and teacher because these things are usually romanticized. This is a unique take being that it's from the perspective of an outsider viewing the relationship for the first time, as opposed to getting Bonnie’s perspective which would have resulted in (at least) moments of romanticizing the situation. We are viewing the relationship for what it actually is. I also liked that newspaper articles were included throughout to reveal the public image/opinion of what is going on.It may seem frustrating to have Eden not tell the police & Bonnie's mom where she is immediately, but then we wouldn't exactly have a book. Eden has to make the wrong decision for there to be a story here. Sometimes we just want to scream at the main character to wake up! But I think that’s where the rest of the story comes in. There is a lot more going on besides this, although Bonnie's story is at the forefront. There’s the commentary on friendship and loyalty as Eden struggles with what is actually right in this situation. Not to mention, Eden was adopted with her younger sister into a family and has interesting ideas on family. I especially enjoyed reading about her relationship with Valerie, her adopted sister, & how she would constantly compare herself to Valerie from their parents’ eyes.It is worth mentioning that I think this story was written honestly regarding the subject matter. I was the best friend of the girl who got in a relationship with our high school teacher. It was odd. But things in these pages ring true. You aren’t exactly privy to the knowledge as it occurs. I did not realize who Daniel was for the longest time because I did not know my teacher by that name. Anyway..not my story to tell. I did see similarities in the situations and could understand the POV of the best friend to an extent.There are a lot of things I wish had been explored more. Like Eden & Daisy’s adoption, their relationship with their birth mom. Connor & his role as caretaker. Etc. I still enjoyed the story overall. When compared to Barnard’s last book, I enjoyed that one more. But this is still a lovely YA contemporary novel with strong characters.
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  • Merphy Napier
    January 1, 1970
    4.5This is such an important story!! With things like this happening so often in real life, there's so much that could be learned with this book.Our main character doesn't know why it's a problem as long as her friend is happy, and as the plot progresses, she slowly understands why this situation is against the law and why it's something her friend needs to get out of.It's light and easy to read but with a powerful message that could teach teens a very important lesson
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  • Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
    January 1, 1970
    I've been really delayed in writing my review for this seeing as I finished it at the end of last week, but I was hoping that if I left it for long enough and I mulled over 'Goodbye, Perfect' I'd love it as much as I did Sara Barnard's other books. Unfortunately, that's not the case.I knew nothing about the plot before I started reading, which was definitely a good thing because if I'd have known it was about a student-teacher relationship, I probably wouldn't have picked it up - not matter who I've been really delayed in writing my review for this seeing as I finished it at the end of last week, but I was hoping that if I left it for long enough and I mulled over 'Goodbye, Perfect' I'd love it as much as I did Sara Barnard's other books. Unfortunately, that's not the case.I knew nothing about the plot before I started reading, which was definitely a good thing because if I'd have known it was about a student-teacher relationship, I probably wouldn't have picked it up - not matter who wrote it. The relationship is one of my most hated buzzwords. Luckily, it's from the perspective of the girl who's best friend is groomed, delusional and 'in love' with her music teacher, which made it more manageable and definitely had me questioning the strength of loyalty in the face of a criminal offence. My opinion was very firm. Even if Bonnie is Eden's best friend, she doesn't know how much danger she's in so Eden needed to tell the police everything. And while I was sympathetic to the difficult situation Eden was in for the first fifty pages, I couldn't deal with the same thought processes throughout the whole book. How this book managed to feel so long winded (slow paced and - dare I say it? - dull) at just over 300 pages is beyond me.The saving grace of the book for me was Eden's relationship with Valerie, her older sister that she struggled to bond with when she was first adopted, and Eden's boyfriend Connor who was just an all around great guy. (Having a character in YA be in a committed relationship before the book began and NOT have any drama surrounding that relationship during the narrative was so refreshing!) These characters were both most prominent in the last fifty pages of the book where things started to get interesting for the first time. Another thing that kept me reading despite feeling like I wasn't getting enough out of the story was the newspaper inserts and text message exchanges. I was just waiting for what ridiculously warped thing Bonnie was going to say about how happy she was to be with Jack (ugh.) I love that multi-media is becoming more and more prominent in YA, at least! There were also a lot of things happening in the background of this story that were super interesting but not developed enough for me. For example, Eden's little sister Daisy and her descent into being a young troublemaker/following the path of Eden from years ago. Or the fact that Connor was a young carer for his mother. Or the relationship Eden had with her birth mother. Or Eden's identity as biracial (with a Brazilian father). All of these things could have added a little zest to a story that was too consumed by Bonnie running away. Also, (rant incoming) I'm never a fan of narratives that make a straight-A student/generally 'good' girl feel like she's missing out on the 'teenage experience' (which doesn't exist!) Being a teenager isn't a check list of underage drinking and disrespecting your authority figures. I was told this way too much by people in secondary school that made fun of me thinking a nice evening consisted of watching Call the Midwife and knitting. Just because Bonnie cared about her exam results, that doesn't make her boring or not worthy of her story being told. Overall, this book gets 2.5 stars from me and I'm beyond disappointed that I can't call this Sara Barnard's best book yet. But she's still one of my all-time favourite YA authors and I'll just keep my fingers crossed that her next book is more my thing.
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  • Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5I don't read a lot of contemporary YA but this one was pretty good! It got a bit slow in the middle, but overall not too bad
  • Abbie (boneseasonofglass)
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoy Sara’s writing and how she tackles some big and important subjects.Also, I just love her characters so much, she has such a skill for writing real characters
  • Kate (GirlReading)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5* Sara Barnard's writing is incredibly easy to read and impossible not to fly through. It's full of emotion, fantastic messages and interesting characters. Although I definitely didn't enjoy this as much as 'A Quiet Kind of Thunder' (which was one of my favourite reads of 2017) 'Goodbye, Perfect' didn't lack any of these things. It was so refreshing to read a book with a student/teacher plot that didn't romanticise it in any way. I also loved and appreciated how Sara Barnard tackled the topic 3.5* Sara Barnard's writing is incredibly easy to read and impossible not to fly through. It's full of emotion, fantastic messages and interesting characters. Although I definitely didn't enjoy this as much as 'A Quiet Kind of Thunder' (which was one of my favourite reads of 2017) 'Goodbye, Perfect' didn't lack any of these things. It was so refreshing to read a book with a student/teacher plot that didn't romanticise it in any way. I also loved and appreciated how Sara Barnard tackled the topic from the outside, looking in. Rather than from the view of those in the relationship. It gave a new and much needed perspective to this narrative and therefore didn't give such a problematic relationship (e.g a 15yr old & nearly 30yr old teacher) reasoning and excuses. I did find a few of the main character and their actions frustrating at times but in the context of the plot, although I'm not justifying them, I do somewhat understand their mindset (excluding the teacher because just, nah. There are no excuses.)I thought the underlying exploration of the pressure and stress exams put on young people and how vulnerable it can make them, even to the point of being dangerous, was also absolutely fantastic and something I'd love to push into the government's faces. 😅 That being said, my favourite part of this whole book was without a doubt the established, unwavering relationship between Eden and Connor. It was so lovely to read and something I so rarely see in YA and Connor is an absolute sweetheart! Although I didn't enjoy Goodbye, Perfect as much as I'd hoped to, it was nevertheless a thought provoking, enjoyable read and one I'm glad I got the chance to pick up.
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  • Taneika
    January 1, 1970
    Goodbye, Perfect is the story of what happens when Bonnie, a straight A highschool student and prefect, runs away with her music teacher. Except for one thing. This story is REALLY about Eden; Bonnie’s best friend and the one who gets left behind in the aftermath.Sara Barnard’s writing is incredible and so easy to read! Once I finally found time to read, I whizzed through almost 200 pages in a single sitting and by 2am, thought “Okay, I suppose I really *should* get to bed”. Despite not having b Goodbye, Perfect is the story of what happens when Bonnie, a straight A highschool student and prefect, runs away with her music teacher. Except for one thing. This story is REALLY about Eden; Bonnie’s best friend and the one who gets left behind in the aftermath.Sara Barnard’s writing is incredible and so easy to read! Once I finally found time to read, I whizzed through almost 200 pages in a single sitting and by 2am, thought “Okay, I suppose I really *should* get to bed”. Despite not having been a teenager myself for awhile now, the dialogue felt SO authentic and the way Eden spoke to other teenagers, adults and authority figures was so incredibly realistic and I could picture it perfectly!Going into this, I admit I was a tiny bit worried due to the content matter, however I think it was explored in a really brilliant way and despite Eden keeping Bonnie’s secret and how absolutely loyal she was to her. Yes, I suppose this IS one of those stories where things could be solved with one conversation, however, seeing Eden’s turmoil between wanting to protect Bonnie and wanting to keep her secret was SO REALISTIC. Reading about how fiercely loyal Eden was to Bonnie reminded me so much of my friend group in high school and I understood her thought processes. It took me back to 15 year old me and despite now being an adult, I could still relate to the reasons behind Eden’s actions.The relationships in Goodbye, Perfect were WONDERFUL. We see snippets of Eden and Bonnie’s friendship throughout the novel and Eden’s relationship with her boyfriend, Connor was such a comfort to see and was one of the healthiest I’ve seen in YA. Eden’s adopted family is a huge joy to read about too! I adored their dynamic and while I didn’t even think it would be touched upon, seeing her and Valerie’s relationship development was one of my favourite parts of the entire book!Initially, I wasn’t too sure how the topic of a student-teacher relationship would be delved into (especially from an “outsider” perspective), but the way grooming, control and manipulation is explored was fantastic to see and I really loved the contrast between a healthy relationship (Eden and Connor) versus an unhealthy one (Bonnie and Mr. Cohn).Goodbye, Perfect was the first of Sara Barnard’s books I’ve read, but I’ll definitely be reading her other works! The characters were compelling and well developed, the relationships were realistic and absolutely wonderful to read about, and despite largely being character driven, the little twists in the plot were so much fun and I honestly didn’t want to put this book down.
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  • Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
    January 1, 1970
    I was very kindly sent an ARC of this for review from the publishers Pan Macmillan! Goodbye Perfect follows two young girls Eden and Bonnie, childhood friends who are just about to sit their final GCSE exams before heading off into the next chapter of their lives. Everything looks fine until Bonnie goes missing and everyone is thrown into an utter panic. Eden already knew about Bonnie's boyfriend but when the truth starts to emerge, that her boyfriend is actually their high school's music teache I was very kindly sent an ARC of this for review from the publishers Pan Macmillan! Goodbye Perfect follows two young girls Eden and Bonnie, childhood friends who are just about to sit their final GCSE exams before heading off into the next chapter of their lives. Everything looks fine until Bonnie goes missing and everyone is thrown into an utter panic. Eden already knew about Bonnie's boyfriend but when the truth starts to emerge, that her boyfriend is actually their high school's music teacher, Eden is put into a difficult situation. She can either speak up and tell someone where Bonnie is or stay silent in the hope that the shocking news blows over.Since this story does involve a student-teacher relationship, I did personally find that aspect a little uncomfortable. What saved the story for me were two things: References to places I have visited such as the city of York and town of Whitby. Also, the group Christine and the Queens were mentioned which was a lovely surprise. The novel is told in prose, text messages, letters and newspaper clippings which I found refreshing. The other part that saved the story was that the novel was told from Eden's perspective and not from Bonnie who runs off with the teacher. Although it was a good ending and visual UK settings, I just wasn't able to fully connect with the plotline.
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  • Dani (Dani Reviews Things & Love in a time of Feminism)
    January 1, 1970
    Several years ago, a 15-year-old girl and her 30-year-old teacher ran away together. I can remember seeing it show up in news stories, but other than to think “that’s gross!”, I didn’t really give it much thought. It wasn’t happening to anyone in my life, nor was it happening anywhere near me, so what could I do? I’m betting Sara Barnard didn’t stop thinking about that story and how it must have felt to be caught up in the realness of it all, as that’s almost exactly what happens in Goodbye, Per Several years ago, a 15-year-old girl and her 30-year-old teacher ran away together. I can remember seeing it show up in news stories, but other than to think “that’s gross!”, I didn’t really give it much thought. It wasn’t happening to anyone in my life, nor was it happening anywhere near me, so what could I do? I’m betting Sara Barnard didn’t stop thinking about that story and how it must have felt to be caught up in the realness of it all, as that’s almost exactly what happens in Goodbye, Perfect. But instead of writing in third person, or focusing on teenage runaway Bonnie, Sara gives a voice to Eden, Bonnie’s best friend. This allowed her to explore ideas of friendship, loyalty, family, and how the everyday doesn’t stop when things go awry.No one writes characters quite like Sara Barnard. And what’s more, I can always find myself in each of her books. I could relate to the depression in Beautiful Broken Things, and the anxiety in A Quiet Kind of Thunder. Funnily enough, while I loved and could imagine the characters in Goodbye, Perfect, it was Valerie who I connected with the most, maybe because I, too, am a big sister who always tries to be perfect and take care of everyone. But that doesn’t detract from Sara’s achievements with her main characters; good books put you in the minds of other people and let you be them for a while, and I felt like I was Eden.A highlight of Sara’s books for me is the beautiful normality of her characters. They’re ordinary teenagers, dealing with growing up, school, plus everything else that often gets glossed over. For example, Goodbye, Perfect features foster care and adoption, young carers looking after a parents, and – believe it or not!!! – not getting perfect exam scores and still being FINE. (There is way too much pressure on teens these days, honestly.)A good book allows you to safely question your own beliefs and subconscious biases without lecturing or insulting you. Eden isn’t a high achiever at school like I was, and I had to face myself while reading this. I am ashamed to admit that I judged people on their academic performance, especially when I was younger. I guess it’s because I was always judged on mine. (Remember, I grew up in China and Japan, where academics are super important, plus I was always praised on being “clever,” so internalised this.) But Goodbye, Perfect featured a main character for whom science and maths didn’t click quite like it did for me, and yet she wasn’t worth less than Bonnie, the straight-A student. I loved that Barnard showed a character that didn’t have to get the best grades but could still be amazing in her own ways. I’ve learned something reading this, and I hope other people, especially teens, read this and see that grades aren’t everything as long as you find what matters to you. For Eden, that was her family and working with plants. (I mean, Garden of Eden…)The world didn’t stop when Bonnie ran away, with exams still to study for and family still to deal with. In so many books, it’s like the real world drops away when something happens, but Sara shows that you have to keep swimming when a storm hits. You’ll get through it, but it’s not a fantasy world where everything gets taken care of along the way, or even in the end. This is it. This is life.Sara Barnard’s books capture adolescence so well, in all of its confusion and messiness. Not only do I find them wonderful, I think they are an important contribution to the YA world.I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.-----------------------See this review in its natural environment, Dani Reviews Things.You can find me on Twitter and Instagram.
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  • Sophie Elaina
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a very thought provoking read and is one of those books that both while you're reading and afterwards you just can't out of your head. I think it's because I found the whole situation kind of disturbing and it was really hard to read at times. I was actually very surprised by how hard it hit me. It was a strong story that represents very real things that have actually happened. Things that need to be talked about more in society today. Sara Barnard is one of very few authors who ha This book was a very thought provoking read and is one of those books that both while you're reading and afterwards you just can't out of your head. I think it's because I found the whole situation kind of disturbing and it was really hard to read at times. I was actually very surprised by how hard it hit me. It was a strong story that represents very real things that have actually happened. Things that need to be talked about more in society today. Sara Barnard is one of very few authors who have been able to really real me in and make me think. And, I don't just mean a thought here and there while reading. I mean really, while I was reading this book it was all I could think about. So this is definitely not a light read; the plot contains some serious situations and analyses them in a very real, very honest way. I honestly think it will stay with me for a while. 'When I was wild, you were steady... now you are wild - what am I?'I feel as though we don't often consider the whole weight of a situation and the fact that this book brought that into the light and recognises that everyone sees things from a different perspective made this a ground-breaking read for me. You don't need to have been through a situation like this to relate to it, because there are meanings behind the plot that can be interpreted in so many ways. It also brought to light something I thought was really great and that was; if you know something about someone or something that could be bad or potentially harmful, and it doesn't personally affect you, that doesn't mean you shouldn't say something or think of it as the serious situation that it is.The writing as well was excellent and seemed to flow so well making this an extremely quick read. I feel as though the main area that this book lacked in for me personally was the character development. I just don't feel like the main protagonist was explored enough, but maybe thats because it is a pretty short book. I just would have liked more. But what we did get was great and very well done.'I don’t think you can ever really start over. Because if you’re trying to do that, you’re basically trying to run away from yourself. And you can’t. You’re stuck with you, forever. Wherever you go.'I also enjoyed that the book went in a different direction that I feel many other contemporaries do. As the book follows Eden, whom is 'the best friend' and dissects her position in what is happening and not the actual girl whom is at the centre of the situation like most books. It was odd but I really liked it. This made the whole style in which the book is written is also very different to what I expected first going into the book. The choice the author made when deciding to write the story this way is strange and intriguing and it made the book even better in my opinion. Because basically anyone could be a 'best friend', a person watching something happen or being affected by another persons choices. The main message I took from the book is that sometimes you have to do something that is right morally but that is a difficult choice to make where your feelings are concerned.'Everything I've ever lost has been chosen for me. I never had a say. And she's chosen to throw it all away, like it's nothing.'Overall I think the thing I liked most about this book was that it was different from all the usual tropes and things we see in young adult literature. In other words; praise to Sara Barnard for creating this wonderful book, and a plot that develops in such unique and diverse ways. I highly recommend reading this!Thank you to MyKindaBook and Pan Macmillan for sending me an early proof of this wonderful book!RATING: 4 StarsFor more reviews and bookish posts; check out my blog: https://www.sophieelaina.com/
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  • Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
    January 1, 1970
    Sixteen year old Eden Rose McKinley had a precarious transition from childhood to adolescence, her narcotics dependent mother unable to provide for her children, placing Eden and Daisy into foster care, adopted by nurturing Carolyn and Bob McKinley. Although Eden has transitioned from difficult child to destructive adolescent and now discourteous young woman, Bonnie Wiston Stanley is an astute young woman. The authorities are demanding answers, where is Bonnie and why did she escape the confines Sixteen year old Eden Rose McKinley had a precarious transition from childhood to adolescence, her narcotics dependent mother unable to provide for her children, placing Eden and Daisy into foster care, adopted by nurturing Carolyn and Bob McKinley. Although Eden has transitioned from difficult child to destructive adolescent and now discourteous young woman, Bonnie Wiston Stanley is an astute young woman. The authorities are demanding answers, where is Bonnie and why did she escape the confines of her life?Bonnie is involved in an illicit sexual relationship with Jack Cohen, a member of the teaching facility, now absconding and evading authorities. The nonlinear narrative centers on Eden, the friend and confidant Bonnie has embroiled in her precarious circumstances. While the authorities continue to investigate Jack Cohen, Eden and Bonnie covertly communicate through messages, Bonnie insisting their four month relationship is consensual.A friend coerced by a paedophile is confronting and distressing and Eden was determined to disregard the severity of the authoritative adult and adolescent sexual relationship. Contemplating her interactions with Bonnie during the illicit relationship, Eden concedes that Bonnie appeared despondent and burdened by ambition, unusual for the perceptive and accomplished student. Bonnie claimed she was in a relationship that Eden assumed was fabricated. Jack Cohen is accountable for the manipulation and coercion of a minor, using his authority to segregate a vulnerable adolescent. Bonnie was abandoned by the faculty, previously informed of the inappropriate relationships with female students and Bonnie's parents, unable to recognise the behavioural changes in their daughter.Eden continued to deliberate whether to disclose Bonnie's location, seemingly only concerned with her own consequences rather than Bonnie's safety. Her character was insufferable and abrasive. Despite her dishonesty, Eden continues to conceal information from the authorities. Goodbye, Perfect is an important discussion surrounding boundaries by an adult in a position of authority, coercion and consent. Unfortunately the narrative is monotonous and frustrating, aggravated by indecision, inadequate character realisation and an unsatisfying conclusion.
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  • Robin Stevens
    January 1, 1970
    This is a really impressive new book from Sara - it's extremely enjoyable, well-told, shocking without being mawkish and a very thought-provoking look at the pressures on teens today. I adored it and raced through it in a few days. 13+*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
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  • ambsreads
    January 1, 1970
    CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS REVIEW FEATURE ON MY BLOGthank you macmillan for an ARC.Trigger Warnings: abuse, neglect, parental abuse (off page but implied), dead parentsR E V I E WThis is the first time I was sent a book for a blog tour! Not my first review for a blog tour, but I am so excited to be writing it up. Thank you again to the publishers for including me.Goodbye, Perfect is kind of a hard book to review. I couldn’t put it down but boy, did I hate this content. I think what appealed to me so CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS REVIEW FEATURE ON MY BLOGthank you macmillan for an ARC.Trigger Warnings: abuse, neglect, parental abuse (off page but implied), dead parentsR E V I E WThis is the first time I was sent a book for a blog tour! Not my first review for a blog tour, but I am so excited to be writing it up. Thank you again to the publishers for including me.Goodbye, Perfect is kind of a hard book to review. I couldn’t put it down but boy, did I hate this content. I think what appealed to me so much in the book were the side characters. Particularly the main character’s boyfriend, Connor. Other than that, the story really fell flat on me in many ways. It really was a complex story in many ways, however at the end, we never really get a look at who Eden (the main character) really is.I also wasn’t a fan of the ‘Eden is a bad girl and her best friend is a good girl’ stereotypes that this book had to go. It made me uncomfortable because no one fits those stereotypes in perfect little boxes – which is slightly challenged in the text but barely. This book really was a compilation of stereotypes mixed with some heartwarming moments.Connor was a character I related to, quite a lot. He was his mother’s carer, something I am for my own mother. He had been a carer for his mum a lot longer than I have, but it was so interesting to finally to see that dynamic in a book. Especially since he does love his mum, doesn’t see her as a burden as parents who are unwell are so commonly presented in YA fiction. I truly loved that element of the book and almost cried when it came up.My largest problem was the main character, Eden. Since the book is told completely from her perspective it was a tad frustrating. She’s not a character who I would view as independent, despite her experiences in life. She is quite dependent on the people in her life. She is forever shifting to fit a personality of whoever she is friends with. Eden is also way too loyal to a best friend who does not deserve it. At all.I want to make this clear now if your best friend has run off with her secret boyfriend who you learn is your music teacher you tell the police where she is and that she has been contacting you. You do you not believe her bullshit about how she’d do anything for love. About how this is right and you can’t tell. No. Her life is possibly in danger and you tell the police everything you know. You do not make their search any harder.Really, Eden was pretty stupid. It was infuriating. Watching her tell no one what she knew about Bonnie (her best friend) and ultimately putting her life at risk? I have no way to justify that. At all. I couldn’t even get into the mentality of ‘she’s just young’. I wouldn’t have done what she did at 16, no matter her age.Eden’s backstory was interesting though. Seeing her describe addiction as a sickness rather than a disgusting habit was also an interesting take. I understand many people see addiction in that way but I have seen too much addiction in my life to have a similar outlook, unfortunately.I hated the ending of Goodbye, Perfect though. It felt rushed and unfinished. Particularly the last chapter. I wasn’t sure what the point of it was but it really did make me feel as if the whole story was wasted because of that chapter.From all my critiques it probably sounds as if I didn’t enjoy Goodbye, Perfect. I did enjoy this book, but I think at the end of the day maybe I’m not the target audience for this particular story. I did enjoy this much more than I did the author’s other work, A Quiet Kind of Thunder. So, that’s something there.Overall, if you’re looking for a quick read for whenever summer is in your hemisphere, this is a great poolside read that will keep you engaged, if not a bit frustrated, while reading.Also, if you're looking to buy any books over at Book Depository, feel free to use my affiliate link! I gain a small 5% commission at no extra cost to you.
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  • Sarah Hughes
    January 1, 1970
    CLICK HERE TO READ MY BLOG POSTA nice light read that was easy to follow and wasn't too fast paced.THE PLOTThe plot of "Goodbye, Perfect" was very easy to follow, and with only a handful of main characters in the book, it was easy to remember who was who. The two main characters have been best friends since they were eight years old, and although they are both very different people, Eden and Bonnie have built a friendship based on trust and loyalty. At first glance, you would expect Eden to be t CLICK HERE TO READ MY BLOG POSTA nice light read that was easy to follow and wasn't too fast paced.THE PLOTThe plot of "Goodbye, Perfect" was very easy to follow, and with only a handful of main characters in the book, it was easy to remember who was who. The two main characters have been best friends since they were eight years old, and although they are both very different people, Eden and Bonnie have built a friendship based on trust and loyalty. At first glance, you would expect Eden to be the one to run just before her exams. Eden isn't very good at the academic stuff and prefers to spend her time working on her section of her family's garden. However, it is Bonnie, the A grade, flute playing student, who runs off with a boyfriend that no-one knew existed.The book is written from Eden's point of view after Bonnie leaves, and is really Eden's story as opposed to Bonnie's. THE CHARACTERSThe two main characters in this novel are Eden and Bonnie. The focus is never really on Bonnie's boyfriend, it is more about the relationship between the two friends. I found that I could relate to Eden, even though she doesn't seem like a likeable character. I could see how she wanted to stay loyal to Bonnie and not tell on her. She has always thought that Bonnie is the one person who truly understands her, and she doesn't want that relationship to break down. Eden has a difficult time building relationships, so protecting her friendship with Bonnie is one of the most important things to her.The novel also features two other main characters, Connor and Valerie. Connor is Eden's boyfriend and is one of the nicest and most genuine characters I have come across in a novel. You can tell how much Eden means to him, and that he will do anything to protect her. He is selfless and family is very important to him. He may not understand Eden's choices, but he will stand by her no matter what.My favourite character in terms of development is Valerie. Valerie is Eden's older sister, but they have never really built a solid relationship. Valerie is more like Bonnie in the sense that she is very academic, and appears to be perfect. We find out towards the end of the novel that she isn't as perfect as Eden believes her to be. Eden pushes Valerie away throughout the book, but she continues to try and build a relationship with her. Seeing how loyal she is to Eden is heart warming, and shows how Bonnie isn't as loyal to Eden as she would like to think. I love how in the end Valerie becomes someone that Eden can talk to about things she hasn't even talked to Bonnie or Connor about. It's a truly beautiful transformation.FINAL THOUGHTS"Goodbye, Perfect" is a nice light read with a medium pace. Although it is not packed full of action, the subplots keeps the story flowing. The focus on family dynamics and how they change during stressful situations is done extremely well, and it was great to see such a range of family backgrounds. The use of text messaging and newspaper articles helped me to feel like I was more involved with the storyline, and was seeing events unfold in real time. "Goodbye, Perfect" was the perfect first novel for me to read from Sara Barnard and I'm excited to read more from her. I enjoyed the character building within this book, and feel that the little insights into each character made this book more personal. I do think that relating to Eden depends on your own situation and background, so I can understand why some people may think it is too slow, or that Eden is wrong for not telling on Bonnie straight away. For me personally, I felt like every character was believable and I thought that the fact that the book was written from Eden's perspective made this book stand out from other contemporary books I have read in the past. YOU CAN READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE
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  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    - so I'm kind of laughing at myself right now because I just realised reading this back through I was calling Eden "Edith". Oops, I mean, I guess that shows something right???Thank you Netgalley/Publisher for sending me this in exchange for an honest review!!Let's just say it shall we? I liked this. I did. I liked the themes explored - adoption, fitting in with a new family, the struggle with being stereotyped. There were some interesting discussions going on and I was glad to see representation - so I'm kind of laughing at myself right now because I just realised reading this back through I was calling Eden "Edith". Oops, I mean, I guess that shows something right???Thank you Netgalley/Publisher for sending me this in exchange for an honest review!!Let's just say it shall we? I liked this. I did. I liked the themes explored - adoption, fitting in with a new family, the struggle with being stereotyped. There were some interesting discussions going on and I was glad to see representation for this in a way I have never seen before. A pair of adopted sisters who know they're adopted and love the new family they're in, no actual 'relationship' drama was surprisingly refreshing (like yay - I ship this and they're happy together #winning), young carers, conversations around opening up and learning to become trustful. It's great, it really was. Yet . . . it was a bit dull. I feel like it wasn't explored enough, and fair enough the main focus is on the story of Edith being upset/confused/conflicted about finding out her best friend ran away with their teacher, but it still could've done a bit better on expanding the sub-plots. I thought it was great when we finally got scenes like that - like the screaming match between Valerie and Edith in the car *might* have made me tear up.Also this book felt surprsingly long. It seemed to just draaaag. And the whole time I was shouting at Edith to just tell. I rememember being around like 39% of the way in and was like "Okay this back and fourth should I - shouldn't I and will she - won't she has been going on long enough now" but nope. And (view spoiler)[I'm really upset that we never really saw Edith tell. Even after she met up with Bonnie and Bonnie made the decision to stay, I felt . . . meh. Edith said about calling the cops but she was still giving them a head start to get away. I didn't like that. And I know you have to think about it, as Edith did LIKE EVERY SINGLE PAGE, that she didn't want to betray her best friend etc but D U D E! Surely her being safe should trump??? (hide spoiler)]. So yeah. I just felt as if this book should have been shorter than it was because it really did start to feel formulaic. Like present day scene / things that now meant something different I knew the truth / present scene (usually included an argument / her texting Bonnie being #conflicted). It just felt like it took forever to get somewhere.But it wasn't terrible. I did like it - I'm just sad it wasn't better.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    One of the most honest and raw YA contemporaries I've read in a while, a story that is so much more than its plot line. I can't wait for everyone to read this book!
  • Katie Hurse
    January 1, 1970
    Huh. I was really expecting to fall in love with this book. Not so much. Honestly, the majority of it was even a 2.5 star read for me, but the last 10% or so (with the trip to Scotland, conflict with Valerie, revelations etc.) was actually pretty powerful stuff so that saved the entire story a little. Overall, though, this book just didn't have the character or depth or emotional impact (again, apart from the last little bit) for me that Sara Barnard's other books had. I felt like so much of it Huh. I was really expecting to fall in love with this book. Not so much. Honestly, the majority of it was even a 2.5 star read for me, but the last 10% or so (with the trip to Scotland, conflict with Valerie, revelations etc.) was actually pretty powerful stuff so that saved the entire story a little. Overall, though, this book just didn't have the character or depth or emotional impact (again, apart from the last little bit) for me that Sara Barnard's other books had. I felt like so much of it read as repetitive - I found myself getting distracted or even a little bored whilst reading. Really disappointed with this one.
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  • Jessikah Stenson
    January 1, 1970
    YES.(Review to follow).
  • Sprinkled Pages
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5 starsIt is possible my rating is a bit harsh but I want to be really specific with the books I give four and above stars. For a while there, about half way through the book I did think it was going to be a 5 star read for me but by the ending, and after I thought about it a little, it just wasn't that spectacular for me. But I may bump up my rating to 4 stars, I'll have to think about that. I really liked this. I thought it was well written as usual because Sara Barnard's writ Actual rating: 3.5 starsIt is possible my rating is a bit harsh but I want to be really specific with the books I give four and above stars. For a while there, about half way through the book I did think it was going to be a 5 star read for me but by the ending, and after I thought about it a little, it just wasn't that spectacular for me. But I may bump up my rating to 4 stars, I'll have to think about that. I really liked this. I thought it was well written as usual because Sara Barnard's writing never disappoints and the message was very moving. I liked how different it was from her other stories but at the same time, it had a positive female friendship and a cute romance. In saying that, I didn't like the main character that much, although I ADORED the side characters, especially the MC's family and her boyfriend. I think the plot was also well done, because it was hard to know what would happen.I feel like compared to her other books, this wasn't as good sadly. But I don't think this was a failure on Barnard's part, it was more that the story didn't resonate with ME personally.For more, check out my review: https://sprinkledpages.blogspot.com.a...
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  • Stacey (prettybooks)
    January 1, 1970
    Sara Barnard is one of my auto-read authors. I don't need to know what her next book will be about, I just know that I'll be reading it – I've really enjoyed Beautiful Broken Things and A Quiet Kind of Thunder so far. Continue reading this review over on Pretty Books. Thank you to the publisher for providing this book for review!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced reading edition of this novel from Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.Goodbye, Perfect is the second novel I have read by Sara Barnard and she has easily become one of my favourite authors.Goodbye, Perfect tackles some heavy topics, a very ‘taboo’ one in particular – a teacher seducing his 15 year old student. Told from the perspective of Eden McKinley, the reader dives into the world of teenagers – from hormonal outbursts, bullying, da I received an advanced reading edition of this novel from Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.Goodbye, Perfect is the second novel I have read by Sara Barnard and she has easily become one of my favourite authors.Goodbye, Perfect tackles some heavy topics, a very ‘taboo’ one in particular – a teacher seducing his 15 year old student. Told from the perspective of Eden McKinley, the reader dives into the world of teenagers – from hormonal outbursts, bullying, daily pressures, exam stress and parents who are over bearing. This novel really encapsulates what it is like being a teenager – albeit a very rare scenario occurs, but the whys as to why it happened are all too real.Our main protagonist Eden drove me insane at times, I loved her but her teen ignorance was killing me. I suppose me being 24 and Eden being a teenager made it quite difficult for me to understand why she made particular choices but I was happy to see her accept what had happened in the end and understand that it wasn’t romantic. Her best friend had become someone she didn’t know – something that occurs over time as you grow or significant events that change a person. It was sad but Eden had many other positives in her life, she grew and opened up to her family – she looked forward to her future, whether that included Bonnie or not. I found myself resonating with Eden, she swore, she had attitude, she wasn’t perfect and she embraced that.As I said above, Goodbye, Perfect focus’ on some heavy topics, people in a role of power manipulating those that they have a responsibility to protect. It focus’ on the pressure that society puts on teenagers to be perfect and to achieve high without focusing on the impact that those pressures have.The grooming of a teen by a paedophile (he is a paedophile in my eyes) was sad to read, Eden’s best friend Bonnie runs away with her music teacher and reading how he groomed her made me feel ill because it was so easy for him to play on her doubts and fears. There is a mention of a song in the novel that the teacher; Mr Cohn played to Bonnie; ‘Vienna’ by Billy Joel – I listened to it and great song by the way – but you could see how smart he was to choose that song for her. It was a scary realisation and that’s when it really hit home for me about the grooming – I think it did for Eden as well when she reflected on it.The plot flowed quite quickly – the events of the novel took place over a week with flashbacks of previous conversations between Eden and her best friend Bonnie included that took on a different light once she had run away with her music teacher. I read this novel in under a day; I honestly couldn’t put it down.Overall a very compelling contemporary YA novel that includes topics not usually seen in YA novels but very important that they are. It’s not always about the swooning romance or damsel in distress, it can be about friendship and family too; something that Barnard does so well.
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  • Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on The Moonlight LibraryI received this book for free from Pan MacMillan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Goodbye, Perfect is the story of what happens to those left behind when an A grade ‘good’ schoolgirl runs off with her music teacher.I completely adore Sara Barnard’s writing. I asked to be a part of the blog tour because I adored Beautiful Broken Things so much I sobbed into my pillow This review was originally posted on The Moonlight LibraryI received this book for free from Pan MacMillan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Goodbye, Perfect is the story of what happens to those left behind when an A grade ‘good’ schoolgirl runs off with her music teacher.I completely adore Sara Barnard’s writing. I asked to be a part of the blog tour because I adored Beautiful Broken Things so much I sobbed into my pillow when I finished it. My copy of Goodbye, Perfect was sitting next to my computer as I was waiting for something to load, and I picked it up just to have a quick flick through, read the first page, and was instantly hooked. I devoured it over the next 24 hours. I haven’t been reading much lately, and I had honestly forgotten the joy that a damn good book can give.It’s not just that Barnard has a wonderful grasp on how teenagers talk - to each other, to adults, to themselves - but her characters are so three dimensional and I recognise so much of my own life in them. I think that’s why they touch me so much. I could totally identify people from my teen years in the book, and I think Eden’s relationship with her boyfriend Connor was not exactly sweet, but certainly comforting and incredibly real, although Connor does seem particularly mature in response to his on personal circumstances, in comparison to teen boys I knew.I really liked that the question in the book wasn’t really about Bonnie, the ‘good girl’, and whether or not she really was in love with a man almost twice her age, and whether or not he really was in love with her. The real point of the book was the impact Bonnie’s departure made on those left behind and the position it left Eden in. Eden had a very undeserved bad reputation courtesy of being adopted when she was nine years old, and Bonnie had a good one. Eden was the brash, nonacademic, reckless one and Bonnie was the polite, straight A, measured one. Their friendship cemented on the fact that Bonnie grounded Eden and Eden helped Bonnie loosen up. Bonnie's actions shook her world and Eden was there to witness it. What really helped me fall even more deeply in love with this book is the layout. There’s not exactly chapters, but it’s divided into the days Bonnie is missing. At the end of these, Eden recaps conversations that took on another meaning after Bonnie left. Text messages and Whatsapp messages are formatted differently. Everything looked so great and I thought it was a really smart and charming way to lay out the contents of the book.I can’t pinpoint a favourite part of the book because there were just too many, but I’ll mention some things I really loved: Eden’s exploration into what family means when you’re adopted; her relationship with Valerie, her adoptive big sister; the way she looked after both her own and Bonnie’s little sisters; the relationship with Connor; Eden’s mouthiness and how everyone was kind of exasperated with her swearing but she kept doing it; stereotypes of teen girls and reputations and broken homes and perfect lives. In fact, it was Eden who so rightfully pointed out that if Eden’s such a bad girl and if Bonnie’s so good, why was Bonnie the one that ran away, right before final exams?When I read Beautiful Broken Girls I wondered if it was just going to be it for me, if Barnard was capable of writing another book so perfect and that touches me unlike any other I’ve read before. I did skip over A Quiet Kind of Thunder because I thought it was more about a hetero romance than strong (British) teenage female friendship, which I think Barnard tackles and showcases unlike anyone else. But since Barnard has now managed to hit the ball out of the park twice for me, I am going to read A Quiet Kind of Thunder, and I hope I adore it as much as I have fallen deeply in love with both Beautiful Broken Things and Goodbye, Perfect.
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  • Elvina Zafril
    January 1, 1970
    This book is not just an ordinary YA contemporary.
  • Marochka
    January 1, 1970
    Отзыв в моём блоге: https://momentarythingsbymarochka.tum...
  • Casey
    January 1, 1970
    3/5 StarsGoodbye Perfect is a great YA for younger teens in my opinion and I would recommend it even if I wouldn't re-read it myself. Sara is a fantastic author and it was a quick and easy contemporary read with great family relationships.Eden and her family stood out the most for me, I was just as conflicted as Eden was about snitching on her friend or doing what was right. Eden's Mum and Dad were great supportive characters and I loved their relationship.It may seem strange but I liked the sid 3/5 StarsGoodbye Perfect is a great YA for younger teens in my opinion and I would recommend it even if I wouldn't re-read it myself. Sara is a fantastic author and it was a quick and easy contemporary read with great family relationships.Eden and her family stood out the most for me, I was just as conflicted as Eden was about snitching on her friend or doing what was right. Eden's Mum and Dad were great supportive characters and I loved their relationship.It may seem strange but I liked the side plots more than the main plot. Seeing how being a foster child can impact relationships, how it can impact the children in the family and how a support system can make all the difference. I especially loved the Sister relationships, they saved the entire book for me and really made it end well.Overall some of the scenes were a little cheesy but the characters felt real and the story of grooming and student teacher relationships wasn't one I had read before. The comparison of Edens romance was stark and realistic adding to how unhealthy the age gap is in a student teacher affair.
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  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    I ended up loving this book a lot more than I thought I would! I read 'A Quiet Kind of Thunder' last year which I enjoyed, but I loved 'Goodbye, Perfect' just that little bit more.Thanks to Macmillan for letting me be part of the blog tour. My full review will be up on my blog on the date of my tour stop, Feb 6. See you then!alwaysandforeverreading.wordpress.com
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  • Areti
    January 1, 1970
    When I read the synopsis, I was intrigued. I also haven’t read a lot of UK YA contemporary books, so I really wanted to see what it was like. After reading Goodbye, Perfect, I can say that it was worth it and that I will certainly read UK contemporary books.The book starts when the main character, Eden, is talking with the police about her best friend’s disappearance. She is shocked when they tell her with whom her best friend left and when her best friend starts sending her messages, she is tor When I read the synopsis, I was intrigued. I also haven’t read a lot of UK YA contemporary books, so I really wanted to see what it was like. After reading Goodbye, Perfect, I can say that it was worth it and that I will certainly read UK contemporary books.The book starts when the main character, Eden, is talking with the police about her best friend’s disappearance. She is shocked when they tell her with whom her best friend left and when her best friend starts sending her messages, she is torn between being loyal to her best friend and telling the police.The book discuses about topics such as friendship, family and loyalty. There aren’t many contemporary books that talk about foster families, healthy relationships and high school stress in a realistic and relatable way. I was really impressed that the author handled many issues that most books don’t even talk about.The main character, Eden, is flawed. She is doing and saying selfish things but throughout the book we see her mature and being constantly a better person. Her boyfriend, Connor, is a sweetheart. He cares about Eden and he is constantly making Eden do the right thing. Bonnie is pictured as the perfect mature student but in reality she is the most immature character in the book.I liked Goodbye, Perfect a lot and I will make sure that I will read similar books in the future.
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  • Trisha
    January 1, 1970
    Oh this is strong and authentic.Really enjoyed it.
  • Kirra
    January 1, 1970
    This review is part of the Goodbye, Perfect Blog Tour!Eden and Bonnie have been best friends since they were young but Eden is left questioning everything she thought she knew about Bonnie when she finds out from the police that Bonnie has run away with their music teacher. At fifteen years old this man is twice her age and he is someone Eden never pictured Bonnie with when she mentioned a secret boyfriend a few times in passing over the last few months. Now the police are questioning her and Ed This review is part of the Goodbye, Perfect Blog Tour!Eden and Bonnie have been best friends since they were young but Eden is left questioning everything she thought she knew about Bonnie when she finds out from the police that Bonnie has run away with their music teacher. At fifteen years old this man is twice her age and he is someone Eden never pictured Bonnie with when she mentioned a secret boyfriend a few times in passing over the last few months. Now the police are questioning her and Eden is in a difficult situation when Bonnie contacts her and makes Eden promise to keep her secrets from everyone. Is their friendship worth the lies?So how common are teacher-student relationships? I think it's probably pretty common to look up to these people and idolize them as being all-knowing and collected. So maybe you would find yourself imagining a relationship with them in some circumstances but usually, it doesn't go anywhere past that and forget about it. We all know teacher-student exchanges are a huge violation of the trust the parents and children put in the teacher and the school but until I read this book I never really realised just how much power these teachers have. I've been uncomfortable or disgusted with student-teacher relationships in other books that I've read before but this one has such an in-depth and candid example of how corrupt these relationships really are.The way he controlled her actions, the grooming and manipulation were all very realistic and I think teenagers that read this book will understand the serious situation as well as getting a fantastic read out of it. I couldn't believe how completely blind Bonnie was to what was going on and it was so frustrating as a helpless reader to observe her being so silly. On the other side, I think Eden had a very healthy relationship with a boy her own age that is brilliant to read and also stands as a great example to the readers what relationships should be like versus the relationship Bonnie had with Mr Cohn. It seemed like a very accurate representation of what I hope all teenagers can experience because Eden and her boyfriend were so sweet and mature.I feel like I was on the same journey as Eden throughout this book because I was learning more about these relationships and I was also so conflicted as well with Eden on where her allegiance should be. She wants to keep her best friends secret because obviously they have a strong relationship bonded throughout the years but she also knows, for a fact, that what Bonnie is doing with her teacher is wrong so it's such a fascinating book.  This was my first read from Sara Barnard but I'll definitely be picking up more books from her because her storytelling and characters are so compelling. I can honestly say that this is one book you should all be reading because it was a fantastic rollercoaster of a journey between right and wrong with so many surprises and I loved the ending! So check out Goodbye, Perfect and tell me your thoughts!(Thank you to Pan Macmillan for including my review in their Blog Tour for Goodbye, Perfect - out tomorrow! This review is my honest thoughts and opinions about the book.)—Q & A with the author, Sara Barnard 1. What was the inspiration behind Goodbye, Perfect?It wasn’t inspired by one event in particular, but a general thought about the news, which is that there are so many people you don’t hear about when there’s a big, scandalous story; the ones whose voices don’t get heard. In Goodbye, Perfect, when the head prefect runs away with her music teacher, there are so many people left behind to deal with the mess, starting with my protagonist, Eden - her best friend.2. What makes Goodbye Perfect unique compared to your previous titles?It’s set over a week rather than a school year, which was the timespan of the first two books. Eden is also very different to my two other protagonists, Caddy and Steffi. She’s got a lot of edges.3. Did you have a favourite scene to write?There’s a section later on in the book where Eden is on a sort of road trip with her boyfriend and her adoptive sister where a snapshot of their conversations is shown in little snippets, like a script. I enjoyed writing those - I wrote a few that didn’t make it into the final book.4. At the heart of Goodbye Perfect is the friendship between Eden and Bonnie. What draws you to writing young adult novels with a focus on friendships?I think they’re such a central relationship when you’re a teenager - I can’t imagine writing a book where it wasn’t given the same weight as any other relationship. There’s so much to explore there; no two friendships are the same.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I love YA books with taboo subject matter such as this. As uncomfortable as teacher-student relationships are, they kind of fascinate me. I loved seeing how the ramifications of such affect the families and people around them. Although I didn't really like Eden (mainly her logic towards the whole situation?), I loved her family and Connor is so precious I just want to squeeze him. I would LOVE to see a companion/spin off exploring Bonnie and Jack's POV!
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