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Perfect World


Perfect World

Lacie feels like her world is changing way too fast. Even though her best friend, Jenna, has already gone all the way with her boyfriend (and doesn’t mind talking about it), Lacie is just not that into guys. Even when Jenna hooks Lacie up with Benji, a quiet kid from the wrong side of the tracks, she ruthlessly teases Lacie about her reluctance to start a physical relationship with Benji.

Meanwhile, Lacie is still dealing with the suicide of her father. She is haunted by her memories of him and weighed down by the aftermath of his death. Her mother works way too much and her fragile younger brother depends on Lacie for everything. Lacie quietly aches inside, even as she tries to maintain a perfect facade in public. She certainly can’t show Jenna her true feelings --- Jenna would be incredibly cruel. Only with Benji can Lacie be herself, even if she’s not perfect. What Lacie doesn’t know is that Benji himself has a home life that’s far from perfect, too.

PERFECT WORLD is a small but highly emotional and intense book. It is written in a rather complex, almost stream-of-consciousness style, from Lacie’s point of view. Lacie is an artist, and her descriptions of her world are highly visual. Unfortunately, the symbolism of “a perfect world” --- the immaculate, sterile houses in Lacie’s subdivision and the perfect miniature houses she collects --- is made much too explicit and repeated much too often. It’s too bad that author Brian James doesn’t trust his readers to be sophisticated enough to figure out his symbolism for themselves.


Reviewed by Norah Piehl on October 18, 2011

Perfect World
by Brian James

  • Publication Date: October 1, 2004
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Push
  • ISBN-10: 043967364X
  • ISBN-13: 9780439673648