Perfect de Ellen HopkinsPerfect de Ellen Hopkins


deEllen Hopkins

Couverture souple | 3 décembre 2013 | Anglais

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What would you give up to be perfect? Four teens find out in the New York Times bestselling companion to Impulse.

Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never understand.

A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins’s Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.
Ellen Hopkins was born in Long Beach, California on March 26, 1955. She started her writing career with a number of nonfiction books for children, including Air Devils and Orcas: High Seas Supermen. She has written about 20 non-fiction books. Her first novel, Crank, was written in verse and met with critical acclaim. Her other fiction ...
Titre :PerfectFormat :Couverture soupleDimensions de l'article :656 pages, 8,25 × 5,5 × 1,8 poDimensions à l'expédition :8,25 × 5,5 × 1,8 poPublié le :3 décembre 2013Publié par :Margaret K. McElderry BooksLangue :Anglais

Les ISBN ci-dessous sont associés à ce titre :

ISBN - 10 :1416983252

ISBN - 13 :9781416983255

Convient aux âges :14


Extrait du livre

Cara Sierra Sykes Perfect? How do you define a word without concrete meaning? To each his own, the saying goes, so why push to attain an ideal state of being that no two random people will agree is where you want to be? Faultless. Finished. Incomparable. People can never be these, and anyway, when did creating a flawless facade become a more vital goal than learning to love the person who lives inside your skin? The outside belongs to others. Only you should decide for you— what is perfect. Perfection I’ve lived with the pretense of perfection for seventeen years. Give my room a cursory inspection, you’d think I have OCD. But it’s only habit and not obsession that keeps it all orderly. Of course, I don’t want to give the impression that it’s all up to me. Most of the heavy labor is done by our housekeeper, Gwen. She’s an imposing woman, not at all the type that most men would find attractive. Not even Conner, which is the point. My twin has a taste for older women. Before he got himself locked away, he chased after more than one. I should have told sooner about the one he caught, the one I happened to overhear him with, having a little afternoon fun. Okay, I know a psychologist would say, strictly speaking, he was prey, not predator. And in a way, I can’t really blame him. Emily is simply stunning. Conner wasn’t the only one who used to watch her go running by our house every morning. But, hello, she was his teacher. That fact alone should have been enough warning that things would not turn out well. I never would have expected Conner to attempt the coward’s way out, though. Some consider suicide an act of honor. I seriously don’t agree. But even if it were, you’d have to actually die. All Conner did was stain Mom’s new white Berber carpet. They’re replacing it now. Mom Stands There Watching The men work, laying mint green carpeting over clean beige padding. Thick. Lush. Camouflage. I sit on the top stair, unseen. Invisible. Silent. I might as well not even be here at all. And that’s all right. At least I don’t have to worry that she will focus her anger on me. Instead she blasts it toward the carpet guys. Idiots! You’re scratching the patina! Her hiss is like a cobra’s spit. I might want to expose that wood one day. I can’t if it’s marred. But she never will. That oak has been irreparably scarred by gunpowder-tainted blood. And even more by the intent behind the bullet. Sprawled on the floor, Conner wanted to die. Mom and Dad don’t think so. In fact, for once they agree on something besides how bad their stock portfolios looked last year. Both of them believe Conner only wanted attention. But he was way past hoping for that, at least the positive kind. No, Conner was tired of the pressure. Sick of trying to find the equation that would lighten the weight of expectations not his own. Listening to Mom tell skilled laborers how to do their job is almost enough to make me empathize. The more she goes on, the more I’m sure the carpet guys understand. There is no possible way to satisfy our mother. I Guess In A Way I have to give Conner a little credit. I mean, by putting the gun to his chest, he made an overt, if obscene, statement— I will no longer force myself inside your prefab boxes. I’d much rather check out of here than let you decide the rest of my life. “You,” meaning Mom and Dad. The pressure they exert individually is immense. As a team, it’s almost impossible to measure up to their elevated criteria. I have done my best, pushed myself to the limit. To get into Stanford, I have had to ace every test, stand out as a leader (junior class pres, student council), excel in sports, serve as a mentor, take command of extracurricular pursuits—cheerleading, honor choir, theater. All around dating Sean. Sometimes I just want a solo vacation. Hanging out on a beach, submitting to the temptation of sand, sun, salt water, sans UV protection. Who cares what damage they might inflict on my skin? Nice dream. But what would my mother say? I can hear her now. Don’t be ridiculous. Who in their right mind would invite melanoma and premature aging? When I look at her, I have to admit her beauty regime is working. It’s as if by sheer force of will she won’t permit wrinkles to etch her suede complexion. But I know, deep down, she is afraid of time. Once in a while, I see fear in her eyes. That Fear Isn’t Something Most people notice. Not Dad, who’s hardly ever home, and even when he is, doesn’t really look at Mom. Or me. Not Conner, because if he had even once seen that chink in her fourteen-carat armor, he’d have capitalized on it. Not her friends. (I think the term misrepresents the relationship, at least if loyalty figures into what it means to be a friend.) Book club. Bridge club. Gym spinners. She maintains a flock of them. That’s what they remind me of. Beautiful, pampered birds, plumage-proud, but blind to what they drop their shit on. And the scary thing is, I’m on a fast track to that same aviary. Unless I find my wings. I Won’t Fly Today Too much to do, despite the snow, which made all local schools close their doors. What a winter! Usually, I love watching the white stuff fall. But after a month with only short respites, I keep hoping for a critical blue sky. Instead, amazing waves of silvery clouds sweep over the crest of the Sierra, open their obese bellies, and release foot upon foot of crisp new powder. The ski resorts would be happy, except the roads are so hard to travel that people are staying home. So it kind of boggles the mind that three guys are laying carpet in the living room. Just goes to show the power of money. In less than an hour, the stain Conner left on the hardwood will be a ghost. The Stain That Conner left on our lives will not vanish as easily. I don’t care about Mom and her birds. Their estimation of my brother doesn’t bother me at all. Neither do I worry about Dad and what his lobbyist buddies think. His political clout has not diminished. As twins go, Conner and I don’t share a deep affection, but we do have a nine-months-in-the-same-womb connection. Not to mention a crowd of mutual friends. God, I’ll never forget going to school the day after that ugly scene. The plan was to sever the gossip grapevine from the start with an obvious explanation— accident. Mom’s orders were clear. Conner’s reputation was to be protected at all costs. When I arrived, the rumors had already started, thanks to our neighbor, Bobby Duvall. Conner Sykes got hurt. Conner Sykes was shot. Conner Sykes is in the hospital. Is Conner Sykes, like, dead? I fielded every single question with the agreed fabrication. But eventually, I was forced to concede that, though his wounds would heal, he was not coming back to school right away. Conner Sykes wasn’t dead. But he wasn’t exactly “okay.” When People Ask How he’s doing now, I have no idea what to say except for, “Better.” I don’t know if that’s true, or what goes on in a place like Aspen Springs, not that any- one knows he’s there, thank God. He has dropped off most people’s radar, although that’s kind of odd. Before he took this unbelievable turn, Conner was top rung on our social ladder. But with his crash and burn no longer news of the day, all but a gossipy few have quit trying to fill in the blanks. One exception is Kendra, who for some idiotic reason still loves him and keeps asking about him, despite the horrible way he dumped her. Kendra may be pretty, but she’s not especially bright. © 2011 Ellen Hopkins


"At its nucleus, four teenagers are grappling with insecurities that become exacerbated when loved ones turn up the heat. . . . The unrestricted access Hopkins employs is formidable: parents, siblings, love interests, and outliers all thrust frank judgment on the characters. It is how Cara, Sean, Kendra, and Andre react that encourages readers’ emotional attachments. Her writing conveys teenage quandaries with all of the intended consequences, as the verse style only serves to shock as the events unfold."