Sunday, June 23, 2019

Book review: Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg

Book Summary
Small-town Wisconsin high school senior Allison Smith loves her life the way it is-spending quality time with her widowed father and her tight-knit circle of friends, including best friend Marian and maybe-more-than-friends Neil. Sure she is stressed out about college applications . . . who wouldn't be? In a few short months, everything's going to change, big time.
But when Ally files her applications, they send up a red flag . . . because she's not Allison Smith. And Ally's-make that Amanda's-ordinary life is suddenly blown apart. Was everything before a lie? Who will she be after? And what will she do as now comes crashing down around her?

Flo's Review
As I shared on Instagram when I received this book, I was already highly anticipating it after talking about it with Elizabeth at Miami Book Fair last year. I really enjoyed Just Another Girl and was excited to see what Elizabeth had in store for us next.

My favorite weekend days are those where I just just lie in bed or on the couch under a blanket with a drink of choice (tea, wine, whatever) and just let myself get lost in a book because I have no other responsibilities. I am so happy that I was able to do that with Past Perfect Life today! After a big brunch at Cracker Barrel, I curled up in bed and started reading. I did not put the book down again until about page 130ish. I moved from the bed to the couch and continued reading. Then I did not put it down again. There's something so deliciously satisfying about reading an entire book in a day and I'm always so happy when I do it.

It also says a lot about the book. I mean, if I can read 300 plus pages in a few hours, it means I am truly, truly engrossed. I was so invested in this story! Ally is a great character. Funny, smart, but also shy, a hard worker, and all those other good things Neil said about her in the beginning. Also -- Neil. ❤️❤️

Her situation is one that I could not fathom being in and it was so fascinating and engaging to consider, through reading her thoughts and reactions, what that would even be like. (Note: I'm being purposefully vague so as to be sure not to spoil anything for anyone.) This book raises a lot of questions about what makes you you? Is it family and DNA alone? Is it how you are raised? Is it the friends you surround yourself with growing up? Is it a combination? If so, how much do these different elements factor in?

Whenever I can't put a book down, it's because the pacing is done so well that you don't even notice. And as I mentioned before, Ally was a great protagonist. Even though she suffering a lot, and for obvious reasons, she remained kind and accommodating, true to those she loved, open, and willing to do whatever it took for the people important to her.

The combination of the great pacing, a protagonist you want to be friends with, and Neil (lol) made this book such a delight! Past Perfect Life publishes July 9th from Bloomsbury.

Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me an advance reader's copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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