Published by HarperTeen on October 25th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
A girl’s quest for perfection results in dangerous consequences in this layered, suspenseful YA novel by the author of Playlist for the Dead.
How far would you go to be perfect?
Kara has the perfect life. She gets perfect grades. She never messes up. Until now. Because perfection is an illusion, and Kara has been struggling to maintain it for as long as she can remember. With so much pressure to succeed, it’s hard not to do whatever it takes.
But when Kara takes a new underground drug to help her ace the SATs, she doesn’t expect to get a text from a blocked sender, telling her to follow a set of mysterious instructions—or risk her dark secret getting out. Soon she finds herself part of a group of teens with secrets of their own, who are all under the thumb of the same anonymous texter. And if they don’t find a way to stop the blackmailer, their perfect futures will go up in flames.
This dark, emotionally resonant contemporary YA novel is perfect for fans of We Were Liars and The Secret History.
During the summer between eighth and ninth grade, I turned into a monster.
That is the first line in this story and I felt that it was a great line to set things up! I really loved that the main plot of this novel was about blackmail. I think that is such an interesting thing to read about and it was great to see it played out so well. Especially since I didn’t know who was the one blackmailing. I’m really glad that this book didn’t disappoint in the fact that it kept me guessing.
I was a little worried going into this book because I don’t like drugs. I don’t condone drugs. I’ve never done drugs. Drugs is just something I don’t like. Yet, I still liked this book. I think that even though the subject was indeed about drugs, I was still interested in it. Because it wasn’t just about the drug use, but it was about striving to be perfect. And what that can do to your body as well. I do wish that we saw more of that striving to be perfect with more of the mental issues. But all-in-all, I think that it was done pretty well. I do like that the drug of Kara’s choice wasn’t heroin or cocaine or something like that, but instead something kind of like Ritalin (for ADD cases) and maybe with a hint of Xanax (for anxiety). I think I appreciated this book more because it was medicine that was the drug of choice, which can sometimes be even more scary than other drugs. (I’m not really sure if I made any sense with that, but in my head it did. 🙂 )
I definitely enjoyed this book more than I thought I would and I am extremely happy about that. I definitely want to check out Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff and any future work of hers because I think she did a wonderful job with this book! It has a slight Gossip Girl/Pretty Little Liars vibe and would be perfect for fans of those books or TV shows!
About the Author
Michelle Falkoff’s fiction and reviews have been published in ZYZZYVA, DoubleTake and the Harvard Review, among other places. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently serves as Director of Communication and Legal Reasoning at Northwestern University School of Law.
3 Finished Copies of PUSHING PERFECT (US Only)
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