Guest Student Writer Paige J. Albert Recommends Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz
Finding Perfect is an emotional story arraying a twelve-year-old girl’s heartbreak at her parent’s separation alongside her struggling attempt to tame her unhealthy requirement of obsessive perfection. Molly Nathans isn’t just a hardcore perfectionist, for her, the need for perfection is absolutely quintessential. After her parent’s sudden separation resulting in Molly’s mother leaving in pursuit of her juice business in Toronto, Molly’s organizing fixation doubles. And now it is not only a strange mania but an actual neurosis. Molly thrives to perfect everything into the late hours of the night, fails to complete tests if her writing isn’t ruler straight and ceaselessly counts by four in order to obtain her idea of perfection. And topping her crazy tower of rituals is the nonsensical belief that if she stops, her little brother, Ian, will get hurt.
When Molly enters a slam poetry competition, she’s convinced that her winning will bring her mother home again. But as she progresses into the competition and her perfection compulsion worsens, Molly’s life is flipped upside down and no matter of measuring, counting or straightening can right it this time.
Finding Perfect was a very interesting novel. It showed the struggle to hide and put on a brave face that everybody just assumes is your normal. Molly’s story has the prospective to urge kids in similar conditions to seek help along with the potential to enhance awareness of mental health disorders such as OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and Tourette’s Syndrome which are often overlooked as minor complications in our society.
I suggest this story to lovers of books such as Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything and Melanie Conklin’s Counting Thyme. Each of these books describes the medical struggles of unique, characteristic girls that are striving to both save something and escape from a difficult situation in their lives. Finding Perfect will make you remember Molly longer than you ever expected.
Paige is a 13-year-old student at George Street Middle School in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Outside of school, Paige is involved in Highland dance and enjoys creative writing, drawing and spending time on her scooter. Paige is passionate about literature and is more than pleased to share her personal opinions on various novels so that other children like her can share in the joy of reading a good book.