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Title: Future Perfect
Author: Jen Larsen
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness.
Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is.
But Ashley wasn’t counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University—in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery.
As Ashley grapples with the choice that little white card has given her, she feels pressured by her friends, her family, even administrators at school. But what’s a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone but her?
Through her indecisions and doubts, Ashley’s story is a liberating one—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.
I received this book for free via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks to the publisher and The Fantastic Flying Book Club.
Future Perfect is the story of a young girl who loves herself and her body, but as of recent she has begun to second guess herself. Every year on her birthday, Ashley’s grandmother offers her a “coupon” in exchange for her to lose weight. For Ashley’s seventeenth birthday, her grandmother offers to pay for four years of tuition at Harvard if Ashley undergoes gastric bypass surgery. Each year, Ashley turns down the coupon, but this year is the first year she has seriously considered her grandmother’s offer. Going to Harvard has been Ashley’s dream for as long as she could remember and there is no other way for her to afford the tuition.
Ashley has many ups and downs throughout this story. There are days she is confident in herself and knows that she doesn’t have to change her looks to enjoy life. There are also days where Ashley wonders what life would be like on the other side. The skinny side. Would the grass really be greener on the other side?
Ashley has such a wonderful group of friends and I loved seeing them all together. Jolene is a sweetheart, and despite everything the she is currently going through herself, she is always there for Ashley. Laura, while she did cause some unnecessary stress as times, was thoughtful and compassionate. Both of Ashley’s friends believed that she didn’t need the surgery and loved her for who she was. Hector, Ashley’s boyfriend, was adorable. He was so supportive of her and sweet, even in her dark moments.
Future Perfect is an inspirational story that delivers a powerful message. Maybe you’re not up to society’s “standards,” but that doesn’t make you any less worthy. Love who you are and don’t change to please others.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Kelli Berglund as Ashley Perkins
Maddie Hasson as Jolene
Stefanie Scott as Laura
Ansel Elgort as Hector
Meet The Author
Jen Larsen is the author of Future Perfect and Stranger Here: How Weight Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed With My Head. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco and currently lives in Madison, WI. Find her at jenlarsen.net.
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