Past Perfect Life
Published July 9, 2019
About PAST PERFECT LIFE
Small-town Wisconsin high school senior Allison Smith loves her life the way it is-spending quality time with her widowed father and her tight-knit circle of friends, including best friend Marian and maybe-more-than-friends Neil. Sure she is stressed out about college applications . . . who wouldn’t be? In a few short months, everything’s going to change, big time.
But when Ally files her applications, they send up a red flag . . . because she’s not Allison Smith. And Ally’s-make that Amanda’s-ordinary life is suddenly blown apart. Was everything before a lie? Who will she be after? And what will she do as now comes crashing down around her?
Ally starts the story with this cute life in a small town. She and her dad don’t have money, but they share daily rituals that show how close they are and how much they love each other. Taco Tuesday, movie night, Packers games. Things like that. The Gleason family makes up the larger part of Ally’s inner circle. I think those characters had the most spark and variety in them. The banter between Rob and the rest of the group made those scenes a lot of fun to read.
I felt like the story stalled out a little bit around the 3/4 mark. Ally’s kind of just trying to get by and biding her time until she comes up with another idea. I think that was a necessary moment in the story, but I felt like it dragged on longer than it needed to.
Other than that, PAST PERFECT LIFE is a pretty smooth read. I’m a sucker for a story that touches on themes about the importance of family and community, so this book definitely scratched that itch for me.
Recommended for Ages 15 up.
Characters are white and straight.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.
Kissing between boy and girl.
Ally’s family is Catholic and goes to mass on Christmas.
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