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Perfect Reviewed by The Wishing Shelf

The Wishing Shelf rated Perfect 4 stars:

'A cleverly plotted, character-led, dystopian saga.' A 'Wishing Shelf' Book Review

I settled down with this dystopian novel, Perfect, for three evenings this week. I'm a big fan of this genre, my bookshelf packed with novels such as The Darkest Winter by Lindsey Pogue and novel turned Brad Pitt film, World War Z. I'd better begin by summarising the plot. Basically, it's the story of two characters, Carmen who's sort of genetically engineered and perfect, and April, who's not perfect at all and is used (horrifically I might add) by the government for military experiments attempting to develop the perfect fighter.

Now, this book is divided up into four parts: The Industry, The Revolution, The Regressives, and The Compliant. In the first part, the protagonists attempt to destroy a government prison called The Industry. It's dark, gritty, with a terrible ending for poor April. In the second part, Carmen turns her anger on the wicked government. This is the best part of the story, particularly with the return of a character I thought had been killed at the end of the first part. Excellent twist! I don't want to give away the rest of the book, but the battle is very much on to stop Dr Tragg – who is referenced by April in the first part – and who has sinister plans for controlling everybody!

A few things struck me reading this long novel. Firstly, I liked how April, not being perfect, ended up with the biggest skill set of the two characters. Not that she particularly wanted the skills, but there you go. Yes, she's messed up and, yes, she ends up impersonating Peeta trying to kill Katniss in part two, but she's still cool; or, as my kids say, sick! Secondly, although it's dark, there is a sprinkling of humour there. I did particularly laugh at the end of Part 1, Chapter 8; very amusing. Thirdly, the author's a good planner. For example, in Part 1, April tells Carmen she's not a killer which is important much later in the book. And finally, and this is the important bit, although it is a long book, I didn't mind. I totally enjoyed it, not only the plot, but the way the author developed her protagonists.

So, yes, I'd totally recommend this story to anybody who enjoys a cleverly plotted adventure and who isn't going to get upset by lots of gory bits and characters who enjoy saying the F word. There are 133 of them! Although it has a THG feel to it, this is no young adult novel; it's dark, depressing, gory – and that's why I liked it so much.

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