I received a copy of Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman in exchange for my honest opinion.
I’ve reviewed several of Michele Gorman’s novels this year (check out my reviews of The Curvy Girls Club and Single Girl in the City), and it definitely seems like she’s hit upon the secrets to successful chick lit. I’ve loved each book – and am pleasantly surprised to realise that the main characters have all been very different, and the story-lines unique. A traveller looking for the perfect career, a woman seeking body love, and a high-powered career woman struggling against perfectionism – each of these ladies is trying to find a path to fulfilment and happiness.
Perfect Girl‘s protagonist, Carol, is a people pleaser, problem solver, perfectionist. Immediately, this struck a chord in me – I am a perfectionist too. At first, Carol bends over backwards to help her friends and family without a second thought. But, as the commitments pile on, something has to give. When suddenly she starts saying ‘No!’, people don’t quite know what to do! Suddenly, the very thing that defined her – her perfect girl reputation – is the very thing she wants to rid herself of. So, if not perfect, then who is she?
I have personally faced this very dilemma. When I stopped bending over backwards to please everyone, because I quite simply didn’t have the energy to do more than get through the day, people literally decided that I was no longer worth hanging out with. It was a shocking way to discover who my ‘real friends’ were, and almost hurt me enough to send me scurrying back to my people-pleasing ways. I’m still a perfectionist, but I am better about saying ‘No’ to people (most of the time!).
I think that relating to what Carol was feeling made me like this book on a whole different level. However, I think any chick lit lover, regardless of a perfectionist streak, would be hooked on this book from the get go. Gorman crafted a cast of characters that very much enhanced the story. Carol’s family, though at times frustrating, is loveable and endearing. Her best friend, Harriet, had me giggling at her ability to attract the most bizarre men. And her male-dominated workplace left me seething in disgust at the sexist behaviour she was forced to endure.
I also liked that the book didn’t only centre around Carol’s love life. Her innovation in the workplace was also a big theme; how she dealt with being a woman in a male-dominated workplace, and how she had the skills to hold her own (even when things didn’t go to plan). I won’t give anymore away though!
I’m definitely a Michele Gorman fan, and would recommend her books to any chick lit lover. She seems to have a way of adding a spark to her stories that can sometimes be missing in other books in the same genre. Excitingly, I’m interviewing Gorman soon, so keep an eye out for that in mid-November. Also, her christmas book will be a part of my Christmas Round-Up, so if you’re hankering for another fix, you won’t have long to wait!
Overall: Perfect Girl was only released this week, so grab a copy, read it, love it – ad be the awesome person that gets to recommend a great book to your #readerfriends!