Saturday, April 08, 2017

Pushing Perfect, by Michelle Falkoff

All of her life, Kara has felt the pressure to be perfect.  When she has felt that her position was threatened she has had to take drastic measures (quitting her beloved swimming practices, shutting out friends, etc.),  So, when it seems she is about to fail the SATs, cutting off her hopes of getting into a decent school, she makes a terrible mistake.  And when an anonymous informant threatens to expose her secret, she is blackmailed into participating in a local drug smuggling operation.  To her surprise, she finds that many of her friends are similarly ensnared.

A fairly breezy read that explores pressures of conformity and that old chestnut about finding the strength to admit your flaws to others.  Not a terribly deep work and the casual treatment of the themes suggests a book that will appeal to younger readers (as an up-to-date Nancy Drew-style mystery).  The ending is rushed and anti-climactic but there’s nice character development along the way and the kids are enjoyable.

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