Perfect by Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce is a new-to-me author, but one I’ve been wanting to read for a while. So I was excited to receive the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for her upcoming release, Perfect. Thanks to TLC Book Tours for supplying me with a review copy. This tour began December 16 and finishes up January 28; be sure to check out the complete tour schedule and read the reviews posted on other stops for more perspectives!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a chance to win a copy of Perfect!
(US residents only)

Title: Perfect
Author: Rachel Joyce
Publisher: Random House
Expected Release: January 14, 2014
Source: publisher (TLC Book Tours)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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 adults lie, fathers and mothers fight without words, and even unwilling boys must become men. By the end, Byron will finally reconcile the dueling realities of that summer, a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit and the power of compassion.
Perfect certainly made an impact right from the start. It’s been a while since the beginning of a novel has so fiercely grabbed my attention.

I felt fully invested in these characters, most notably Jim and Byron’s mother. I was taken aback by the Hemmings’ entire world, the way the people in their social circle behaved. And I have to say, getting to know Byron’s mother through his eyes was sometimes downright painful.
Something that really struck me was how the title, that word perfect, carried different meanings at various points throughout the novel. Whether it was the stress of trying to be (or at least appear) perfect, or learning that what seems perfect oftentimes isn’t, Joyce pulls back layer after layer behind the depth of this single word.
There are two stories running parallel, but I had no idea exactly where things were headed or how everything would play out. I didn’t expect the ending at all and when the two stories met, I was overwhelmed by the profundity.
Joyce’s writing drew me in; it felt good to read her words. The story flowed naturally and I had trouble putting the book down. I can’t wait to read more of her work.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

The publisher, via TLC Book Tours, has offered 1 copy of this book to give away to one of my lucky readers. This contest will run for ten days. Enter below for your chance to win! (US residents only) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

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