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Halfway Perfect Paperback – May 5, 2015

4.2 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up—Eve Nowakowski knows all about the ups and downs of the modeling lifestyle. Just a few years ago, she was internationally known cover girl Eve Castle—but the life became too much to bear, and she slipped into anonymity. Now a freshman at Columbia University, she discovers that photography is her passion, and through a twist of fate she becomes an assistant to a famous fashion photographer, which puts her right back in the world she tried so desperately to escape. At her first fashion shoot, Eve meets rising modeling star Alex, and sparks immediately fly. However, Alex's agent has cooked up a plan for Alex and another ingénue, underage French model Elana, to become fashion's new hot couple. Eve and Alex have real chemistry, though, and they know that Alex and Elana's contrived relationship is not only dishonest: it is illegal. Eve and Alex are then faced with a series of tough decisions that will put their new relationship to the test. Presented in dual perspectives, switching between narrators Alex and Eve, this title is well written but suffers from a weak plot. The instant love connection between the protagonists is unrealistic and the central conflict between Eve and Wes, Alex's evil talent agent, is not enough to carry the story. Mature subject matter, including alcohol use, eating disorders, and domestic violence, makes this a title suited to an older teen audience. VERDICT An additional purchase for libraries that can't keep any "Gossip Girl" or "Pretty Little Liars" (both Little, Brown) installments on the shelf.—Morgan Brickey, Marion County Public Library System, FL

Review

"Engagingly and intelligently written, this absorbing novel should work as catnip to fashion-obsessed readers." - Kirkus
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (May 5, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140229719X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402297199
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,513,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Eve Nowakowski left the modeling world behind many years ago. Now, as she pursues a career behind the camera, she is thrown back into the world she avoided for so long. But she doesn’t have a choice if she wants to impress a world-class photographer and if she happens to see people she’d rather not, so be it. Enter model Alex Evans, who is gaining recognition and climbing the ranks. For that to continue, he must maintain a fake relationship with his co-star Elena. A co-star who just happens to be underage. All the while Alex finds himself more and more attracted to Eve. As things slowly heat between the two of them, Eve’s past comes a-knockin’ and Alex’s future career is riding on the line. Will they fight to stay together or will they let outside forces tear them apart?

From moment one, all I wanted was to see Eve succeed. On the outside, it seems she has been dealt a pretty awesome hand. She was a successful model in her teens and she’s smart and (obviously) pretty. But that modelling success costs her so much more than most people realize. The fact that she made so much money means it’s impossible for her to receive financial aide for school, despite the fact that her parents spent all her money and she’s now completely broke. Plus, there was a very real reason she left that life behind and a hatred for the art of modeling is not it. This girl is so smart and funny and determined to make a life for herself that I envy her drive. If I went through everything she had and then still had to fight like hell to get the high level college education she was going for, I can’t say I would have even made the effort.

Then we have Alex. Hot, cocky, and extremely photogenic, I wasn’t sure I’d like him initially.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is a fascinating look into the fashion industry with all of the positive and negative aspects. It has interesting characters and some dysfunctional family issues. It also has a great romance . It is entertaining and a good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This solidly young adult novel drops into my ‘teen read’ options for the older teen readers, most especially for its honest portrayal of the drawbacks and disadvantages to what seems to be a ‘dream career’ for many: fashion modeling.

Eve and Alex both are stand-out characters in their own right. Eve was a model with some pretty horrible experiences, but she’s survived it all, and now wants to make a name for herself as a photographer. Intelligent, determined and independent, she is an ‘eyes on the prize’ sort of person, not allowing the many difficulties or distractions prevent her from reaching her dream.
The inclusion of Alex was interesting for two reasons: first as a character he has a solid voice and a plan for his life, not to mention his obvious (and displayed) love for his often crazy family. Secondly, he’s solidly a “good guy” with a genuine regard for Eve, even before the romance started to develop. The perspective of a male model was an interesting one, giving readers a look at the industry in a fresher way, and seeing the similarities and differences for both Eve and Alex as they navigate the minefield.

I loved that the romance was developed and not instant: while the attraction was obvious, the banter and gentle transition through collegial interactions to some steamy romance was paced with care, and never felt pushed or rushed. And the support that they provided for one another when the wholly greasy and despicable antagonist started to worm into events gives readers a chance to cheer and jeer with equal measure.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Halfway Perfect is not a halfway, but all the way perfect story. This is one of the best stories I’ve read this year. So perfect that everything that I start to read after it pales in comparison.

One may argue that the author of Halfway Perfect did not bring anything new. Yes, that’s true. It’s known that fashion world is a cruel one. It’s known that people will do anything to get media attention and to succeed (even go into a fake relationship), it’s also known that in abusive relationships the victim is taking all the blame. Here, it’s not that the authors revealed something new to readers. It’s the way these already known issues are raised, processed, written, and delivered. How Julie Cross and Mark Perini did that is pure perfection.

The story is told in dual POV, and each voice is easily distinguished. Their writing is flawless. Due to that I was hooked from the first page. Another great thing in this story are the characters, both main and secondary, both heroes and villains. They are all so alive and written with so many details it was pure enjoyment to read. I like how both main characters (Eve and Alex) changed through the story, but I also like how the villain’s true face was revealed at the end. The authors did a great job in exploring Alex’s family dynamic. The bond between three brothers and little sister is done amazingly .

Halfway Perfect is not an easy read. It contains violence and it realistically portrayed the fashion world. But that’s only part of what drew me in. Its realistic descriptions of the fashion world, and a bad relationship is what I liked the most in this story.

Multi-layered, complex, realistic, that is Halfway Perfect. I highly recommend it.

originally posted at long and short reviews
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