Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Almost Perfect

Katcher, Brian. Almost Perfect. New York: Delacorte Press - Random House Children's Books, 2009. Print.
[Book cover credit:]

ALA Best Books for Young Adults (2010)
ALA Quick Picks for Young Adult Readers (2010)ALA Rainbow List (Fiction, 2010)
ALA Stonewall Book Award (Children's and Young Adult Literature, 2010)

     She turned to me. "Hi," she said. "I'm Sage Hendricks."
     Sage had a deep but sexy, feminine voice, the kind you hear on ads for 900 numbers. I waited for her to say something else.
     "Dude," whispered Tim, jabbing me with a chocolaty finger. "Your line."
As soon as she walked through the classroom door, Logan became enamored with Sage. But love is seldom without complications, and Sage's hard-to-get act is hiding a doozy of one.

Almost Perfect, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thine characters in their complexity and their completeness,
From their talk of motorboating to their genuine concern for each other
They make me think of actual teenagers rather than teen-aged "types."
I love Tammi's fierce love for her sister, masquerading as aloofness:
Most quiet need to protect and hope at the same time.
I love Logan's mother, who has done her best in trying circumstances.
I love Logan's cool and supportive older sister (who tries to help him get laid).
Logan, I love thee. Insecurities and bravery and insecurities again
In situations never expected, and with grace unmatched by peers.
I love every characters' flaws; none is the pinnacle of righteousness or political correctness.
Sage, the object of Logan's affection and mine, shines as brightly as her braces.
She lives in the belief that the world can be better and love worth the risk;
And, if God choose, she is right.*

Seriously guys, this is an amazing book, and Brian Katcher is an amazing author.** That might explain why I've been waiting for my turn to read it from the library since it was announced as the winner of the Stonewall in January. It was more than worth the wait. Everyone has talked about the Big Issue that Almost Perfect addresses, but I have yet to see someone talk about how the issues (more than one, even) are in perfect balance with the flirting and the humor and the sexiness and the teenage-guy-ness of the book as a whole.

I loved it. You probably will too.

Book source: Philly Free Library (but I'm gonna go buy my own asap)

*  To Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I extend my greatest thanks for the inspiration. And my apologies.

** And also a practical genius! The standard has been set, folks, any author's note containing lists of websites that offer support to queer or genderqueer or drug addicted or suicidal or [insert thing you don't want your parents to know about here] kids should also contain detailed instructions for how to clear your cache history.

Links to may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program. If you buy something through this link, I may receive a referral fee.


Brian Katcher said...

I am so linking to this on my blog.

Lawral the Librarian said...

Hey Brian! Thanks for stopping by and for the link!

And, of course, thanks for Logan and Sage.

Laura L. Sullivan said...

Hi Lawral!
I just gave you a Liebster Blog Award! I'm such a fan of Lucy Was Robbed!

Laura L. Sullivan said...

Oops, here's the link!
;-) L

Shanan, The Book Addict said...

I have had this book on my wishlist for so long...I probably should just go buy it. But I promised my family I would read and trade out some of the books I have at home before getting more. :)

New follower--but love the title of your blog and the story behind it. I was annoyed for Lucy too after reading The Chronicles of Narnia!!


Natazzz said...

Nice review, you make me want to check out this book even though I'm not that into YA.

Lawral the Librarian said...

Thanks Laura!

Shanan - I vote that you buy a copy. I always vote that, but I think this book especially should be obtained regardless of book-buying bans. :)

Natazzz - This book does have a fair amount of teen angst, so it's probably not for you if you actively dislike YA. If you're just not a fan, you should definitely give it a try! It's deep and smart and funny, the trifecta of awesomeness.

Eesti said...

Absolutely wonderful book to read. Heart wrenching and heartwarming at the same time. The courage and strength Sage shows throughout the story is inspiring. It's so life-like and so easily relatable that any reader can place themselves in either one of the characters' shoes and live that character's life.