‘I did meet a Boy. I met him at the library.’ I say. ‘He has wavy brown hair, and he’s English. He’s gone back to England.’
When Midge returns to school after the holidays, her friend Tahni gives her a hard time about still not having a boyfriend, so Midge does what any crazy sixteen year old would do – and makes one up. Soon her imaginary boyfriend has a name, a background, even a Myspace page. But when Ben turns up at school one day, Midge wonders if she could really have conjured up her imaginary boyfriend. Her small lie is becoming a huge one, and the real life Ben seems to be playing along.
There’s another new boy at school, too. Nothing like Ben, he tucks in his shirt, draws pictures of dragons in his text books, and doesn’t fit in at all, but Midge has bene paired with him for a major assignment. As her lies spiral out of control, Midge wonders if George might be her only friend – or does he have secrets of his own, too?
The (not quite) Perfect Boyfriend is a gritty, yet not depressing, read for teenage girls, with Midge facing issues of peer pressure, first relationships, friendship and family breakup. Whilst there is some romance involved, this is not simply a romance book, with the issues being explored far more important than the romantic element. Midge is a first person narrator who admits her flaws, and shares her experiences honestly, even though sometimes the reader can guess at things which are not apparent to Midge.
Part of the Girlfriend Fiction series, The (not quite) Perfect Boyfriend is an absorbing read.
The (not quite) Perfect Boyfriend, by Lili Wilkinson
Allen & Unwin, 2008
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