Author: Stephanie Elliot
For sixteen-year-old Pea, eating has always been difficult. Some people might call her a picky eater, but she knows it’s more than that, and it’s getting worse. And now there’s a monster raging inside of her, one that controls more than just her eating disorder. The monster is growing, and causing anxiety, depression, and dangerous thoughts.When Pea meets Ben and they fall crazy-mad in love, she tries to keep the monster hidden. But the monster wants out, and as much as she tries, she can’t pretend that the bad in her doesn’t exist. Unable to control herself, a chain of events thrusts Pea into a situation she’d never imagine she’d find herself in.With the help of Ben, her family, and her best friend, Pea must find the inner strength to understand that her eating disorder doesn’t have to control her. ~Goodreads
Sad Perfect took me by totally surprise. The characters were complexly written and the plot was emotional and full of depth, I enjoyed reading this one.
What I liked about Sad Perfect is that not only did it entertain me, it taught me something as well. Never before had I heard of AFRID, so I’m really grateful to have read this story. Something as simple as eating, and food in general, is taken for grated sometimes. Food is everywhere, at birthday parties, work meetings, school, dates—it’s such a social aspect. Well, try being Pea— where you don’t even like food, you don’t crave it and it flat out scares you sometimes. That in and of itself can lead to some pretty nerve-wracking social situations when most of them revolve around food.
I liked Pea a lot, she was honest and completely real. Her thoughts were downright scary at times but this story, Pea’s story, is an important one. Pea feels as though she’s alone and that she’s not normal and she struggles a lot. So when she finds something good in her life, for example, a cute boy—she clings to him.
Pea and Ben’s relationship is intense. I liked the way in which Stephanie captured their moments together. Their puppy love is sweet, gentle, understanding, they have mutual respect for one another. Now, that’s not to say that neither of them make mistakes, because let’s be real, they are both still super young and mistakes are made but overall their relationship was realistic and quite adorable.
I loved how Pea’s parents were involved in her story. Although she may have not have felt as though they were, their presence was strong and important—especially her mom’s. I’d honestly love to read this story told from Pea’s mom’s point of view. (The things we put our parents through—they deserve medals!)
Another aspect of Sad Perfect that I appreciated was the fact it pointed out coping mechanisms, both positive and negative ones at that. Pea’s mom drinks, her dad busies himself with sports and Pea turns to self-harm. This book is a book about hope and change. Ultimately Peas WANTS to get better. Some people don’t realize this until it’s too late. Pea learns to overcome her demons.
Overall Sad Perfect was a powerful debut and I can’t wait to read more by Stephanie.