Saturday, October 17, 2015

Review: Future Perfect

Jen Larsen - Future Perfect
Published: October 6, 2015 by HarperTeen
Pages: 320
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository

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.

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* I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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So we have a lot to talk about.

Ashley's grandmother is a piece of work, which affected 99.9% of my review. Though I noticed in a few reviews, she was well-liked and complex, etc. I don't see it. Please bear with me.


Ashley Perkins is striving for Harvard. However, her grandmother believes she'll never get there being fat. So each year, Ashley's grandmother hands her a card on her birthday, an essential bribery, in an effort to get her to go for weight-loss surgery.

I had no problem with Ashley's grandmother, at first. If it were me, I'd be like, "Okay, Gran. Yes, Gran. Of course, Gran." and ignore her old ass.

Though I heavily awaited the moment where Ashley finally told her grandmother to kindly fuck off, it never came. As Ashley's grandmother continuously bullied her, berated her, outright roasted her in front of family and friends, Ashley never defended herself, she'd simply lower her head and nod. Or cry. And the worst part? Her family knew about this and never took action.

On the other hand, Ashley's friends were fantastic. They were so understanding and always around to lend an ear. Whereas, Ashley occasionally defended her grandmother's criticism, they comforted and coddled her and were all-around sweethearts.

There's a teeny pinch of diversity as well. Ashley is half-Colombian. Though besides baking the occasional empanada, it isn't given too much notoriety.

And besides the weight-loss surgery debacle, this book was filled with mostly unnecessary events. Ashley is potentially bulimic. But her brothers laugh at her when they catch her purging and no explanation is given. Nothing interesting actually happened. If Ashley stood up for herself once, I would have plenty more sympathy for this novel. Sadly, it's a pass in my book.
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4 comments:

  1. Oh wow, that sounds tough. I would've been waiting for Ashley to stand up for herself too! It's a shame you didn't enjoy this. Great review! :)

    Lipstick and Mocha

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    1. Yeah, it was a bit of a bummer. I'd been really looking forward to it. Ashley's friends are absolutely lovely, though! Thanks, Carla! :)

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  2. I am with you. It wasn't even the family that was so unbelievable (sadly, this is more common than you may think, and I speak from experience), but like... SOMEONE would have intervened here. Like a damn medical professional. Who would NEVER have even considered doing the surgery on an underage girl who didn't actually WANT IT. Plus, she wasn't even that heavy! There is not any way in hell that a doctor could do this without losing his license like, mid procedure.

    I even get Ashley not standing up for herself, because like, her family is AWFUL, and that is all she has ever known, so it makes sense, psychologically speaking. But none of the rest of it did! I mean, also- the SCHOOL people encouraging this!? Can you imagine how quickly THAT would be a lawsuit. I cannot with this book.

    OH and I think you are spot-on about it turning into an eating disorder for sure. Nice work, Grandma Asshat.

    Also... I don't understand how ANYONE could like the damn Grandma. At all. I want to throw stuff at her. All day. Fabulous review, sorry you felt the same way that I did though!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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  3. I always hate to hate on a book with a pretty cover, too! But it was beyond me why people were calling Ashley's grandmother "complex" while she literally bullied her and INSULTED HER DEAD MOTHER. I seriously can't.

    But you make great points, Shannon! Thanks for sharing. Why didn't a medical professional intervene? OR her father, at least? He just lingered. Everyone seemingly respected what her grandmother was doing, too. It was so crooked. Honestly, I could list problem after problem with this novel.

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