Review: Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

Goodbye PerfectTitle: Goodbye, Perfect

Author: Sara Barnard

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Goodbye, Perfect is a beautiful and emotional contemporary YA novel, with a powerful friendship at its heart, by bestselling author Sara Barnard.

When I was wild, you were steady . . . Now you are wild – what am I?

Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with a guy Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. And it’s the last person she would have expected.

Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts. As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.

The Review

If you pick up a Sara Barnard book and you are expecting warm cuddles and fun friendship frolics then you have definitely selected the wrong author. Barnard’s work is gritty and realistic and it doesn’t patronise its target audience: young adults.

Goodbye, Perfect is a story that focuses on the difficult concept of loyalty. Being loyal is one of the hardest things to be especially when you know that being loyal and being right aren’t always the same thing. This is what protagonist Eden McKinley must come to terms with in Goodbye, Perfect. Eden’s best friend Bonnie is normally the more mature one of them both. She is the straight A student with the perfect academic and behavioural record. She is the chalk to Eden’s cheese. But when Bonnie does the unthinkable and runs away Eden is left to pick up the pieces and re-evaluate the meaning of friendship and what it means to be best friends.

Having read work by Sara Barnard before I can honestly say that she is one of the best writers at understanding and expressing the complexities of teenagers and perfectly navigates the mine field of friendships between teenage girls. Goodbye, Perfect is a must read.

Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard is available now.

For more information regarding Sara Barnard (@saramegan) please visit

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit

4 Stars


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