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 in the news and described as the celebrity of the year, at only the age of 16 years !!
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. From dimpling at her fans, shrinking in the paparazzi to hearing out a lecture from her grandmother about carrying the family name, the young Valentine carries it all with panache!
However on the day of her second-year anniversary, she is serenaded in front 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. To say the least, this party puts 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 gets 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 has been already filled by Scarlett. As if her day couldn’t get any worse, photos are released of the after part of her anniversary, and this news is enough to break herapart.
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 broken family has been anything but boring. I have loved diving headfirst into it and trying to solve Faith’s 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 sequel.
When I started looking into the background of this book, I was delighted to find another book in the Valentine series which left me absolutely ecstatic. Another element about this book that really appealed to me is its humour quotient . Admittedly, when I first reading te book I found funny situations thrown in at the start of almost every chapter and felt that they really helped elevate the overall mood of the redears. But again, they link back to the ending; which I’m trying my hardest not to reveal. The small puns and jokes add a perfect touch to make one laugh, even at the hardest times in the book. I would like to give brownie points to Holly Smale for this !!
Another aspect of this book that I really seemed to enjoy reading were the constant articles and messages that the main protagonist Faith keeps receiving.At first these messages appear to be pretty odd and out of place in the book, but as you continue to progress through the story , you get understand the crucial role they serve. They are possibly the funniest things 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 highlight about this book though is the way in which the write has made the character develop and evolve as the story progresses. That eventually happens to be,the main moral of this book-highlighting the fact that you areafter all just a human being at the end of the day, and that you don’t always have to be perfect in every way!! You are expected to make mistakes at the cost of making your own choices.
Throughout the book, Faith is slowly unraveling herself and seeing who she is behind the fame and image that her grandmother has created for her. Discovering 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 upfor herself and realizes she finally has a voice!
I would highly recommend thisbook to all readers ,aged between 11 and 17. This book can be categorised tobelong to the following genres: Romance, Children’s, young adult, drama and contemporary.
In conclusion, I would give Far From Perfect by Holly Smale a five out of five star rating for being an all inspiring and a suspenseful book at the same time !
About the Author
Holly Smale is an author of the award-winning series Geek Girl. Holly realized her love for writing when she found out that books don’t grow on trees when she was five years of age!
She has a strong passion for traveling, 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.
I would like to include a special note of thanks for my dear 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 from her!