Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Perfect by Rachel Joyce

Hello, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Rachel Joyce's latest, Perfect.

Two seconds is all it takes for Byron Hemmings's world to become completely turned upside down. 

It's 1972 and a Leap year to boot. Time has gone slightly out of balance as a result and two seconds will be added. When Byron's friend James tells him this, Byron becomes quite disturbed by the notion. And then one day his mother is running late. An accident happens, one that Byron believes is brought on by the two added seconds. This accident changes everything for both Byron and James.

Perfect is a strangely extraordinary book. From start to finish, the book hurtles forward building momentum until the very end. It begins basically as the story of a thirteen-year-old boy and his family's very normal life. This quickly changes with a sense that something quite horrible is coming. What it is is unclear, even after the accident mentioned above.

Byron's mother has a past that threatens to come out in the open, a tense relationship with Byron's father (the whole family has a tense relationship with Byron's father), and though she's seen as perfect through the eyes of the two teenage boys, it's evident that she is everything but.

Chapters alternate between Byron, 1972, and Jim, present day. And of course one immediately wonders why Jim? As the two storylines progress it becomes clear that the events of 1972 affected him profoundly, but in what way or how is part of the progression of the plot.

Perfect is another of those stories that's hard to sum up without giving everything away. Joyce's talent for writing, however, is not. Her style is truly wonderful, turning what could have been - in lesser hands - a tedious or even dry read into something magical. Each character is so carefully built from the littlest quirks to their desires and passions, that they make the story impossible to resist. Perfect stayed with me in between reading binges. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it and when I was reading it, I was immersed in it. It stayed with me well beyond turning the last page.

Even if my attempt at providing a nutshell description and putting together my thoughts isn't quite convincing, which I suspect it isn't - I've been trying to do this book justice and fear that I've come short - I highly, highly recommend giving Perfect a try.

Rating: 5/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Rachel Joyce and her work, you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Byron sounds like a quite an odd little boy and I'm intrigued by his fascination with those two seconds.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!