It’s been a while since the last time I read a young-adult novel. I used to be that kind of people who spent her paycheck to buy a huge amount pile of books and then here I am. The fact that I haven’t read for months… well, I felt guilty for all the books I bought but never read lol.

Anyway, yesterday I managed to finish one book. It was Pushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff. Though it was a coincidence (I have nothing to do and I was bored to death), I must admit that it was fun to be around with books again.

The story was kind of simple though.

It was about Kara, who always been the perfect one: perfect daughter, perfect student, perfect friends, and the list goes on and on. But as time goes, Kara realizes that she didn’t perfect. Her anxiety takes over, the price of perfection spirals out of control.

On the blurb, they’re basically told the whole story though: Kara does one tiny bad thing to ease the stress, she got caught, befriended with not-so-perfect new friends, and end up in a horrible mess that could ruin all of their future.

Sounds interesting, huh?

Pretty much. I read it in one sitting and finished it in 6 hours.

The story started with Kara and her two best friends, and how they bonded with each other in a weird way. I say weird, because Kara seems close with one of them, and not with the other. But it doesn’t matter, as the story rolls around, Kara started ignoring them because of one little secret she had: she had a problem with her skin (a zit to be exact) and she didn’t want both of them knows. Which is silly but I can bear with it since I am curious with how the writer shapes the story later on.

Kara then started hanging out with Alex, Raj, and her other new friends. She sat on a different table during lunch, going to the party with Alex, and automatically cutting off her best friends without a single explanation.

But there’s one secret that she holds and never let anyone knows: Kara struggles with panic attacks and keeps passing out during SAT exam. It was her big secret until she lets Alex know about the problem. Alex then introduces her to a new drug, Novalert, that will help to relieve her anxiety. Without further thinking, Kara decided to give it a try and purchases it from Raj, illegally.

Later she receives a text from an anonymous blackmailer with photos of her purchasing the pill and asking for favors in return for their silence. After sharing this text to Alex, she finds out that there’s a whole group of them that are being blackmailed by this anonymous person, referred to as Blocked Sender.

And this is where the story goes to be more interesting. The whole group trying to track down who the person behind the Blocked Sender. Everyone seems suspicious and I love how the story turned out to be a quest for a mysterious blackmailer rather than a simple friendship drama. Such a rollercoaster of emotion, though the ending is a bit turn down for me. I mean, after what Blocked Sender did, I can’t believe they solved it easily like that.

Overall, Pushing Perfect is an enjoyable book to read. I know what it feels like to be perfect all the time and how it feels like when everyone had a high expectation from you. It’s suffocating, it kills you, and somehow, I can understand why Kara did what she did.

I’d give it 3/5 stars 🙂



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