by Valerie Flokstra, Book Review Editor jaBlog!
Hanne Arts has lived in four different countries, but she has a heart for girls all over the world who struggle with bullying, depression, and eating disorders. That is what inspired her to write her novel, Just Perfect.
Hanne’s novel is about a girl named Christina whose difficult circumstances send her into a downward spiral involving depression, anorexia, and cutting herself. Christina is both the protagonist and her own worst enemy as life becomes a tedious and often losing battle against the things her mind tells her.
It all starts with bullying. Then her friends turn against her.
Those traumatic and confusing events lead to deep insecurity, and with it the anorexia and cutting. Eventually, Christina has to spend many weeks in a hospital just to stay alive. Those long days and nights bring difficulties and boredom. However, after a time she finally makes true friends, including a boy who both understands her and deeply cares for her.
Hanne’s novel is not an easy book to read because of its subject matter. Just Perfect is definitely not a fairy tale or your typical happily-ever-after novel. It helped me understand more about the terrible things that people go through, as well as how people’s minds can turn inexplicably against themselves. Hanne did a good job writing a book that is eye-opening, sad, depressing, and hopefulness wrapped up in just over 200 pages.