Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Children's book review : A Place Called Perfect - Helena Duggan

Nobody's perfect, and nowhere is perfect either, it seems. The town called Perfect certainly isn't. When Violet Brown's parents announce that they are moving to this strangely-named town because her optician father has landed an amazing new job there, she is already rather disgruntled - and that is before she's laid eyes on the place.

On the surface, it all seems great. A little too great, in fact. Everyone has to conform and be neat, tidy and well-behaved. Those who don't will be dealt with, or shipped off to No Man's Land, the anarchic ghetto on the edge of town where those who refuse to fit in are disposed of.

The teen and pre-teen readers that the book targets will probably have never heard of The Stepford Wives but that is what I immediately thought of. Violet's rather boisterous and unyielding streak attracts the attentions of the "outsiders" and she soon finds herself caught up in an exciting and highly dangerous adventure, uncovering the gruesome secrets that the Perfectionists would never begin to imagine lurk under the veneer of perfection in their not-so-perfect little town.

Be warned - it's not for the faint-hearted. Even as a grown-up, I found some of the scenes particularly grisly, so if images of grinning skeletons, dead people's eyes being harvested for transplants and hideous flowers pumping out blood when they are ripped from the ground are likely to give your kids nightmares, you might want to find something less dark and disturbing.

If a bit of gore doesn't put you off, it's actually a very entertaining and exciting read though. The sinister, spooky atmosphere and the really appealing characters of Violet and Boy create a tense page-turner that had me glued to the page, even as a grown-up. It has some valuable life lessons in there too about not taking things at face value, staying true to yourself and the value of friendship and family bonds. 

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP: £8.99

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (15 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480093440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480093447
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 2.6 cm

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Book review : The Death of Bees - Lisa O'Donnell


  1. A fab book for those who love macabre creepy stories

  2. Hi Cheryl, thanks a million for the lovely review. I'm delighted!!



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  4. Cheryl,thanks for linking up with Books You Loved. Cheers

  5. Sounds good...thanks.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved February Edition I am in that list as #13.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry