Pushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff
A Book Review by Arthi Sivendra, West Orange Public Library Teen Book Reviewer
Kara Snow has always been known for being perfect in every aspect of her life. From being at the top of her class and having a seemingly picturesque family, no one could imagine Kara as anything other that perfect. Unfortunately, Kara is not as perfect as she seems. Inside, she is crumbling under all of the pressure, whether it comes in the form of her social life or academic woes. Having gotten used to throwing up as many walls as possible to avoid people finding out the truth, Kara is terrified at the prospect of anyone seeing that she is anything but perfect.
The problem with everyone thinking you’re perfect is that it becomes so much harder to keep up the act. Soon, Kara gives in to her overwhelming anxiety and does the unthinkable: she breaks the law. Her out-of-character actions land her in a completely new and exciting world with unlikely friends. However, Kara finds out this new world comes at a price. Kara is surprised to find herself being blackmailed by an anonymous person who somehow knows all of her secrets. Scared and confused, Kara and her new friends grow closer as they work together to uncover an intricate drug-plot lying under the surface of their pristine city streets all while trying to keep their own wrongdoings under wraps.
The high-stakes atmosphere of the novel will keep the readers intrigued as to what happens next and the mysterious blackmailer will leave them wondering who they can trust. The pacing is fast enough to be interesting, especially when the main conflict of the story arises. In addition to the text’s action-driven plot, fellow teens will be able to identify with Kara’s insecurities and stress associated with being a high school student. Kara learns to deal with these relatable feelings through the strong bonds she creates with her friends, which is an important lesson for any young reader. Pushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff takes its reader on a fun adventure as Kara learns that maybe being perfect is not all it is cracked up to be.
This book is recommended for any teen who enjoys realistic fiction with some added suspense and adventure.