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Extended Audio Sample Better Than Perfect, by Melissa Kantor Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Melissa Kantor Narrator: Caitlin Davie Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A poignant coming-of-age story that skillfully captures the singular experience of being a teenage girl

Juliet Newman has it all: a picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated, there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kantor deals with the difficult topic of a parent’s depression and recovery with sensitivity and grace. Juliet navigates complex and unfamiliar emotions, eventually arriving at the gratifying if predictable recognition that struggles and setbacks lead to growth. Juliet’s attempts to meet the expectations of those around her will readily resonate with readers under similar strains.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Kantor poignantly captures what a broken marriage can do to the whole family. The characters are well developed, and readers experience Juliet’s pain as she realizes her parents’ fallibility…The narrative skillfully reflects the protagonist’s ups and downs.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Kantor has created an authentic, complex, and not always entirely likable protagonist…Kantor stays true to the story, which is ultimately a narrative of self-discovery on the brink of a huge life change…Readers will find much to enjoy in Juliet’s journey toward realizing that perfect isn’t everything.”


  • “A high school senior’s Type A life implodes after her mother takes an overdose of pills…With clear prose and realistic dialogue, Kantor perceptively illustrates the pressure that accomplished teens put on themselves to achieve perfection. This timely story will ring true for today’s disillusioned young people, who are discovering that years of good grades, piano lessons, and internships don’t necessarily result in adult happiness.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Melissa Kantor is the author of Confessions of a Not It Girl, an ALA Booklist Best Romance Novel for Youth; If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince?, a YALSA Teens Top Ten Pick; The Breakup Bible, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults nominee; Girlfriend Material, a Junior Library Guild selection; The Darlings Are Forever; and The Darlings in Love, a Junior Library Guild selection. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.