Publication Date: 1/23/2007
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Aspen Springs Psychiatric Hospital is a place for people who have played the ultimate endgame. The suicide attempt survivors portrayed in this novel tell starkly different stories, but these three embattled teens share a desperate need for a second chance. Ellen Hopkins, the author of Glass and Crank, presents another jarring, ultimately uplifting story about young people crawling back from a precipice.
Conner, Tony, and Vanessa are all characters with their own issues. They are each in the Psychiatric Hospital for a different, yet similar reason. Each is working through their own problems to get out. Tony is introduced to us as a homosexual who has been sexually abused in his past by multiple people. He was also selling himself for drugs. Vanessa is a cutter. Conner had a relationship with a teacher and tried to commit suicide when things went wrong.
Each character begins to bond with the others and they begin to learn how to trust. Conner, Vanessa and Tony all give us their stories, their hurt, their pain. We learn how each character ended up in their situation and what led them to face the urge to die. Each teen is trying to heal and get back home, except...Conner. He doesn't want to go home. His home life is hell, and as I learned more about him I couldn't help but feel his hurt. I couldn't help but wish I could help him see how important his life is and how much he means to those around him.
The way in which this book ended makes me wonder where Perfect is going to bring us. I was deeply moved and touched by this book. I couldn't put it down, which is what happens with every Ellen Hopkins book I read. She is an amazing author and if you haven't picked up one of her books yet, you are completely missing out on something unique and outstanding. I can't even put into words how each of her books has affected me in a different way. All I can say is pick one up. This one, or one of the many others. Just do it.