Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with Ford model Mark Perini to pen a poignant and gritty YA novel about love and the dark side of modeling and the fashion industry. Eve's time as a fashion model nearly destroyed her-now she's determined to build a career behind the camera lens. But landing a coveted photography internship brings her face to face with her dark past-and her ex. While Eve is snapping pictures, up-and-coming male model Alex is launching his career-which, for him, involves maintaining a fake relationship with his (secretly) underage co-star, Elana. But Alex is falling for Eve, and Eve won't let herself get hurt again. If Alex can pull off a fake love with Elana, can he convince Eve to risk a secret affair with him?
Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Did I like this book?
"Halfway Perfect" gave me an in depth look at an industry I normally wouldn't think much about. Of course I've heard of the pressures that models face, but most of the focus has been on weight, and occasionally age, at least in the stories I've read. I really liked that this book brought attention to a completely different side of the industry, the side where young girls, children really, are thrown into a world without parental supervision or guidance and expected to act like adults. So many things can, and probably do, go wrong for these kids.
The writing and pace of this novel worked really well for me. I liked how the relationship between Alex and Eve developed, starting first with friendship. I also really loved how both Alex and Eve felt the need to protect Elana - this helped to show the moral integrity of them both, and I ended up fully respecting both of their positions.
While I enjoyed getting to know both Alex and Eve, Alex is the one I inevitably fell hard for! He was just so patient with Eve, and he was a fantastic older brother figure for Elana. I loved meeting his family and watching how his relationships with his siblings improved over the course of the book. In short, Alex is fabulous!
I won't go into details about Eve's relationship with her ex, but I thought this aspect of "Halfway Perfect" was handled extrememely well. This type of abuse hasn't been explored nearly enough in New Adult books, and although it is a tough and emotional topic, it is an important one and I'm glad the authors decided to take the risk here - I thought they did an excellent job!
Will you like this book?
Anyone wanting a closer look at the pressures of the modelling industry will want to pick up "Halfway Perfect". But even if you are not curious about modelling at all, I think fans of New Adult reads will still love this book. It's well written, with an interesting setting and unforgettable characters, as well as complex relationships and plenty of angst . In short, all the things you've come to love about New Adult!
Will I read more by these authors?
Absolutely! With this title, Julie Cross and Mark Perini have effectively jumped to the top of my must-buy list!