Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review: Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor

Better Than Perfect
by Melissa Kantor
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Publication Date: February 17th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062279231
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss / From Publisher

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Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn't all it’s cracked up to be?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.
I’ve been pretty curious for a while now to read Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor, as I really loved Maybe One Day so very much, and I was pretty eager to see how new release was going to compare. While I didn’t love Better Than Perfect as much as Maybe One Day, I still found it to be an interesting read.

The main character in the story is Juliet. Juliet has her life already planned out: ace her SAT’s and get into Harvard, spend the rest of her life with the boy she’s been with for years, and have the perfect life, just like her parents. But life is not always perfect, which is proved to Juliet when her dad moves out, her mom falls apart, and her careful planned life starts to crumble. 

While I could relate with Juliet for some of the things she went through during the story, I couldn’t exactly connect with the character herself, and I can’t exactly put my finger on why that is. The girl had way too much going on in her life, and it left her completely oblivious to certain things that were happening around her. She learns the hard way that her life is not exactly how she’d always seen it. At times it felt like Juliet overdramatized situations that shouldn’t have been so dramatic, and then hardly reacted to things that should have been pretty dramatic.  Also, some of the choices she made throughout the book disappointed me in some ways.  However, I do empathize with her for all that she went through in the book, and I admire her for the decisions she made in the end as well.

I think a lot of readers will definitely be able to relate with the storyline for the book, especially teen readers. We’ve all been there at one point or another, and it’s nice to know there’s someone else out there going through something that you may be going through as well.

Overall; while Better Than Perfect didn’t top Maybe One Day for me, it was still an interesting read. I’m looking forward to reading more by Melissa Kantor in the future!

Better Than Perfect on Instagram:

http://instagram.com/p/zLFbFtjMSN http://instagram.com/p/ypmyAnDMS9/


  1. I wasn't the biggest fan of this book either. I was sort of disappointed by Juliet's decisions as well and had a hard time connecting with her. I did feel for her though and her situation with her mom. It sounds like I should check out Kantor's Maybe One Day. Great review, Christy!

  2. i agree with you.. i wasn't the biggest fan and just couldn't connect with the main protagonist. I understood her revelations but didn't understand the decisions she made based on them.

    great review!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf


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