Review: You Asked For Perfect, Laura Silverman

There are no spoilers in this review.

Laura Silverman’s debut, Girl Out Of Water, is one of my favorite books of all times, so I’m not going to lie: my expectations were high for You Asked For Perfect, even higher given the synopsis of this book. Dealing with academic stress, anxiety, an adorable romance looming on the horizon? This honestly sounded too good to pass up and, friends, let me tell you, this book was perfect.
Sorry. You knew I would do this, wouldn’t you.

A STORY FOR AND ABOUT ANXIOUS MINDS

💭

You Asked For Perfect deals with academic anxiety, as our main character Ariel, valedictorian, always, always sets the highest expectations on himself to succeed and to do it all, pushing himself hard to manage it all.

If you ask me, Laura Silverman manages to perfectly capture that feeling. You’re young and yet, you feel like you’re already running out of time, constantly restless and needing to do it all at the same time. It’s that feeling, really, that just seized me and made this book such a good, uncomfortable, highly relatable reading experience for me and, most likely, why I loved it so much, too. Ariel’s anxiety was so relatable, on many levels to me. I graduated from my Masters’ degree a couple of years ago, yet I could still feel that anxiety, that tension, that overachiever NEED taking over and I still now, in so many ways in my life, feel that crippling anxiety. How complex, yet how valid it was, too, made me, in a way, feel seen, too and I adored it.

CHARACTERS I FELL IN LOVE WITH

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You Asked For Perfect, in addition to perfectly tackling a theme that echoed deep with me, gave me a cast of characters I fell in love with. Ariel was a main character I could relate to and rooted for, right from the very first pages. It was hard, complicated, gut-wrenching, even, at times, to read as he wore himself away and exhausted himself with work, too, but if half of me wanted to reach out and hug him, another half of me 300% understood him, so… well, that was an experience. People surrounding Ariel were just as endearing, from his best friend Sook to his best valedictorian-spot-enemy Pari, the cast of characters was so naturally diverse and well developed that I enjoyed them all.

There are two things that stood out for me, in this book, when it comes to the relationships: the family relationships and the romance.

Let’s start with the family. More often than not, we don’t get a lot of family moments in young adult books, something I’ve always been craving and here, Laura Silverman gives us this incredible family, these dinners, these moments when they tell each other about their day… she just creates such a great family cocoon that I wanted to jump in and have dinner with them all. Ariel and his family are Jewish and I appreciated seeing their faith and seeing it so naturally being such a big part of their daily lives.

Onto the romance now. It was the softest, most adorable romance ever, I adored how it slowly developed over time with them becoming friends, talking a little more and developing feelings and I HAD FEELINGS TOO OKAY I’m sorry I can’t coherently talk about them, I just loved them OKAY.

OVERALL

💭

I’m keeping this non-spoilery but, if my review didn’t manage to convince you, let me tell you: I cried and, when I cry while reading a book, it means something. There’s no sophomore slump for Laura Silverman, who delivers a perfect story that I 300% recommend for YA contemporary lovers, anyone wanting to read about anxiety and academic pressure and… well, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be screaming about this book for the next hundred years.

Final rating:  5, a hurricane, a new favorite!

The biggest thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me a free digital advance reader’s copy  of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.

Trigger warnings: hospitalisation, anxiety & panic attacks.

Diversity: Jewish main character (Ariel) and family, Muslim main character (Amir). Korean main character (Sook). Sapphic main character (Sook), bisexual main character (Ariel), gay main character (Amir).


Laura Silverman, You Asked For Perfect, Published by Sourcebooks Fire, March 6th, 2019.

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Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.

Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

Did you read You Asked For Perfect? Do you want to?

What’s the last book that you found very highly relatable? Do you have any recommendations of books dealing with anxiety? Let me know in comments!

 

 

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

65 thoughts on “Review: You Asked For Perfect, Laura Silverman

  1. I’ve seen this book being mentioned a lot on social media recently and I was curious about it, but your description of the way Ariel puts academic pressure on himself has just sold it to me. I did this ALL the time when I was at uni – if I didn’t get a first (70+) mark in an essay I would beat myself up about it for days (or weeks) afterwards. You’ve definitely made me want to read this book now, because I imagine I’ll relate to Ariel a lot! Fab review Marie! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, oh Kate this makes me so happy to hear, I really hope you’ll love this book, from what you’re saying I feel like you could really relate to Ariel the way I did, too ❤
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❤

      Like

    1. Oh yay, I’m so glad to hear it, I’ll be looking forward to hearing what you think of it. It’s such a great book and I found it so relatable in many ways ❤ Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review, Marie! I haven’t read Girl Out of Water, but I’m super interested in this and been seeing all these amazing reviews! It seems like the author nails the ~teenage years academic anxiety~ really well, we’ve all been there and I wish it’s recognized more instead of ridiculed for being overachieving. I can’t wait to read this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ughh yes yes instead of ridiculed for being overachieving, yes yes 200% agree. I hope you’ll get a chance to read this book and will love it 😀
      Thank you so much!! 😀

      Like

  3. I NEED to read this. It sounds amazing, and I’m so glad to hear that you loved it. I’ve had really bad anxiety all of my life – and while it’s not terrible most days at the moment, it’s still something I deal with and will probably always deal with.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Like

    1. I’m so happy you already have this book on your radar, Lauren, and hope you will enjoy it and relate to it as much as I did. Some parts were quite intense to read, but I loved it so much ❤
      Thank you for your comment! ❤

      Like

  4. This review got me so excited for this book! I was already looking forward to it but now I’m just overwhelmed with anticipation. 😉 I can’t wait for the family dynamics (family dinners? oh my goodness) and I think I will be able to relate to the main character. Maybe not that intensely, but the pressure of keeping up grades and class rank is most definitely a real thing in my life. Wonderful review as always! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I definitely already had this book on my radar, but your review convinced me to move it up my TBR as soon as I will get back to contemporary books again. Anxiety, even though I didn’t always have a word for it, definitely always accompanied me and to hear that it was portrayed in such a valid way makes my heart sing ❤ great review, Marie!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, Kat ❤ I hope you’ll pick up this book, it was such an incredible read and one of these rare reads where I could intensely relate to the anxiety parts, too. I hope you’ll love it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay, I’m so glad you loved this book. I just finished it yesterday and thought it was fantastic too. It has been a long time since the days when I was applying for colleges but even now, Ariel’s stress was all too relatable. I love your aesthetic too, especially the soup pic. Silverman had me craving Matzo Ball soup with those mouth watering descriptions, lol.

    Like

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed this book as well! ❤ I get that, ahah, these food descriptions made me SO hungry just as well! 😀
      Thank you so, so much for your comment ❤

      Like

  7. Fantastic review Marie! 💕 I‘m so happy that you liked the book, because it’s one of my most anticipated releases 😍 You made it sound sooo good, now I cannot wait to read it! I’m especially excited for the anxiety Rep 😊

    Like

  8. Fantastic review, lovely! I know everyone is saying they relate to this one but I feel like it’s going to be a really important read for me. I’ve put pressure on myself academically for as long as I can remember and started having panic attacks during my A levels which developed into a full-blown anxiety disorder at university. So I’m really hoping to get a lot out of this one! Thank you for sharing your thoughts ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m so sorry to hear that, Alex and I completely get these feelings. I feel like You Asked For Perfect could really resonate with you, as it did for me, I hope you’ll enjoy it ❤
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment!! ❤ ❤

      Like

  9. Wow. This was an amazing review, Marie, and I totally, totally agree! I loved You Asked for Perfect so much and I related to it in to such a sad degree?? Ariel is lovable and relatable and I could feel anxiety building up in my own veins. This contemporary was so easy to read, discounting the general anxiety I felt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much Juu and I’m so glad you could relate to the main character, too. It’s so bothering to feel like that, but it’s so good to see books tackling these kind of feelings ❤
      Thank you so, so much!! ❤

      Like

  10. Oh this is a brilliant review Marie, and I’m so glad you enjoyed this one too. 🙂
    You Asked for Perfect is just a brilliant read, I loved Ariel’s character and I loved that the characters were all so diverse as well. It was great to see that level of representation in a book. This was a really relatable read for me as well; I feel like even if we haven’t all struggled in exactly the same way Ariel has in this book we’ve all had those feelings, it just makes reading this story all the more powerful thinking about it from that perspective.
    Now I just need to read Laura Silverman’s other book, but it’s on my summer TBR list so I’ll get around to it this year at the very least! 🙂
    Great review. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you liked this book, too, Beth ❤ I found it so relatable just as well and I loved the cast of characters so much ❤
      I can't wait for you to read Girl Out of Water, hope you will love it 🙂
      Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am so happy that you loved this book as much as I did 🙂 This book is amazing and I wish it gets more recognition. It covers some of the important topics. I haven’t read any other book which describes the academic pressure so well. And I totally loved the awesome family and of course the amazing romance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh YAY I am so glad that this lived up to your expectations!! And that it made you cry! Which sounds like a weird thing to say to someone, but I LOVE when a book makes me feel stuff so I get it! And I agree, it is awesome when family dynamics take center stage. The romance sounds fabulous too! Great review, I am definitely going to need to get to this one soon!

    Like

    1. Ahah it’s not a weird thing to say AT ALL, I love it when books manage to make me cry, because it means they made me feel all the things and I am SO HERE for this 😀
      Thank you so much, Shannon! I hope you’ll get to read this one soon 🙂

      Like

  13. I have been hearing amazing reviews for this one and I might have to read it. I love the cover. But it does sound quite relatable and really… anxiety inducing to read it because you can catch the stress and feelings the main characters are feelings. So this sounds good but like I need to be in the good mood for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not going to lie, it is a little anxiety inducing, especially if you experience this yourself. Take care and read this when you feel ready- it is such a good and relatable book ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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