FUTURE PERFECT is a coming of age YA novel about a young girl struggling with happiness and her body. Like many people, the main character worries more about the happiness of others that she loses sight of her own. Larsen unravels the reality that many young men and women go through when struggling with weight, peeling away the superficial layers and revealing the raw vulnerability they so desperately try to hide.
Larsen creates real characters with real emotions. The only character that might be worth further developing is the grandma. While her heart is in the right place, her consistent bribes take center stage. The story would have had more of an emotional impact if Larsen expanded on the relationship between the main character and the grandma. The development would have helped me better understand that despite the grandma bribing her to lose weight, the main character never hates or dislikes her grandma. Despite the underdeveloped relationship, it is still an enjoyable read. I just wish I were able to shed a few tears.
Dive into the book:
Every year on her birthday since she was thirteen, Ashley’s grandma hands her a letter. The letter always includes something Ashley needs, like a reliable car, in exchange for what her grandmother wants, like Ashley losing 80 pounds. And every year, Ashley refuses the offer in the letter. However, when her grandmother offers to pay four years tuition to Harvard in exchange for undergoing gastric bypass surgery, Ashley has a difficult time turning down the offer. Ashley has always dreamed about going to Harvard, since that is her one connection to the mother she never knew.
Pairs well with:
Goofing off with your siblings during a family vacation. Yes, despite the fact that I am a 20-something year old who lives across the country from her family, I still go on our (almost) yearly vacations.