Perfect You -- Elizabeth Scott

I've been wanting to get to this one for a while, but I've been fighting the urge because my reason for wanting to pick it up was so silly:

I really like her shoes*.

Anyway, I finally broke down yesterday evening, and then I got hooked and zoomed through and finished it this morning. 

Sophomore year is not going well. Kate's best friend came back from her summer in Maine skinny, blonde, suddenly popular and very different. And by 'different', I mean that she doesn't seem to notice that Kate exists. Kate's brother has just graduated college, and rather than, you know, finding a job, he's moved back home and spends the majority of his time channel-surfing. Kate's father saw a Sign (cue up the choir and bright lights), quit his job, cashed in his retirement and rented a booth at the mall, where he hawks Perfect You infomercial vitamins while wearing a carrot hat. Her mother is understandably stressed out.

Then there's Will. He's got a reputation as the king of hook-ups, and Kate can't stand him. Well, she acts like she can't stand him. But, in truth, he kind of makes her knees weak.  And now they're both working at the mall...

This is a fun one. Kate's family is the most seriously dysfunctional one I've run into in quite a while -- and I'm not even counting her Grandma. I liked Kate a lot, even though I wanted to strangle her sometimes. She's very quick-witted in some ways (especially with the comebacks), but when it came to Will, I kept thinking, "YOU SILLY GIRL. HE'S CLEARLY A GOOD EGG!  ONLY A GOOD EGG WOULD BE IN A SCENE LIKE THIS!":

"Check it out. I got a new name tag today." He unclipped it and held it toward me.

I looked at it. "A. GUY."

He grinned. "Someone actually asked me what the A stood for," he said, his hand brushing mine as he took the tag back, sliding it into his pocket. "I said Larry."

While I did get frustrated with her, I could understand her motivations -- no one wants to get hurt.

My only real problem with the book was the what with the slow build of everything -- family issues, her relationship with Anna, her relationship with Will -- the last few chapters felt rushed and a little too packed with Big Epiphanies (and Advice From Others). But other than that, I really enjoyed it -- so much that I went and pulled Elizabeth Scott's other book off my shelf. I'm planning to start it this morning.

Definitely a good pick for those who're always looking for more of the modern romantic realistic YA fiction with loads of family issues. (That's a real genre, right?  Of course it is.)

*I even found a large-ish image of the cover so you could seem 'em better.