PERFECT by Ellen Hopkins: A Reader’s Perspective


The only one who can define “perfect” for you…is you.

Nobody’s perfect. Nobody. But it seems that everybody strives to attain some level of perfection. Some people are willing to harm themselves or others in order to be “perfect”. And sometimes we allow outside influences determine whether or not we are perfect.

Ellen Hopkins new novel PERFECT is poetic, beautiful, hauntingly real and if I could I would buy everyone in America a copy of this book. Some people need it to see themselves reflected in any one of the four young people who tell their stories. And, some people need to read it to see themselves reflected in the parents, friends or family members who put too much pressure on others or too much emphasis on attaining a goal of perfection.

Whether it is how you look, your sexuality, your physical abilities, what you want to do with your life, school pressure, there is always something you want to excel at, or that you feel you’re being compared to. How you deal with that pressure can determine your level of happiness and self-acceptance.

I love the way this book makes you look at outside influences and your own inside influences. I love the poetic voice of how this is written. Ellen Hopkins is one of those authors who can change lives with her prose, her stories and her challenge to us all to look within ourselves as we read her books.

The book follows four kids who are all seeking acceptance and who all have their own idea of “perfect”. I’m sure you know someone like at least one of these people. You may even recognize someone like the characters who are pressuring them. Perhaps it’s a parent, teacher, friend or boss.

If you are struggling to find your own perfection, don’t lose heart. Don’t become depressed over an ideal that can only be, truly, defined by…you. Seek help if you need it. Find love from within. The only person who can decide for you what is perfect is you.