STARRED REVIEW
February 2019

Goodbye, Perfect

By Sara Barnard
Review by

Goodbye, Perfect, the latest novel from British author Sara Barnard (A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Fragile), is a bittersweet exploration of the bonds of friendship, the limits of how well we can know one another and the power of internal and external pressures to unravel our identities.

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Goodbye, Perfect, the latest novel from British author Sara Barnard (A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Fragile), is a bittersweet exploration of the bonds of friendship, the limits of how well we can know one another and the power of internal and external pressures to unravel our identities.

Eden and Bonnie have been best friends since they were 7 years old, when Eden—a rough-around-the-edges foster kid—arrived for her first day of school and perfect-in-every-way Bonnie took her under her wing. Though the two girls are drastically different, they’ve always balanced each other and kept each other steady. 

But during the week before the start of final exams, now 15-year-old Bonnie runs off with Jack, her secret boyfriend who is also their school’s 29-year-old music teacher, and Eden is left to question everything she thought she knew—both about her best friend and about herself.

In the vein of Carrie Fountain’s I’m Not Missing, Barnard’s novel is written from the point of view of the friend who’s left behind. Bonnie’s disappearance is the catalyst for Eden to begin a complex journey of growth and self-discovery, and Barnard uses a light touch to bring readers along as Eden receives a string of emails from Bonnie and re-evaluates her perceptions of love, friendship and her relationships with her adoptive family and her “lovely, non-secret, drama-free” boyfriend, Connor.

Fans of Sarah Dessen will be eager to inhale this nuanced, heartfelt coming-of-age story about the pain of losing what you once held dear—and the joy and satisfaction of finding yourself in the process.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Goodbye, Perfect

Goodbye, Perfect

By Sara Barnard
Simon Pulse
ISBN 9781534402447

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