REVIEW: Goodbye, Perfect - Sara Barnard

Goodbye, Perfect - Sara Barnard
Published by Pan Macmillan on 8th February 2018.
My rating: 5/5
Book depository purchase link.

I was so excited to read Goodbye, Perfect. Mostly because it's by one of my favourite YA authors, Sara Barnard, who is fantastic at touching on really important topics and making them completely compelling at stories. 

Just like Barnard's other books Beautiful Broken Things and A Quiet Kind Of Thunder, Goodbye, Perfect is rooted in friendship. Eden and Bonnie are our two leading characters and they're best friends. Where Eden is relaxed about her studies, Bonnie is dedicated. Where Bonnie struggles to relax, Eden brings the fun. That's why Eden doesn't see it coming when Bonnie runs away. With her boyfriend. The music teacher. 

Eden quickly buries herself in a web of lies to support Bonnie but begins to wonder how she could have missed such a big part of Bonnie's life. The story quickly becomes addictive as Eden is one of those characters that could walk off the page and into your life. The plot may be intense, but her teenage perspective gives the book a level of humour and adds some much-needed lightness.

The way that Bonnie is both a victim to her relationship with Mr Cohn yet also sometimes so manipulative over Eden makes her one of the most interesting characters I've read about in a long time. However, now that I've talked about most of the key characters, can we have a moment of appreciation for how nice Eden's boyfriend Connor was? I would've loved a boyfriend like that at 15. When Eden's pushing for an argument, he always manages to say something that makes her smile. His skinny, non-masculine, body and his care-giving for his family made him a genuine guy and we need more Connors in YA! It made me realise how many YA novels focus on handsome, 'perfect' guys who date flawed female protagonists. I put 'perfect' in '' because actually I think Connor is a lot closer to perfect than the rest of them.*

*Must remind myself that he is a) way too young for me and b) fictional*

Goodbye, Perfect calls into question friendship, love, responsibility, morality and so much more. For all those people who might trivialise YA fiction, this book stands up and screams: "WE MATTER!"

I hope I've convinced you to pick this book up or, if you've already read it, that you should leave a comment with your thoughts. I'm just going to say it - Goodbye, Perfect is Barnard's best book yet.

Love, Jess

Thank you Pan Macmillan for my copy.


  1. I started it this morning and am around 100 pages in. Really enjoying it and think Sara Barnard is definitely going to become a must-buy author for me. 3/3 with her books.

  2. I'm so glad! She's fantastic


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