Review: Goodbye Perfect

Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with the boyfriend Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their final exams. Especially when the police arrive on her doorstep and Eden finds out that Bonnie’s boyfriend is actually their music teacher, Mr. Cohn.

Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents, and her own growing doubts.

As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend, and herself. In this touching and insightful novel, bestselling author Sara Barnard explores just what can happen when the pressure one faces to be “perfect” leads to drastic fallout.

Eden thinks she knows her best friend Bonnie inside and out. After all, she’s the most reliable and predictable person Eden knows… until Bonnie runs away with her boyfriend. The only thing Eden knows about the boyfriend is that his name is Jack, but then it’s revealed to her that he’s actually their music teacher. Now Eden finds herself torn between telling everyone where Bonnie’s heading or keeping her best friend’s secret. 

The story is told from Eden’s point of view only, so we have no idea where Bonnie is or even if her “running away” was something she agreed to or not. We only get bits of Bonnie’s well-being through her text messages with Eden, which attempt to assure Eden that everything is fine and to continue keeping the secret that she’s not in touch with Bonnie. At first Eden is all for keeping Bonnie’s secret because she’s sure that her best friend won’t miss their exams. However, as the days go by, it doesn’t seem like Bonnie is coming back and Eden isn’t sure how much longer she should keep the secret.

What I like about this being told from Eden’s perspective is that you have no idea what is really happening with Bonnie. All the readers know is what Bonnie tells Eden, but many of those texts can be interpreted another way. We also see how much Eden cares for her best friend because she’s so torn about wanting to tell her parents and the police what direction Bonnie is heading, but also wants to be a loyal best friend and not say anything. We also see that Eden herself isn’t perfect, which is another reason why she wants to be loyal to Bonnie, because Bonnie was the only one to befriend her and stay. 

The only character I didn’t like in this book was Bonnie’s mother. She was so judgmental of Eden because of her past that she kept verballing attacking Eden. It also seemed like she didn’t care for her daughter as much as she cared for the image her daughter projected – a perfect daughter. And perfect daughters don’t run away with their teachers.

I felt like the book’s ending could have been better, though I did like how it showed where Eden and Bonnie’s friendship stood after everything. It just felt like something was missing or maybe it all came to a close a lot quicker than it should’ve… or it just could’ve ended differently. 

Either way, I recommend this book because it was a great read about friendship and family.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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