Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan

From TheBookbag
Jump to navigationJump to search

Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan

Buy Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan at or

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: With her mum no help at all, and her best friends equally useless, Ruthie turns to her aunt for advice on how to change a boy friend into a boyfriend, in this endearing novel about those turbulent early teen years.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: September 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1847382290

Share on: Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram

Homework. Drinking your milk. Coming home on time. Keeping your mouth shut. These are the sort of rules you would associate with 14 year old Ruthie's mother. Her mother's glamorous sister, Aunt Marty (aka the Goddess of Love at a swish NYC-based magazine), on the other hand, is a different story. And when she swoops into town and sweeps Ruthie away in a whirlwind of silk underwear, virgin Cosmopolitans and a whole career's worth of advice on all things boy related, Ruthie has a feeling things will never be quite the same again.

This is a book about small town girls with big dreams, and rather sweetly is set in a quaint little town in Delaware. This is clever – imagine all the girls both in the USA and over here who don't live in New York or LA or London, or any of those other places books are always set. This is a book for them, and surprising as it may sound, it makes life in a backwater seem rather charming, in an old-world kind of way. At the same time, it's easy to see why Ruthie gets swept away so easily – there was nothing I wanted more, by the end, than a cool aunt of my own to breeze into town and whisk me off my feet like that.

I like Mary Hogan's spot-on take on teen issues, and this book was no exception, though it wasn't quite what I was expecting from the blurb on the back. It's only short – the type most readers could plough through in a day - so I was expecting it to focus a little more on the problem at hand (Ruthie's quest to get the boy next door to notice her) and a little less on all the periphery stuff. Even the Perfect Girl of the title, whose arrival causes all the upset in the first place, is quickly side-lined. I was almost waiting for the story to start, and then realised it wasn't going to in the way I imagined. It's still a great read, but I was just a little confused as I read, about where it was all going.

This is tame teen fiction, aimed at the first few years of secondary school. Ruthie is only 14, and behaves, well, like a typical 14 year old, not the kind you'd find acting out on Gossip Girl or 90210. She's worried about hand holding, foot spooning (!) and first kisses more than anything else. There is a distinctly chaste feel to the story, and the notion that teen sex is A Very Bad Idea is drilled into the girls on more than one occasion.

I don't mean to sound condescending when I say this is a lovely little book. It's sweet and girly, but also deals with real problems in a non-judgemental way. It's easy to read and hard to dislike. Recommended.

Thanks go to the publishers for sending us this book.

Have a houseful of girls? Pretty Face also by Mary Hogan would be great for bigger sisters, while the junior school pack might enjoy a Jean Ure title.

Please share on: Facebook Facebook, Follow us on Twitter Twitter and Follow us on Instagram Instagram

Buy Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan at


Like to comment on this review?

Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.