Book Review - Far From Perfect by Holly Smale
What will happen to the family when she finally snaps in public. Will the Valentines be shattered again?
Far from Perfect by Holly Smale is about faith valentine, a teen who has to carry the burden of the Valentine name on her shoulders, single-handedly! Be yourself but, you know, someone else . . . Enthusiastic but not desperate; calm but not dull; funny but not try-hard; sparky but not crazy; feisty but not aggressive; beautiful but relatable; elegant but not icy; confident but not arrogant; feminine but not girly; nice but not boring. Faith Valentine has it all – fame, money and extraordinary beauty. But what she wants more than anything is a quiet life away from the cameras. Except nobody ever asks Faith what she wants, and her family’s expectations are crushing her. The world thinks she’s perfect but is there is more to perfection than meets the eye?
Faith Valentine has it all, the fame, money, good siblings, a healthy relationship and tutoring from her famous grandmother in acting; what else could she want? Faith is constantly on the news and described as the celebrity of the year, at only the age of 16 years old.
She wakes up in the morning with her daily good morning text sent to her boyfriend, and her ballet/ jogging routine. Other than a crazy fan encounter on her jog, her day runs smoothly. With dimpling at her fans, shrinking in the paparazzi, while Noah, her boyfriend, absorbs it all up and a lecture from her grandmother about carrying the family name.
But on the day of her second-year anniversary, she is serenaded in from of 90,000 fans and her body freezes all over; despite being at the centre of all celebrity gossip, she hates crowds and feels like she is being prized open. In the least, this party put her mind off her terrible audition for “fright fortnight” where she could practically feel the awkwardness of the lines she was spouting.
However, a bombshell is dropped on her the next day; she was invited for a second audition and spends her time rehearsing her lines until their engraved in her mind. When she shows up in the auditions, Faith finds out the lead role she auditioned for is already filled by Scarlett. As if her day couldn’t get any worst, photos are released of the after part of her anniversary, and it breaks her.
Faith is heartbroken and on the edge of all her bottled up emotions… what will happen to the family when she finally snaps in public. Will the Valentines be shattered again?
Holly Smale is the master of writing drama, that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Not only have I found it hard to keep this book down, but it has become dangerously addictive. Diving into Faith’s world of lying perfection, shattered hopes and a Brocken family has been anything but boring. I have loved diving headfirst into it and trying to solve Faiths next steps. I was surprised, to say the least when I read the ending, Holly guides the reader through millions of options to end the book and when it does come to the final chapter, she drops a bombshell that has you begging for a prequel.
When I was looking at the background of this book, I was delighted to find another book in the Valentines series and I was ecstatic. A few small things I liked in the book were the jokes. Admittedly, when I first read them at the start of almost every chapter and presumed they added a bit of random comedy to the book. But again, they link back to the ending; which I’m trying my hardest not to reveal. The small jokes are such a perfect touch and made laugh, even at the hardest times in the book.
Another enjoyable feature about the book was the constant articles and messages she was receiving, they looked out of place in the book, but when you read the whole story you understand the crucial role they serve. They are possibly the funniest thing in the book and give it a personalized touch.
As well as the articles and text messages she receives, when you read through the book you feel like you’re living as Faith; going through all her emotions, challenges and surprises at the same time as her. I always find this kind of writing special because it’s one of the aspects that makes the book a million times better than the movies; you can see exactly what the characters thoughts are and how they feel at a specific event in the book.
“Be yourself but, you know, someone else”
The most important thought I have about this book is the character development. That is the main moral of the book. How you are just a human being at the end of the day, and you don’t always have to be perfect in every way. You are expected to make mistakes and your own choices. Throughout the book, Faith is slowly unravelling herself and seeing who she is behind the fame and image her grandmother created for her. Who Faith Valentine really is. I find this not only a lesson for all teenagers but an act of female empowerment; the way Faith stands up and realizes she finally has a voice!
In Conclusion, I give Far from perfect by Holly Smale a five out of five for being inspiring and a suspenseful book all the same!
About the Author
Holly Smale is the author of award-winning series Geek Girl. Holly realized her love for writing when she found out that books don’t grow on trees; at five years old. She has a strong passion for travelling, which has led her all over the world; visiting 27 countries. Spending two years working as an English teacher in Japan, volunteering in Nepal, and had a number of earplugs stolen from Australia, Indonesia and India! Holly Smale is currently living in London.
A Special Thanks to my friend Elleanore, for recommending this amazing book to me, and giving me a copy too! I have enjoyed reading it and can’t wait for more brilliant recommendations!