Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Perfect by Rachel Joyce

Publisher: Bond Street Books
Pages: 400
Received: Received a copy from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: November 5, 2013
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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the author of the international bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, comes another exquisite and emotionally resonant novel about the search for the truth and unconditional love.

On a foggy spring morning in 1972, twelve-year-old Byron Hemming and his mother are driving to school in the English countryside. On the way, in a life-changing two seconds, an accident occurs. Or does it? Byron is sure it happened, but his mother, sitting right next to him in the car, has no reaction to it. Over the course of the days and weeks that follow, Byron embarks on a journey to discover what really happened--or didn't--that fateful morning when everything changed. It is a journey that will take him--a loveable and cloistered twelve-year-old boy with a loveable and cloistered twelve-year-old boy's perspective on life--into the murkier, more difficult realities of the adult world, where people lie, fathers and mothers fight without words, and even unwilling boys must become men. Byron will have to reconcile the dueling realities of that summer, a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit and the power of compassion.

My Review:

I have heard so many amazing things about Rachel Joyce's writing, and this book seemed like a perfect story to curl up and read with a nice cup of tea. I really loved where this story went, this is a story about a boy whose life completely changes in two seconds. You never really think about how much can change in such a short amount of time, but after reading this story you really see how quickly something could happen.

There are so many different lives affected by this one incident, the novel switches perspective between Byron and a character named Jim, years after. As the story progresses these two narratives begin to come together and you see how they connect. It's interesting to see how after this event, Byron's whole life changes and revolves around finding out the truth of what happened that fateful day. In a way this one event causes Byron to grow up so much faster than he needed to, and really shows what he will do for his mother.

I really enjoyed that though Byron is an awkward kid but his friendship with James is such an intriguing part of the book. I loved the way the talked with one another and how James really helps Byron through so much. The dynamic they have is adorable, and I really loved their scenes together. James is completely opposite of Byron and yet these two fit so well together.

The parents are very damaged and Byron begins to see the reality of the lives of the adults around him, and it gives him a different perspective on life. Byron's mother was the one character who I just wanted more of, it is her relationship with Byron that really pushes this story forward and that really changes as the novel moves on.

Rachel Joyce has a way to her writing that really makes me love her characters, Byron is so special and I want to be the one who takes care of him. How these two seconds change his life is so hard to get through as you see him struggle with so much. The ending is amazing though and really brings this story together. I really wanted a little more to one scene, but I can't really talk about it without giving too much away. Altogether this is a beautiful story with characters that really stick with you in the end. I can't wait to read more from Rachel Joyce!


  1. I want!

    Heard great things about this book, happy to hear your review.

  2. I have a copy of this ready for me, so I'm glad to see a good review of it. I wasn't in love with Joyce's earlier book, but the synopsis for this was much more appealing to me, so I'm hoping that it ends up being a great read.



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