I recently downloaded Girl Perfect for free on Kindle. It was a quick and thoroughly enjoyable read. It was also unique to a lot of horse stories I have read.
Elin Cecilia Richards is 13 years of age. She is passionate about horses and a good rider. Horses are her escape. At school Elin is bullied and has always been because of her different appearance.
She was born with a cleft and had many operations from a young age to ‘fix’ her disfigurement. This left her with an ugly scar on her face, an unusual looking nose and mouth and a strange voice.
Consequently Elin chooses not to speak most of the time. She has become a mute as she explains to readers of Girl Perfect. It is only as the bullying reaches a new level in her French class that Elin erupts, speaking out against her tormentor.
This leads to a culmination of events that force Elin to continue to speak. As she finds herself amongst a new group of people at school, she questions if she can indeed speak out and continue to do so, to fit in.
Horses continue to be her escape and Elin finds solace in the friendship of one boy who rides with her. Sean accepts her different looks. He accepts her unusual voice. He enjoys spending time with her and she realises that with him, she feels truly accepted and comfortable.
Elin has two female friends at school. Although they have befriended her, they seemed to delight in others ridiculing her. They also strongly dislike Sean. It takes Elin a long time to realise who her true friends are and who she is herself.
Girl Perfect is a delightful horse story that focuses on someone with a physical difference. It cleverly highlights how humanity struggles with someone who is ‘different’ and the picture they consequently build up of themselves. The perceptions of others can greatly affect our perception of ourselves. Jo Jenkins has highlighted this beautifully in this short novel for teens.
Author: Jo Jenkins
Fiction – teen
In My Library? Definitely!
Want it? Get it now at Amazon.