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Monday, 27 April 2015

Book Review: Better than Perfect by Simone Elkeles

About the book:

Ashtyn's life just got complicated. Her boyfriend is being distant and her sister's back at home after ten years - with a stepson in tow!

Derek has a perfect body, THE sexiest smile and a car - Ashtyn's only way to escape from her crazy life. But Derek likes to play by his own rules and is keen to take Ashtyn on a ride she'll never forget. As they spend more and more time alone together, will Derek's flirty games drive Ashtyn wild?

A sweet and steamy romance from New York Times bestselling author Simone Elkeles

About the author

Simone Elkeles is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of novels for teens. Simone’s books have won many awards including being YALSA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, being named to the YALSA Popular Paperbacks and Teens Top Ten lists, and added to the Illinois “Read for a Lifetime” Reading List. Simone also won the coveted RITA award from the Romance Writers of America for her book Perfect Chemistry. Simone is especially proud of the fact that the Illinois Association of Teachers of English named her Author of the Year.

Simone was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, where she still lives today. Simone went to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and received her Bachelor’s of Science there in Psychology in 1992. She continued her education at Loyola University-Chicago where she received her Master’s of Science degree in Industrial Relations while working for a manufacturing company creating diversity programs for their employees.

She loves animals (she has two dogs – a labradoodle and a German Shepherd), kids (she also has two of those) and her family. In her spare time she’s the Hockey Mom for her kids hockey teams and is an active Girl Scout leader specially trained in outdoor education. She also spends time mentoring other teen and adult authors. (She also loves sushi, which you can probably tell by reading her books.) Simone writes about teens because she was a teen in the 80’s (when spiked hair and blue eye shadow were “rad”) and she loves writing about those exciting teen relationships and romances

My Review:

Trust Simone Elkeles to give you a delightful, fast-paced read. Her other series, Perfect Chemistry, was recommended to me by a friend. After reading this I am surely going to read that too. 
If this isn't recommendation enough for the book, consider this: I am going to read the rest of the series too. 
Here is the interesting part, apart from, of course the hormones and the passion: it was not predictable. I have been so put off by some books with cliched plots and predictable endings that this one came as a pleasant surprise. I could actually imagine the characters and visualize them as under. 
Ashtyn is a confident seeker, ambition writ large on her face. Derek is well Derek. Her father with a deadpan expression through all ups and downs and believe me there are quite a lot of them. Then there's Brandi who looks like she is clueless about everything- past present and future. But just doesn't feel like a bimbo quite yet.
 The story deals with dysfunctional families, and unusual characters with 

surprising roles. 
If you think you know what's coming up, you are in for a major major surprise. Read and see.
The narrative is good. The plot is epic. Football plays a major role. The female protagonist is not your usual damsel in distress. 

If you are a sucker for happy endings just like my friend (the one who recommended it) then you are in for a treat.


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Kritika's bookshelf: read

Angels & Demons
The Story of My Life
The Hunger Games
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
A Tale of Two Cities
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
Sense and Sensibility
A Christmas Carol
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Time Machine
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Da Vinci Code

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