A great sophomore book from the lovely Laura Silverman!
Title: You Asked for Perfect
Author: Laura Silverman
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: March 5th, 2019
Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.
Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.
Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.
I grew up in a predominately Jewish neighborhood—I bet my high school was around 75% Jewish. I went to tons of bar/bat mitzvahs in the 7th grade and even caught on to some Jewish prayers over the years. I find that its quite rare to see a YA book that gives such an inside look into Judaism.
As the YA book community evolves and grows, readers are being exposed to different cultures and backgrounds. Like any religion, there are tons of rituals that go into the Jewish faith and this book showed the rituals by discussing the different holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, including different prayers, and how vital a relationship with your rabbi can be. It also highlighted the importance of family by showing how special Shabbat is to Ariel’s family. No matter what was going on in their life, the family came together every Friday for Shabbat dinner. Most importantly, this book didn’t feel preachy in any way. This wasn’t a book about Judaism, it was just a significant part of the character’s life and person.
Another thing that I loved was that there was no discussion about a character’s sexuality. There was a little glimpse into Ariel’s coming out experience, but queerness wasn’t the central focus of the book. We are slowly getting to a point where LGBTQ+ characters and relationships are just the norm and don’t have to be the focal point.
While I really really loved this book, there were times where the plot got a little redundant. It was such a quick read and moved so fast that sometimes I was longing for the chance to sit in a scene a little longer. Give the reader more insight to our characters. I feel like it just scratched the surface.
I think his was a great follow-up to her debut, Girl Out of Water, and I can’t wait to read what ever she comes out with next.
I was sent an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review