Present Perfect by Alison G. Bailey
Series: Perfect #1
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: August 1, 2013
Format: eBook, 420 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
I’ve been unsure about many things in my life except for one thing, that I have always loved him. Every single minute of every single day that I have been on this earth, my heart has belonged to him. It has never been a question, never a doubt. The love had taken on many different forms over the years, but it had always been a constant.
Everyone has their definition of love. There have been countless songs sung about it. A gazillion books, articles, and poems written about it. There are experts on love who will tell you how to get it, keep it, and get over it.
We’re led to believe love is complicated. It’s not the love that’s complicated. It’s all the crap that we attach to it and put in front of it that makes it difficult. If you’re smart, you’ll realize this before it’s too late and simplify.
Amanda Kelly spent her entire life trying to control every aspect of it, while striving for perfection. Her obsession with being perfect, along with her feelings of worthlessness, consumed her. The one thing she thought was perfect in her life was the bond she shared with her best friend, Noah.
Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn't allow herself to have him.
Her life begins to unravel. Events take over and force her to let go of her dreams and desires. She needs to realize that a person cannot control the events in their life, only their reaction to them...but will it be too late for her to save her relationship with her best friend?
Present Perfect is a story of how past events have present consequences and how perfect your present could be if you stopped fighting and just allowed it to happen.
I’ve put off writing this review for quite awhile because it’s been really difficult for me to put my feelings about this book into words. I struggle to think of a book that made me as angry, as frustrated, as sad, but that I loved as much as this one. I can’t think of another book that put me through as much emotional turmoil as this book did.
I’m just going to get this out of the way: I wanted to smack Amanda through at least 50% of the book. She was so frustrating. She had absolutely no self-esteem. She was head over heels in love with her best friend, the one guy who had always been there for her. He tells her he wants to be with her and what does she do? Go running into his arms? NO. She ran away. Because that’s exactly what you do when your dream guy tells you he feels the same way. Obviously. But not only did she run away, she all but pushed him into the arms of someone else and was subsequently devastated when he started dating her. Oh, and Amanda’s other so-called friends? Bad friend behavior all around. I was so disappointed in these characters. Except Noah. I loved Noah. In fairness, I spent a fair amount of the book wanting to slap him, too, but at the same time I couldn’t blame him for trying to move on. He went out on a limb. Amanda was terrified to meet him halfway.
Then. Then the thing happens. The one I’m not going to tell you about. The thing that made me question every other feeling I had about this book. I sobbed. Like, gut-wrenching sobs that left me unable to catch my breath. Ugly crying. I felt like someone was ripping my heart out of my chest. It was unexpected and threw me for a loop. I didn’t know how to process it all. I felt like I had to start all over trying to figure out the characters and my feelings for them.
I’m an emotional reader. If you read my blog or my reviews at all, you know this. But, the kind of extreme emotions this book brought out in me are unlike most I’ve felt while reading other books. I can’t think of a time when I went through this many vastly different feels during the course of a book. It was incredible. A full experience. It was exhausting. I pushed through and read it cover to cover in one sitting then promptly laid down to take a nap.
Alison G. Bailey hit my auto-buy author list with this book. She moved into the top ten with the follow-up to this book, Past Imperfect. She’s a beautiful writer whose characters definitely evoke strong feelings in me, both good and bad. If you’re not afraid to feel while reading, I can’t recommend this book highly enough… just make sure you have some tissues on hand while you’re reading.