Present Perfect by Alison G. Bailey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Amanda Kelly spent her entire life trying to control every aspect of it, while striving for perfection. Her obsession with being perfect, along with her feelings of worthlessness, consumed her. The one thing she thought was perfect in her life was the bond she shared with her best friend, Noah.
Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn't allow herself to have him.
Her life begins to unravel. Events take over and force her to let go of her dreams and desires. She needs to realize that a person cannot control the events in their life, only their reaction to them...but will it be too late for her to save her relationship with her best friend?
Present Perfect is a story of how past events have present consequences and how perfect your present could be if you stopped fighting and just allowed it to happen.
I have been sitting on this review for about a month now, yep....a month. An entire month of thinking, "What the hell is wrong with me?" Everything about this book screamed, "Mollie! You will love this"...everything. I remember reading the synopsis and being giddy; giddy to the point of almost panting. Everything I love in a book; everything, wrapped into one story! I couldn't wait. I knew I'd love it, but for whatever reason, I did not finish that last page with the same "I want to make sweet love to the pages" reaction as most (okay all) reviewers. Don't get me wrong, it was good. I read it from start to finish, but my reaction was so watered down compared to everyone else's. I was sugar free kool-aid when everybody else was Tang. I wanted to be Tang!!!
Somehow, I was screwed out of what everyone else felt, but how? Why?
Maybe I screwed the pooch by setting my expectations too high. Damn you pooch. I was stumped.
So, I decided to sit on it for a while, maybe kick the pooch, and hope that things would maybe make more sense over time.
Even now, thinking about the story, there's nothing I can specifically identify that should be keeping me from loving Present Perfect. Yes, there were a few things; I think. Major. Minor. Potatoe. Potato.
One of the main things that drew me to Present Perfect was the idea of best friends falling in love. I am a card carrying member of BFFFFs (Best Friends Forever Finally F**king), but I feel something was lost in the process. I wish the friendship would have been developed more before crossing that line. I wish Noah wouldn't have been so openly in love so soon. I never felt the friendship. I felt the love, the passion, but I wanted to read more of the friendship so I would have gotten to experience that...that...feeling. That feeling when the friendship turns into...more.
The plot was original, but the story gave me reader's whiplash. I liked the beginning, I liked the middle, I loved the end, but together they weren't exactly cohesive. I felt like I was reading several different books about the same two characters.
However, this book had heart. There were several parts where my emotions were clenched so tight that I had emotional constipation, especially during the ending. Sweet Jesus the ending. I'm pretty sure my heart stopped.
So at the end of the day, did I love Present Perfect as much as everyone else? No, but now that I've given my thoughts a chance to think, I definitely loved it in my own way, on my own level. That's why I decided to change my initial 3.5~star rating to 4~stars. Because hey, it's my rating, and everybody loves koolaid.
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