Reckless Perfection

Young Adult - General
192 Pages
Reviewed on 05/17/2012
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Laura Carter for Readers' Favorite

"Reckless Perfection" is the story of four very different girls who are all facing the struggles of being teenagers. Juliana the good girl is trying to get over her ex-boyfriend whilst maintaining her high grades so that her parents will be proud. Mercedez is struggling with coming to grips with her comatose mother and pregnant step mother whilst also navigating young love and relationships. Bad girl Angela is trying her hardest to reform, but she is discovering it is hard trying to change whilst dealing with a drug addicted mum and a younger sister who is going the same way. Amanda is a rich snob who was kicked out of her old private school and is now trying public. Used to always getting what she wants, Amanda is going to have to learn that the world doesn’t always work that way. As the girls' lives intertwine, their actions impact on each other’s lives for the better and the worse.

This book perfectly captures the drama and troubles teen girls face daily as well more serious issues such as drug use and abusive relationships. I feel that teenagers will enjoy this book as many of them will be going through similar issues to the characters. The plot and storyline of "Reckless Perfection" is excellent and all the characters are well-developed and as a reader you begin to really feel for them. The only down side to this book is that the ending is very abrupt; at first I didn’t realise it had finished. There is a sequel, however, and I am looking forward to reading it so that I can find out the rest of the girls’ story. Overall I think this is a very good book and is definitely worth a read.

Lisa McCombs

"Reckless Perfection" is a colorful portrayal of ethnic diversity in America’s public school system. High school co-eds Mercedez, Julia, Angela, and Amanda are examples of the hidden life of today’s youth. Physical abuse, relationship angst, gossip, bullying . . . these are the biggest problems described in this raw depiction of urban life and the battle for social placement in society. Friends betray friends and family situations are revealed when these girls dare to date outside of their social status. When bad boy Robbie enters the picture, rumors begin to circulate concerning his mysterious past and his sexual prowess with the girls of Roctown High. Additional problems erupt when Mercedez attacks her pregnant stepmother and endangers the life of her unborn sister. Twins Julio and Julia attempt to sooth the troubled waters of the parents’ marriage. Angela struggles to correct her checkered past and make amends with those she hurt. Amanda just wants to find true love.

Has embraced the cultural atmosphere with this tumultuous account of the private lives of urban teenagers, where adult accountability and guidance is disappointingly low. "Reckless Perfection" is a wonderful example of children raising children, children who are forced to grow up too quickly. The use of Spanish terminology and neighborhood colloquialisms adds the cultural realism that places this story in a genre all its own. I believe this story would be better received on the West Coast where there is a need for diverse young adult literature.

Joy H.

This is a story of four young ladies helping each other through their high school years. Angela, Amanda, Julia and Mercedez face things that all teens in this generation deal with like school, family, faith, drugs and sex, alcohol and friends and you know the rest, you’ve been there. Each girl is different, having come from different backgrounds in life and brings a different attitude and personality into the relationships. The setting is a small town in New Jersey, they were all attending the same small high school. As you read this story, you realize you are reading the story of the lives of high school teens today.

Having not raised a teenage girl, I couldn’t relate as well with this book, but if you have teen girls, this book would be a great asset for you. The author takes you down the road with these young ladies, what they face, their lives with boys and sex, drinking and parties, as well as trying to keep up with their education. As with most teens, these young ladies made many wrong choices and had to learn from the consequences of those mistakes. I appreciate how the author urges parents that a good relationship with their teen is very important. I enjoyed getting to know each of these young ladies during their journey. Through their ups and downs and difficult times, I wanted to be there for them to help them face their problems. Even goat-headed Mercedez captured my heart; I wanted to help her through troubled times. I encourage parents, and especially moms, to grab a copy of this book, read it, and find out what your teenage young lady is going through her life at this time!