Goodbye, Perfect

by Sara Barnard

3.75 of 5 stars 4 ratings • 2 reviews • 12 shelved
Book cover for Goodbye, Perfect

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Goodbye, Perfect

by Sara Barnard

3.75 of 5 stars 4 ratings • 2 reviews • 12 shelved

Goodbye, Perfect is a beautiful and emotional contemporary YA novel, with a powerful friendship at its heart, by bestselling author Sara Barnard. Now with a bold updated cover look.

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 a guy Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. And it's the last person she would have expected.

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.

  • ISBN10 1509852875
  • ISBN13 9781509852871
  • Publish Date 8 February 2018
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country GB
  • Publisher Pan Macmillan
  • Imprint Macmillan Children's Books
  • Format eBook
  • Pages 384
  • Language English


Avatar for kozbisa

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Bonnie had been Eden's anchor since she was first fostered by her family. But, right before their GCSEs, Bonnie ran away. The search for Bonnie uncovers some secrets she had been keeping, and these revelations threw Eden's world off balance.

There were a lot of interesting topics touched upon in this story - taboo entanglements, scholastic pressure, children caring for their parents, but for me, this was all about Eden and her relationships.

Eden was quite jaded, and I couldn't blame her. She spent her early years in an unstable home with her addict mother, and carried many scars from that time with her.
I'm picky about people at the best of times, but when it comes to my inner circle, the people I let into my heart, I'm ruthless.

She trusted and loved Bonnie, who she saw as steady and loyal. Bonnie's secrets and lies really hurt Eden, and forced her to reevaluate many aspects of her life. I was never led to believe that Bonnie and Eden had any sort of co-dependent relationship, but still, the time apart from each other allowed Eden to take a closer look at many things, and I really loved the way she began to see herself and her family.

There was a lot of exploration of family and adoption. It was pretty clear, that Eden still struggled with her mother's abandonment, and perhaps, feared that the love the McKinley's showed was not what it seemed. However, through different interactions and inspection of many situations, Eden began to see her foster mother and foster sister in a different light. I really loved seeing her understanding of them grow, and their affections for one another warmed my heart.

This event also triggered Eden to re-examine her ideas about love and her future, as well as her loyalty to Bonnie. Most of these new viewpoints filled me with joy, but it the new realization of her friendship with Bonnie, which broke my heart. Seeing a long friendship like that begin to crack really saddened me, though I couldn't fault Eden for the way she felt.

I loved all the introspection and relationships, but one thing never failed to bring a smile to my face - Connor.
His mum and gran say he's the best boy on the the planet.

I agree with mum and gran. He was one of those beautiful, soft boys, who just made everything better for me. Because, he was his mother's caregiver, he was older than his years, and he had this gigantic heart. He was open and honest and respectful. His relationship with Eden just seemed so healthy, and I love seeing teen romance like this.

I am warning you - the ending was not all nice and tidy, but there were enough lovely things set in motion for me to be satisfied.

Overall: A beautifully told and compelling story examining the complexities of family, love, and friendship.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.


Avatar for divaboooknerd

Kelly 3 of 5 stars
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.