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Depicting with humor and insight the pressure to be outwardly perfect, this novel for ages 10-13 shows how one girl develops compassion for her own and others’ imperfections.

For 13-year-old Isabelle Lee, whose father has recently died, everything's normal on the outside. Isabelle describes the scene at school with bemused accuracy—the self-important (but really not bad) English teacher, the boy that is constantly fixated on Ashley Barnum, the prettiest girl in class, and the dynamics of the lunchroom, where tables are turf in a all-eyes-open awareness of everybody's relative social position.

But everything is not normal, really. Since the dealth of her father, Isabelle's family has only functioned on the surface. Her mother, who used to take care of herself, now wears only lumpy, ill-fitting clothes, cries all night, and has taken every picture of her dead husband and put them under her bed. Isabelle tries to make light of this, but the underlying tension is expressed in overeating and then binging. As the novel opens, Isabelle's little sister, April, has told their mother about Isabelle's problem. Isabelle is enrolled in group therapy. Who should show up there, too, but Ashley Barnum, the prettiest, most together girl in class.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419370182
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 11/21/2005
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.50(h) x 5.00(d)
Age Range: 11 - 14 Years

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Perfect 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 306 reviews.
destineetena More than 1 year ago
This book really touched me because it reminded me of one of my friends and I could relate to it. I think it encourages other teens out there to pull through whatever struggles you might be going through, maybe if you have problem at homes or anything that they can be resolved and you don't have to beat yourself down because of it. You can get help and there are people who are there for you and would like to help.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i HATE to read.. but i loved this book... i read 1/2 of it and had to stop(for a school book i had to read) but then this year i read the the hole thing again front to back. i was the best book i have read in a long time.
lauraelizabeth More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book about what girls with eating disorders are actually going through. I was highly recommend this book. It teachs what people may be going through without anyone else realizing it and how to be more understanding towards other people. It also helps teach self respect and seeing yourself as a beautiful person. Very good book for young teens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about Isabelle Lee, a 13 year old girl who has battled bulimia for two years, when her dad dies.Her sister April (more commonly reffered as Ape Face) tattles on Isabelle when she catches her throwing up. Isabelle and Aprils depressed mother, sends Isabelle to Group therapy (called Group), where she befriends the most popular and pretty girl in school,Ashley. Ashley and Isabelle hang out a lot, and they also binge and purge a lot. Soon, there is a surprising twist in the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book. This author descibed in detail being bulimic. However she did not make it gross like to detailed. However she did say that they did throw up when they threw up where they threw up an sometimes but rarely she said why
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect by Natasha Friend Isabelle Lee is a young teenager in 8th grade. On the outside she looks like a normal girl but on the inside she has many problems. Ever since her dad died two years ago she has been very sad and lonely. Although her depressed mom and annoying sister April miss their dad too, she feels that she cannot talk about her feelings with anyone so she washes out the pain by purging. One day April finds her throwing-up in the bathroom and tells their mom. As part of the deal Isabelle is forced to join “Group”. Group is the therapy group that her mom found for her to join because of her disorder. The leader is Trish and she is a bouncy and joyful person. All the members of Group are introducing themselves when suddenly Ashley Barnum walks in. Ashley is the prettiest and most popular girl at Isabelle’s school. After a few sessions of Group Ashley invites Isabelle over to her house. That’s when she realizes that Ashley is everything but perfect. They slowly build a special bond with each other and hang out almost every day. After some private meetings with Trish Isabelle starts to realize how horrible Bulimia is and tries to stop it. Natasha Friend author of Lush and Bounce, has a writing style that pulls you in from the very first to the very last page. This book Perfect is modern fiction. It is set in modern time in a regular small town. I think that this book is more for teenagers and adults. The content is much too old for kids 10 and under to be reading. I would really recommend reading this book. I enjoyed reading it and I think you will too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great story that shows a family that has been struggling through their father's death for quite a while. Isabelle has had enough with her sister, april (a.k.a ape face) when she basically ratted her out to her mother. Isabelle was forcing herself to throw up and ape face saw her and told her mom. Now isabelle has a punishment. She has to go to a eating disorder and body image therapy group. She ends up seeing the most popular girl, ashley barnum there. They end up being really good friends either know they live two completely seperate lives.
CHOLE More than 1 year ago
Isabelle Lee has a problem. GROUP. After Ape Face aka April catches her sister puking out her dinner one night, Isabelle gets taken to GROUP by her mother. There she finds out she is not alone. The most popular girl in school is there...for the same problem. They become friends and in the end, Isabelle decides not to be bulimic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book teaches kids at around middle school age that you don't have to make yourself a perfect person. Looks may get you friends but inside you may have an ugly truth. Isabelle learns that Ashley is not who she seems to be. If you want to know more read the book. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book I cant stop reading it! I wish i could be like the Ashley in the book. its really good i finished it in a im kinda a slow reader so for me to finish a book in a day it has to be really good!
KaMa6 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book Perfect was about how this girl named Isabelle dad's died. Isabelle's whole life is falling apart when she has a little sister that bugs her all the time. Isabelle's mom cries everyday because of her husband dieing.
JRlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Isabelle Lee is a high school student with an eating disorder.
SandyStiles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Isabelle's father has died and her mother, mired in grief, retreats to her own world, leaving her 2 girls to fend for themselves. Isabelle develops an eating disorder, but through therapy makes some improvements.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After her father dies, Isabelle, her sister and her mother are bereft. But mom won't even talk about dad, and Isabelle can't deal by herself. She begins a cycle of binging and purging and meets the perfect Ashley in the eating disorders group. Maybe perfect isn't always what it seems.
nm.winter08.a.kenned on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book so far. It hits on bases that people don't usually talk about. There are so many people who could relate to this book; and other ones by this same author. I can really understand this book because I have friends who used to have these kind of problems, but they have stopped, knowing they are only hurting themselves. The way Natasha Friend explains some things makes me wonder why people don't relize what they are doing to their bodies when the try to get skinnier.
HMoonier on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a great book! I loved it, the emotions are completely genuine. I really felt like the words came straight from isabelle. I could feel her hurt, her frustrations, her happiness. I especially liked the ending because she finally gains the courage to make peace within herself and her situations.
supermanlver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this is seriously a must read. It is about a girl with depression who uses an eating disorder to control her life. It is very moving and sad, but is a very good book.
ohioyalibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Isabelle's father has recently died. Neither she, her sister or her mother has really dealt with the pain of his death. They all have ways of avoiding the pain. Isabelle's way manifests itself as an eating disorder. This is a good book, although I believe the ending is easy and a bit too tidy. Real life is probably harder. Still, this is a good read that makes you understand what Isabelle is going through.
samantha.nop on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a girl, Isabelle Lee. Her sister, April, tells their depressed mother Isabelle has bulimia. Isabelle became bulimic since their father died two years ago. Isabelle's mother forces her to join "Group" a group to help girls appreciate their body image. At Group, Isabelle becomes friends with the most popular girl in school, Ashley Barnum, who is also bulimic. Isabelle goes through a few weeks with Ashley as they eat and purge together. Isabelle is upset her mom won't forget her dad and is depressed all the time. But as Isabelle is in Group longer, she stops purging and tries to help her mother overcome her depression.I liked this book because it shows what a lot of girls my age go through. I appreciate the fact the author doesn't try to make anything less harsh. She writes what really happens, and how people are affected by things such as death. I'm glad that Isabelle overcomes bulimia. I hope that Ashley Barnum also does the same. This book can be life-changing to a lot of teenage girls. This book has a very good lesson. When something bad happens, you need to stay strong and keep family close. Don't let them go no matter what.
edenjean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Isabelle Lee has an annoying little sister, a depressed mother, a newly found friendship with the most popular girl in school, and bulimia. "Perfect" is the story of her personal journey through hardship and self-discovery. A year ago Isabelle's father died, and her family has not been the same since. Her mother spends days in bed, cries late at night, and doesn't often cook for her daughters. Isabelle's little sister, April, has to struggle with doing a school project on her family when her mother won't tell her where the photos of her father are. Forced to go to Eating Disorder and Body Image Therapy Group by her mother, Isabelle is shocked when Ashley Barnum, the most popular girl in school, walks in late. Soon a friendship forms between the two that is held together solely by their shared need for binging and purging food and soda. Through her observation of Ashley's eating disorder Isabelle comes to realize how much she is actually hurting herself and her family by continuing her own habit. Through fighting her mother's depression and helping the rest of her family recover from her father's death Isabelle is able to fight her eating disorder.Isabelle's matter-of-fact descriptions of the world around her and how it makes her feel are at times sarcastic, ironic, or pessimistic, but other times are funny, thoughtful, and quite true-to-life. The author's creative use of the first person point of view makes "Perfect" hard to put down once you start it. "Perfect" is a novel for middle and high school readers.
Ashliecaster on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. I know many people who suffered through eating disorders and some that still do and they said that they found this book helpful. I read it in the 6th grade and was very happy to find a book that helped. The author made everything very convincing and very realistic.
HaDy0605 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was really good because it was about a problem many girls go through...accepting for who they are, and their bodies. A girl goes to a group to help solve their insecurity, and kept me reading.
SaCr0410 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i thought the author was childish. saying things like "sure thing girlfriend"maybe that's how people from her generation spoke, i just thought it was weird
Kaydence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Positives: * Deals with a very tough issue in a very real way * Explores guilt, the way a child takes over adult roles too early in life, grief, and a multitude of very real emotions that we don't usually talk about * Simple words make her easy to understandNegatives: * I don't like the descriptions that the author uses. * No resolution with anything, I don't even think they accurately portray the healing process of any of the major issues discussed in the book * I feel tempted to try the things that she does, rather than stay away from. That scares me because I know that a teenager reading it will have less self control than I do. (No offense to my students who are all wonderful) * There are very few positive moments, answers given to the problems, etc. The psychologist that plays a positive role could have provided some facts so that teenagers receive an accurate interpretation and don't lead themselves to other conclusions.
Kennedythedramaqueen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely amazing. It shows the emotions of a teenage girl, Isabelle Lee, struggling through life. It tells a story of how she overcomes the obsticals of loosing a loved one, and an eating disorder. But my favorite, was how she realized what Ashley Barnum, the most popular girl in school's life, is really like. Which, in this case, isn't as perfect as everyone thinks. This book takes you through life in Isabelle's shoes, and it I can definatley relate to her feelings. I think that all teenage girls feel this way, and I would definately recommend it for girls middle school and up.