LESS THAN PERFECT by Louise Albert


Age Range: 11 - 13
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Bland writing and characters weaken the poignancy of dying parents. Laura meets her new neighbor Paul while he’s walking his dog, Folly. Laura and Paul develop quiet crushes on one another, and Laura befriends Paul’s boisterous parents. Laura’s close relationship with Paul’s folks upsets her own mother, already reeling from a diagnosis of breast cancer. While Laura copes with her mother’s impending mastectomy, and Paul with his father’s serious heart condition, Folly dies of a stomach tumor. Minor sibling rivalry provokes dreary tensions in Laura’s home. Despite their difficulties, Laura and Paul’s relationship blossoms—life goes on, after all—only to be interrupted when Paul’s father’s doctors insist the family move someplace warmer. Well-written, yet unengaging. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2003
ISBN: 0-8234-1688-7
Page count: 188pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2003