Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review: Perfect

 photo perfect.jpgPerfect by Rachel Joyce

Byron Hemmings wakes to a morning that looks like any other: his school uniform draped over his wooden desk chair, his sister arguing over the breakfast cereal, the click of his mother’s heels as she crosses the kitchen. But when the three of them leave home, driving into a dense summer fog, the morning takes an unmistakable turn. In one terrible moment, something happens, something completely unexpected and at odds with life as Byron understands it. While his mother seems not to have noticed, for eleven-year-old Byron nothing can ever be the same. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

This story was a bit of a surprise, as the blurb I read focused on the addition of two seconds to the clock and I assumed that some kind of fantasy element would be involved. While Byron does obsess about the added two seconds, it's not the main focus of the book and there's no time travel involved at all.

Byron is a British schoolboy, living in the countryside with his mother and sister. His father visits on the weekends and seems to be the stereotypical cold Englishman. Byron goes to a private school, is on the chubby side, and doesn't have many friends.

Byron's chapters alternate with Jim's, the other main character. After spending most of his adult life in a mental institution, Jim now lives in a van and works at a small cafe. With his many issues, from social anxiety to his obsessive compulsive behavior, you just know that the story isn't going to end well for Jim. I guessed at how these two lives would intersect fairly early, but was way off. I love when that happens! You think you know what's going on, but you're wrong!

Byron's story takes place in 1972, while Jim's story is present day. It wasn't hard keeping track of the two storylines, and both characters were fairly interesting. While Byron is an anxious boy, the character I really felt sorry for was Byron's mother. She's quickly overwhelmed by a situation that rapidly spins out of control, and let's just say that she could have handled things better.

While not my usual type of read, the alternating plots kept things interesting. I was a little more interested in Jim's story than Byron's, but they both had their moments. I would have liked to heard more from some of the secondary characters, but that may have been too much information. Enjoyed the ending, even though it wasn't what I expected.

eBook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


  1. I have to say, from the cover/title itself, I wouldn't have glanced twice, but with the "about" and your thoughts...I am curious. Definitely not your usual read, but it sounds like it made an impression nonetheless. Thanks for the share!

  2. Loving the cover. I would have been so disappointed to have discovered this was a poor read.

  3. Yes, that synopsis sounds very intriguing. It makes me want to check this one out but I hate when you're expecting one thing and get something else. Especially when it's not nearly as exciting as you wanted.

  4. Excellent. I might enjoy the confusion between two worlds very much. I'm all ready wondering how something like this can end. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

  5. Sometimes it's nice to get that surprise. Glad it worked out good for you. :)

  6. Interesting! I haven't heard of this one before, but from review, it sounds really good. And it being unpredictable is a definite bonus!

    Great review.