Expected publication: October 6th 2015 by HarperTeen
YA >Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
BLURB FROM GOODREADS:
Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness.
Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is.
But Ashley wasn’t counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University—in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery.
As Ashley grapples with the choice that little white card has given her, she feels pressured by her friends, her family, even administrators at school. But what’s a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone but her?
Through her indecisions and doubts, Ashley’s story is a liberating one—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.
“I am the sum of my parts. Everything I’ve ever done and everything I’ve ever achieved and everything I have ever been. Fat and smart and afraid and fierce and angry and brave all together right here, and every piece of the puzzle fits the way it’s supposed to and I can’t pretend anymore. It’s always been true, no matter what I’ve told myself or hoped or tried to believe.”
That was a surprise. Future Perfect is such an empowering read! First of all, I wanna banish the thought that books that are about fat protagonists is meant for people who are experiencing the same thing only. NO! I actually think that books like this are meant for everyone! Every gender, age group or whether you’re experiencing the same thing or not. Everyone will finish this book with a powerful message received. And that is simply being happy and finding acceptance. That may seem very simple but Jen Larsen written it all in the most beautiful way.
Ashley is very refreshing. Its great to be inside the head of a fat protagonist that is not unhappy or not feeling bad about the way she look. Ashley is smart, driven and most of all, she’s real. She’s like an eye opener to everyone who thinks that all fat people are miserable or sad about their life. Ashley tends to ramble though which is my least favorite thing because it makes the book slower for me to read. But other than that, Ashley is nothing but inspiring. She’s admirable in every way and her character growth is just superb!
Other characters are completely well done as well and their subplots played a huge role in the story. Her grandmother which seems mean and the villain of the story is one of my favorite character. She’s just so complex. I am really impressed by Jen Larsen’s characterization and her writing. The story was set in a pace where you feel like you’re jut there… with Ashley. You will sympathize, you will feel and you will also learn.
Romance wasn’t a huge part of the story but it was still there. I can’t really say anything anymore except that it was not cliche and that it was just all…real.
Overall, I highly recommend Future Perfect. It doesn’t matter what kind of reader you are or that you feel like you’ve already read books like this before, YOU NEED THIS BOOK in your life.
Jen Larsen is the author of Future Perfect and Stranger Here: How Weight Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed With My Head. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco and currently lives in Madison, WI. Find her at jenlarsen.net.
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