Everyone has their definition of love. There have been countless songs sung about it. A gazillion books, articles, and poems written about it. There are experts on love who will tell you how to get it, keep it, and get over it.
We’re led to believe love is complicated. It’s not the love that’s complicated. It’s all the crap that we attach to it and put in front of it that makes it difficult. If you’re smart, you’ll realize this before it’s too late and simplify.
Amanda Kelly spent her entire life trying to control every aspect of it, while striving for perfection. Her obsession with being perfect, along with her feelings of worthlessness, consumed her. The one thing she thought was perfect in her life was the bond she shared with her best friend, Noah.
Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn't allow herself to have him.
Her life begins to unravel. Events take over and force her to let go of her dreams and desires. She needs to realize that a person cannot control the events in their life, only their reaction to them...but will it be too late for her to save her relationship with her best friend?
Present Perfect is a story of how past events have present consequences and how perfect your present could be if you stopped fighting and just allowed it to happen.
What I loved about this book were the characters. So many people live with insecurities, especially those that stem from living in the shadow of a perfect sibling. Amanda wrapped her entire identity up in her insecurities and her need to create perfection. She was a beautiful, bubbly, and witty young girl with a great personality but she was flawed. She lived inside her head and could not see in herself what others did, but she centered all her angst into feeling unworthy of Noah, her insecurities didn’t bring her down in any part of her life other then with him. Noah was every high school girl’s fantasy. He was good looking with a great body, ambition, and was fiercely loyal to Amanda, the love of his life, and best friend. Noah put up with so much of her shit but he knew that if he kept pushing eventually she would come around. He knew from an early age that she was his soul mate, that she was the only girl for him, and he never lost sight of that, even when life pulled them apart, or Amanda pushed him away. I was happy with the ending after everything that happened, I was worried that this book would leave me devastated but it didn’t.
What I didn’t like about this book was how long it took to get started! I felt like there was so much fluff to it, and that there were unnecessary back-stories. The entire first half of the book is Amanda recalling moments in her childhood where her parents or sister made her feel inadequate, or where Noah came to her rescue. This made me have a great sense of who she was and of her insecurities and her deep relationship with Noah, but I would have preferred to have less of the past and more of the present.
The only reason that I did not rate this a 5 olive is mainly because of the young ages of the characters. This is my personal opinion, and how I felt about it, it didn’t have anything to do with the story or writing. If they had been at least 5 years older, I would have felt more connected, but for someone ten years younger then me…this is a homerun. I also felt that for me, the story didn’t really start until almost three quarters of the way through the book. There was very little that really captured me and kept me wanting to read until that point. As a whole, this was a fantastic story. It was heartfelt, emotional, sad, witty, it was so many things, and so well written. I certainly recommend this book to anyone looking for an emotional tearjerker.
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