Book review: The Trouble with Perfect
Book review of The Trouble with Perfect by Helena Duggan. This is the second book in the middlegrade series about Violet and the town of Perfect. The first book about Violet and this mysterious town, is A Place called Perfect.
The Trouble with Perfect
“Boy’s not bad – is he? Strange things are happening in the town that used to be Perfect. Things are being stolen… then children start going missing too. And everyone is blaming Violet’s best friend, Boy.
To find out what’s going on, Violet must uncover secrets from the past and battle a gruesome zombie monster. Town is in trouble – double trouble – and it’s up to Violet to save it.”
The above text is kindly borrowed from the back of the book.
Oh Boy trouble is here
Where we left Violet and her new friend Boy in a seemingly better version of their town Perfect, now called Town, we meet them again in slightly different circumstances. Something rotten is going on in their town and the bad guys might not be completely gone. This time, Helena Duggan has upped the scare level as children are disappearing and Violet’s best friend Boy, is made the primary suspect.
Violet and Boy’s friendship is put to the test as they both are thrown into more and more mysterious matters. Boy struggles with Violet’s increasing suspicions, as all evidence point toward him. Violet questions the safety of Town. Might there be a bigger plot of evil hiding behind the scenes?
Secrets and zombies
As with a lot of middlegrade books I’ve read thus far, the adults featured are either evil or taking the backseat. The children are the protagonists and for good reason. I enjoy reading about kids like Violet and her friends, as they take matters into their own hands. They can’t risk waiting for the grown-ups to catch on, even though they do receive plenty of help. These kids are resourceful and know how to work together and play to their strengths. Which I find very recommendable in childrens litereature. It can be valuable for kids to see examples of team work and respect for others’ special skills.
As Town is riddled with secrets, Violet set out to uncover some of them. However, more secrets seem to turn up, and with them even a zombie monster too. Town is the perfect backdrop for even more history on the bad guys from the first book, and the reader is quickly thrown into the action. The zombie monster is super scary, even for an adult to read about. At least it was for me, haha!
None of the mysteries or secrets seem too hard or too easy to follow, as we are given more clues and more questions throughout the story. I liked the level of them, as it kept my interest while the children of Town were trying to save their home, parents and friends.
There’s somebody watching you
This is the subtitle of the book, and it encaptures it pretty well. Someone in Town always have an eye on what’s going on, and it’s creepy indeed. Feeling that someone is always watching, is unsettling and it is evident on many levels in The Trouble with Perfect. Helena Duggan has a great way with words, making it easy to read and follow the story. Without too many unnecessary or convoluted subplots and descriptions. It’s down to the action and Violet and her friends are well-rounded characters. And the bad guys are bad and have more to them than meets the eye.
Read it if you like middlegrade fantasy books with a bit of quirky danger! Or, if you are a kid who loves to read about mysteries, danger and cool kids.
Also, if you’ve read and enjoyed The Uncommoners, this might also be a great next read for you! But, maybe don’t read it if you’re not into middlegrade and/or fantasy books with absolutely no romance in them.
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