Thursday, August 7, 2014

Present Perfect by Alison Bailey

Present Perfect

by Alison Bailey

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Published by: Amazon Digital Services - August 2, 2013
Genres: Romance, NA, YA
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 3.75/4 Stars

"I’ve been unsure about many things in my life except for one thing, that I have always loved him. Every single minute of every single day that I have been on this earth, my heart has belonged to him. It has never been a question, never a doubt. The love had taken on many different forms over the years, but it had always been a constant.

Everyone has their definition of love. There have been countless songs sung about it. A gazillion books, articles, and poems written about it. There are experts on love who will tell you how to get it, keep it, and get over it.

We’re led to believe love is complicated. It’s not the love that’s complicated. It’s all the crap that we attach to it and put in front of it that makes it difficult. If you’re smart, you’ll realize this before it’s too late and simplify."

Noah and Amanda. Amanda and Noah. It's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins, and I didn't want to know the difference. To me, they just "were".

Amanda and Noah were born on the same day, 1 minute apart, and spent their entire childhood together. Best friends to the end and only had eyes for each other, even before they started noticing the other in a romantic way. Each beginning chapter shows instances, from Amanda's POV, in which Noah did sweet and caring things for Amanda. The author truly let us into Noah's heart and soul and we saw right away that Amanda was the only person who ever really mattered to him. Amanda didn't see it that way.

The book gets it's title "Perfect" from remarks said about Amanda's older sister, Emily. Emily is smarter, prettier, better at sports, etc, than Amanda and she feels inferior to her sister. This inferiority complex follows Amanda the entire book and highly disrupts her relationship with Noah on more than one occasion. I will admit that it seemed to me that Amanda takes the "perfect" aura of her sister a little too seriously for what the book actually explains. There are literally only a couple of sentences about how Emily is perfect, but Amanda's character seems to over blow that, sometimes tediously. I could have done with a little less of that and a little more of some other plot beat.

Ultimately, things change in high school when Amanda refuses to take their relationship to the next level. She's terrified of losing Noah as a best friend and is worried about what will happen if they date then end things. This happened to her sister Emily (again, the Emily comparison), and she vows it will not happen to her and Noah. This clearly frustrates Noah to no end (and the reader as well) as this happens over and over again. Noah eventually moves on with other people and Amanda does the same, all the while each is wishing they were truly with the other.

Despite their lack of being together, their are so many tender, cherished moments between the two, where the reader gets to see and feel the true love flowing through them. At times I wanted to cry and did get teary-eyed. Sometimes they were sad tears, but mostly they were tears of joy from feeling the deep love that never wavered between them.

As with a lot of books, tragedy brings them back together, although they don't get together right away like one would think. Their best friendship does eventually take a turn for the better when an unlikely new friend shows up in Amanda's life, telling her that life is too short to keep Noah at bay.

I won't give away the details, or the ending, because you'll have to read it yourself to find out!

My only fault with the story is that it was a tad over-dramatic at times, although since most of that took place in their high school years, I was willing to forgive it. High school is over-dramatic.

There's a cross-over book called Past Imperfect that I want to read. I usually find 2nd books disappointing but I'm willing to read this to see how a prominent character in this book ends up in the next book.

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