Just Perfect

Young Adult - General
218 Pages
Reviewed on 08/20/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Hanne Arts is an eighteen-year old budding author. She currently live in England, but previously lived in Belgium, Holland, Hungary and Slovakia.

Writing has been her passion since she was seven years old, and "Just Perfect" is her debut novel.

Before the publishing of this book, Hanne participated three times in Short Story Competition Hungary, for which she received the Short List Award in 2011, Honorable Mention in 2012, and Second Place in 2013. She was shortlisted in the Nancy Thorp Poetry Competition in 2013 and Junior Author Short Story Competition in 2014.

To buy "Just Perfect," please visit https://www.createspace.com/4888416.

Also, like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HanneArtsBlogging and subscribe to her blog at www.hanne-arts.blogspot.sk.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite

In a wonderful read by a very promising young author, Just Perfect by Hanne Arts, we find that life for one young woman is not simple, rarely fair, and certainly not just perfect. We follow Cristina Jacobs as she strives to do what many of us do - fit in, make friends, to be, well, just a regular girl. But that's certainly not easy for a girl whose mother has passed away, whose father is an alcoholic, who has been betrayed by a friend and her boyfriend, and who is being bullied at school. Losing control of her life, Cristina succumbs to the seeming charms of anorexia. Controlling her weight gives her control over something in her life, and control over something is better than control over nothing. But when her weight dips to dangerous levels, when her life spins even further out of control, it seems unlikely that Cristina will ever come back.

Just Perfect is an excellent account of the experience of anorexia, and the types of emotions and difficulties that can lead to this very difficult disease. Author Hanne Arts writes with a sensitivity and emotional awareness that make it appear as if she has personal experience in this area and, if so, that experience has certainly served her well. Just Perfect would be a wonderful read for teens or young adults who have suffered from an eating disorder themselves, or who have friends who have. But it is also a creative and well written story that would appeal to any reader who likes good fiction. I am pleased to be able to highly recommend Just Perfect by Hanne Arts. I look forward to reading more by this very promising author in the future.

John Yeoman

A charming and intriguing story, written with a finesse and maturity of style that would flatter an author of far more seasoned years. Its ironic wit and acuteness of observation are a joy to read and its insights into the problems of mental depression are helpful and acute.


Just Perfect is a very moving story that follows a high school girl through a great struggle. It is a struggle that so many young people go through. It doesn't affect everyone in the way it affects Christina in the story, but the effects are lasting. Christina is bullied and that bullying leads her down a self-destructive path. Her father is very distant as he is dealing with grief through alcohol. Christina feels completely alone.

These feelings lead her to develop an eating disorder which eventually lead to hospitalization. Thanks to her father and a wonderful friend she makes while in the hospital, Christina is able to pull through and begin to overcome her eating disorder. This doesn't happen all the time. Some young people are never able to beat their eating disorder and end up dying from this.

This book is a must read for teens. I think a lot of times teens feel like they are alone in how they are feeling when really most teens share their feelings. Teens feel inadequate and imperfect. They feel that their parents don't care and that no one understands. I think if more of them realized that all teens go through these things, they'd feel better about themselves and less alone.

I definitely recommend this book. It is novella length of 34,000 words. That, combined with a fast moving plot, make this a quick and easy book to read.

Megan Brown

This book is FANTASTIC. It's a riveting read that really grips at your heart when the main protagonist, Christina, is an innocent, hard working teen, is thrown into a sea of internal demons after everyone she knows suddenly turns on her. Christina is forced into a battle with her self as she indulges in self harm and anorexia. It really is a tale all teenagers should read and provides a unique perspective to adults as well, especially parents. I, for one, will be throwing this book in the face of everyone I know until they read it. Fantastic writing, fantastic story, just over all fantastic.

Viktória Hován

First of all i loved the whole book, its style, its topic, its atmosphere, its honesty. It brought me through a tough journey of human soul and showed how eating disorders can appear in our and our children's lives without recognising it. Hanne could describe all the struggles and emotions very precisely using always the perfect expressions. I liked that she didn't want to hide anything, but trusting the reader to tell every single happening, thought and feeling. I can only recommend it if you want to read a valuable piece of work. Thank you Hanne for sharing it with me.

Beverly McClure

Bullying comes in many forms. Name calling: making fun of someone, physical abuse, psychological abuse, and others. Regardless of the type of bullying a child or teen or even an adult face, it affects their attitude about themselves and the consequences sometimes end in tragedy.

Author Hanne Arts’ novel JUST PERFECT is the story of Christina Jacobs, who just wants to be accepted. If only life were so simple. She lives with her alcoholic father. Her mother is dead. She has a friend that turns out not to be a friend. Her boyfriend lets her down. And she’s beat up and humiliated by her classmates. As her life grows worse and worse she follows the path of many young women and men, a path that often leads to self-destruction. Will Christina be able to overcome her fragile life and see the beauty in herself?

The author has written a tender story of family, friends, and love and the sad things that can go wrong. I think more details about Christina’s treatment for Anorexia would have added to the story because it’s so destructive. That said, JUST PERFECT would make a good read for children and teens that have self-image issues or that are experiencing bullying at school or in their neighborhoods.

Pascale Tongerloo

"Just Perfect" is the grippingly honest account of a girl that falls victim to bullying and, consequently, her own insecurities. It is the story of her struggles and path to recovery.

Hanne's debut novel is incredibly moving, filled with raw emotion. It begs for the reader to continue reading and is deeply touching and relatable (and therefore poignant) in many aspects. I would recommend this book to people recovering from mental illnesses and related problems, as well as their families and anyone else wanting to understand these issues or simply looking for an intriguing novel to read. It is compelling and high-quality, with the ability to enrich the lives of the readers and inspire them to live life to the fullest.

All in all, Hanne shows great promise in her depicting of difficult emotional issues and thorough dealing with intense events. Her vivid descriptions made me feel like I knew each of the characters personally. Hanne writes maturely, yet accurately captures the young adult experience.

I hope to read more of her work in the future!

Koen Maegherman

The young author Hanne Arts has written a surprisingly nice piece of literature. The novel describes how the main character, partially because she is suffering from bullying, gets more and more dissatisfied with her body and sinks in an eating disorder. Hanne is also able the catch the almost incrompehensible dilemma many youngsters in a similar situation suffer from: "What was wrong with me? Why could I not just flip the switch and see all the brightness ahead if only I chose the correct path? Or rather, why could I see the correct path but not choose to tread upon is?"

The writing style also endorses the main message: with a broad variety of metaphors and similes she sharply and sensuously describes the physical characteristics of her and others' body. And as such she is able to go beyond the rather simple storyline and to craft a very nice novel that will for sure appreciated by many people (children, youngsters, parents, partners ...) who encounter a similar problem.

Rudy Ceuppens

Can one review objectively a book written by the daughter of someone you know ? YES !
Can one review objectively a book written by an 18-year old author when you use to devour books from 40-50-60 years old bestselling authors? YES !
Can one review objectively a book that you would like to have written yourself at the age of 18? NO !

This novel goes straight to my heart. It has the courage to analyze feelings and behavior which belongs to the rapidly (certainly in rich countries!) increasing mental illnesses connected to obsessive-compulsive disorders an all resulting disorders: eating, anxiety, perfectionism, you name it.
It is brilliantly written, with a sharp eye for the human condition in every dimension. Sincere congratulations to great talent Hanne! Please continue writing and analyzing!
The only one weakness of the amazing book is the faulty impression that you need at least a death mother and alcoholic father to fall down to this mental depth. 90 % of the described personal deficiencies are originated in "healthy" normal families. Another reason why rich countries are more vulnerable for these disorders.
Continue on this road, dear Hanne, and ... don't forget to eat :-))).

Marina Gombkoto

A nice story about a teenager girl, Christina, finding herself suddenly alone, betrayed by her closest friends. The mental and physical terror experienced from the schoolmates, the doubts and uncertainty she feels lead eventually to eating disorders, and, almost to a fatal outcome... but, finally, Christina draws strength and courage to fight for her recovery – and, to find her love.

Hanne’s writing style is full of emotions, yet authentic – it’s hard to believe that this is the debut novel of an eighteen-year-old author! Hanne is admittedly very talented (which is also evidenced by several literary awards) and I look forward to reading more works by her in the future.

The novel “Just Perfect” gives a reader a brilliant insight on thoughts, fears, concerns and actions of a person facing the problem of depressions and eating disorders, but most importantly, it brings a clear message: “Never give up! Live your life to the fullest!” Accordingly, I would recommend this book to the widest range of readers: from teens and their parents, teachers and people engaged in youth education, to people suffering from similar problems and searching for spiritual support, and to anyone simply looking for a good inspiring story to read.

Amie Gaudet

The author of this book is only 18 years old, yet she writes with an honesty and intelligence that is well beyond her years. Her ability to convey emotion and to draw the reader into her world is truly exceptional.

Her mother is dead and her father has fallen into the life of a barely functioning alcoholic. Christina has one good female friend and a boyfriend to whom she can turn for comfort, companionship and solace.

However, when her friend cheats off her test and her boyfriend dumps her, Christina's life starts a dismal downward spiral.

Bullied and taunted by those she once thought were her friends, having to take care of her alcoholic father, and not liking what she sees in the mirror, Christina starts to starve herself. This leads to cutting and finally to thoughts of suicide.

Can Christina find the strength of will to fight through her horrible situation? Or will she become just another statistic? Will she end up as a teenage suicide victim who gave up all hope of a better future?

The despair she feels is well written and the reader cannot help but empathize with her situation. The reader is drawn into Christina's downward spiral into despair and I couldn't help but wish I had known this girl and been able to help her somehow.

This book highlights just how desperate some teenagers can become. Why didn't her teachers notice her dramatic weight loss? Where were the safeguards that are supposed to be in place for our younger generation?

This book is an important one. It is important that other teenagers who are facing situations similar to the one in this book, know that they are not alone and that there is hope. It may be cliche, but they need to know that there is light at the end of their dark tunnel.

Though this book is targeted at a young adult audience, I think that all parents, especially those who have teenagers, should read this book as well. I realize it is fiction, but it is also too realistic to not have some basis in fact.

This book firmly deserves a 5 star rating. Hanne Arts may be a young author, but she is also a very talented one. I look forward to reading more books by her and I believe she has a long writing career ahead of her.

Francis Arts

I found the book so intriguing and captivating that I started reading Saturday lunch time and could not stop reading till I had finished it by Sunday evening. It is an impressive achievement that at her young age Hanne has managed to write a book about a complicated subject like anorexia with such depth and insight in her own struggle "to fight her way back to the surface". A very interesting scene in the book was when Dr Paula asked Christina to draw 2 different trees. Christina drew the trees Dr Paula had asked for, so far so good. But what happens next when Dr Paula shares her findings with Christina, is very interesting: Not only does Christina try to understand Dr. Paula's findings but she is also critical and questions them to come up with her own balanced judgement --some of Dr Paula's findings she accepts, some she rejects. At Hanne's young age such mature judgement is exceptional. So yes, "Just Perfect" is an impressive achievement making me very much look forward to Hanne's next book.

Evelien Arts

Just Perfect is a captivating novel, portraying honest and raw emotions and allowing readers to better grasp the reality of depressions and eating disorders. However, most of all, it depicts what teenagers endure: uncertainty, self-doubt, emotion and, eventually, light at the end of the tunnel. The honesty expressed is what made it relatable for me, which is what I liked most about this novel.

The novel is written in two parts: the first part in which Christina is driven into a depression, and the second part in which she embarks on the slow journey to recovery. One can see the characters develop as the story progresses, which allows an emotional connection to be made.

I would recommend this novel to teenagers and their parents, to people suffering from mental illness and the people surrounding them, and to people wanting to be informed on it.

Joannes Rhino

When I started reading Just Perfect, I felt like I was swept away completely. I mean I have tasks that I needed to do, but I decided to put it on hold until I finished reading this book. Yeah, that's how powerful this book to me. It's like there's a magnet between one page to another so I couldn't drop and stop reading it for awhile. Anyway, this is the kinda genre that I love to read. The author did a wonderful job in describing the battle inside one's mind. I found this quite enjoyable as I myself writing psychology/thriller book. There were so many emotions involved inside me when reading this. Thanks for a good read!

Mary L.

Just Perfect is a must read for parents, teachers, counselors and recovering teens. Hanne Art, the author, uses her excellent writing skills to create a book nobody will want to put down. The story traces a young girl’s trials with betrayal, bullies, anorexia and an alcoholic father. Although motherless, the main character triumphs through the help of others and ends up stronger than ever. An ace of a writer at eighteen years old, Hanne wrote Just Perfect for those who are depressed or have eating disorders. Those who read Just Perfect will definitely want to share it with others.
Mary L.

Lily Bible

Wow Hanne, this is a truly great book. It was a fast read and i loved all the detail you put in. It really made me feel like i was reliving the darker parts of my life. I had such a great and deep connection to this book. i'm so glad my friend had me read it. You are an amazing writer and i can't wait to read more of your books, that is if you keep writing, which i hope you will because you have a great voice. Thank you so much for a fantastic read please keep writing. I can't wait for more!!!!!
Love Lily :)

Agnes Oers

I am impressed that a young girl like Hanne can write so openly and honestly about her struggle with anorexia. This is far from evident at Hanne's young age. "Just Perfect" is written in a clear manner with Christina's story surely being recognisable for teenagers and young adults. So I hope they get the chance to read Hanne's book and that it can help them to battle their own inner eating disorder demons. I very much look forward to the sequel of "Just Perfect".

Hajnal Kolics

A fascinating book one can't help reading at a go. Hanne, I am sure that with your writing you have given and are giving hope to many people that such battles (against eating disorders and other obsessive compulsive disorders) can indeed be won. For me the section on page 150 was a true revelation. "What was wrong with me?...Why could I see the correct path but not choose to tread upon it". You, at the age of 18 raised a question many people never have courage to face themselves with. With your bravery and strength you have empowered me to ask myself the same question and take the first few steps on the right path. Thank you Hanne. I wish you all the best in your writing carreer and in your private life from the bottom of my heart. Hugs, Hajnal


The best and most helpful book for anyone struggling with low self-esteem, depression, eating disorders, etc. It went straight to my heart and managed to managed to touch every little bit of my emotions.
I was utterly impressed by the fact that it is amazingly well written, too, captivating the reader from the very beginning till the last page.
Well done for this incredible work and wishing you, from the bottom of my heart, all the best! Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts with the world :)
Remember: You are just perfect <3


Review from Belgium : "De eerste 10 pagina's even moeite gehad om na veel jaren weer in het Engels te lezen. Maar daarna : ACHTER elkaar uitgelezen!!! "Ik zag wat ik las." Hoe verder ik in het verhaal terecht kwam, hoe meer het intrigeerde ! Voor mij een "relatief" onbekend onderwerp , maar wel gelijk gegrepen door het verhaal. Ben benieuwd wat deze schrijfster ons als lezer nog gaat brengen. "

Mara Wynant

There are books you like to pick up once in a while and books you just can't put away. 'Just Perfect' is the latter. In the first two pages, the novel hits you with a strike of curiosity and wonder and it won't leave you until the very last page. The main character takes you on a journey so recognizable for troubled teens that she might make you rethink your views on certain things. This fact is exactly the reason why this novel is so important to teens struggling with depression or an ED. Remarkable is that the most endearing, tender and happy moments are surrounded by grief so real that you will laugh through your tears and sob with a smile.
'Just Perfect' is an extraordinary debut novel, and I'm looking forward to hear more from Hanne Arts.


Just Perfect is a very moving story that follows a high school girl through a great struggle. It is a struggle that so many young people go through. It doesn't affect everyone in the way it affects Christina in the story, but the effects are lasting. Christina is bullied and that bullying leads her down a self-destructive path. Her father is very distant as he is dealing with grief through alcohol. Christina feels completely alone.

These feelings lead her to develop an eating disorder which eventually lead to hospitalization. Thanks to her father and a wonderful friend she makes while in the hospital, Christina is able to pull through and begin to overcome her eating disorder. This doesn&rsquo;t happen all the time. Some young people are never able to beat their eating disorder and end up dying from this.

This book is a must read for teens. I think a lot of times teens feel like they are alone in how they are feeling when really most teens share their feelings. Teens feel inadequate and imperfect. They feel that their parents don&rsquo;t care and that no one understands. I think if more of them realized that all teens go through these things, they&rsquo;d feel better about themselves and less alone.

I definitely recommend this book. It is novella length of 34,000 words. That, combined with a fast moving plot, make this a quick and easy book to read.


No words needed Hanne… =) It's amazing!

L. Lukaszewicz

I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much from this novella, but when I saw all the awards it had won, I was intrigued. When I read the absolutely poetic preface, I was even more intrigued.

I often, like the author when I was her age, wondered what I was still living for. Her experience rings true. I’ve been through it. People on the outside don’t understand that anorexia isn’t something you “decide” to do – it’s in the subconscious. When I was five foot six and well under ninety pounds and no one noticed, it only reinforced that sense of being invisible that the author describes. The self-loathing, the feeling of isolation, the sense of detachment from the body that you don’t even know is there, the feeling of “freakishness.” The author describes all of this with words that ring true. She has obviously poured her heart and soul into this tome.

However, I feel the author spent a little too much time on therapy, and not enough time on how she “achieved” her low weight, and what she went through to get there. One minute she is bullied and reacts by self-starving and cutting, then her hip bones are prominent and she is in the hospital. Something is missing. A lot is missing. Yet, to some degree, I can understand her focus on the hospital, so that she could establish the reasons for her healthy relationship with Fililp.

Overall, I’m awarding this book four stars because the author actually managed to draw me into a high school story, and because as a very talented and promising young author, I want to encourage her. Much of this book is too wordy and overly descriptive, and could be made much more pithy. But that’s OK. This budding young author is feeling her oats, and I’m sure her writing will mature with time. This is a solid first effort for someone so young.

The book ultimately ends on a note of hope. The closing ties in nicely with the title, and is ripe with the possibility of new beginnings.

Lindsay Fisher

I picked up this book hoping to learn more about my mental illness and the experience that the author went through. I am very glad that I decided to purchase it as it was insiteful, poetic and brave. I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a great story about the struggles of mental illness and the strength it takes to care of oneself.

Melanie Radoja

A good read and a sensitive insight into the problems that teenagers face. Well written, sustaining the interest of the reader until the end.

Veronique De Roeck

I had an opportunity to meet Hanne Arts and was very curious to read her debut.
As an avid reader of both youth and adult books I was pleasantly surprised by this debut. This young writer has talent. Talent to observe carefully, to empathize with the suffering of young people, to unravel the dynamics between adolescents.
In this novel, the interactions between young people aren’t always cheerful and sometimes unbearable hard. It affects me that besides an astute description of grief by the harassed Christina, this young author also succeeds in writing with a certain degree of compassion for the bullies.
Although the main character is trying to cope with a lot of difficult experiences such as: betrayal , bullying, eating problems, a drunken father, etc, this didn’t result in a sad reading. On the contrary, it gives illustrations of how resilience and support can look like in real life and offers hope for those who are dealing with emotional pain.
To sum up, an enthralling read, written with tenderness for growing ups and recommended for all those who want to understand how it is to be – temporarily – affected by mental health sufferings.

Lut Van Mossevelde

This book was captivating. Intriguing. Both touching in its plot as well as beautiful through its artistic and unique language usage. As soon as I picked up Just Perfect, I did not want to leave my chair until I had flipped the final page. I wanted to finish it in one sitting, and it read so naturally and smoothly that I almost succeeded. I wanted – needed – to know what would happen next to the protagonist, Christina, who was depicted with such authentic detail she came alive in my head. I cared for her as though I knew her personally, and her story was so poignant and inspiring that her story became ours.

Hanne Arts has the unique gift of allowing the reader to share her journey and join her along every step of the way. She has the gift of letting others feel her pain.

Just Perfect is no longer just a story, but a piece of her journey, of her personality. It wasn’t infrequently that the novel had me shaking my head in confusion. How cruel people can be sometimes, and what horrible things they are capable of doing.

Just Perfect was a book that truly resonated with me, as it was written with such a blunt honesty that left no stone unturned. Bravely depicting a chain of unfathomable events, the novel cast shocking insights into the everyday lives of those suffering from a depression or eating disorder. Therefore, I believe it is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the consequences of childhood trauma, the struggle of living with a mental illness, and the fight one must have with oneself in order to overcome one’s inner demons.

Bullying can scar a person in so many ways, and the ensuing consequences can be further-reaching than one can wrap his head around. Just Perfect depicts this struggle, sharing the important message that the scars that remain are real, and life-changing. And that nobody is ever alone in his or her fight to get back on track.


I liked it. this girl has such a great talent for writing. I can't wait until her next book will appear.


I read the book in just 1 week while sitting on the train. You have to know that for me it's my personal reccord to finish a book. Normally I only read studybooks from highschool, but this book was so good and inspiring that every time I arrived at the station I was really disapointed because I wanted to continue reading to know how Chrisitinas life and fight will evolve!

The book tells a story of a very delicate subject on a touching and at the same time accessible way.
The characters are described in so much detail that you can empathize with any of them and really can feel the emotions, thoughts,...they have and struggle with. While reading you are searching unconcious for solutions for and with the characters.

As I struggle myself with an eating disorder, it was a very recognizable and painful story of different issues of my life. It inspired me to keep fighting and don't lose hope for recovery.

I really think the book can not only touch and inspire people with an eating disorder, but also the families, friends and people who are close to the person with struggles on her/his life.

I hope there will be a new book soon so I can read again very interesting stories on the train from a PERFECT writer, Hanne Arts! You're amazing! Thanks for everything!!



Only just started so cannot say much however book great condition and i have heard this book helps a lot of people, Hanne Art is very talented,