Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Review of Present Perfect by Alison Bailey

“If there’s no such thing as perfect then, why does the word exist?”

Present Perfect was hard for me to read. Not because it was bad, on the contrary….it was a beautiful story. Absolutely breathtaking. 

It’s the story of Amanda and Noah. The story starts off from the time they are young and continues through their lives. Amanda, or “Tweet”, and Noah are best friends. They have been their whole lives. They were born within minutes of each other and they grow up together. They are inseparable. 

Tweet also grows up in the shadow of her older sister, who is – well, perfect. Growing up in her sister’s shadow causes Amanda to have some extremely warped views of herself. This was the part that was so hard for me to read. It breaks me to ever see someone so down on themselves. I completely understand that this was the process of the story….Amanda growing to see that she is someone other than the perception of herself. Nonetheless, it was hard to listen to her belittle herself when I KNEW that she was so much more than that. 

Noah is a constant in her life. He is her best friend, her rock. As they grow, Noah develops feelings for Tweet. Feelings that she shares, but won’t act on because, according to her, he deserves better than that. 

“I’ve been unsure about many things in my life except 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.” 

Noah is unbelievable. He is persistent. He is kind. And he is unapologetically and desperately in love with Amanda. Day in and day out he tries to show her that she is more than she perceives herself to be. That she is a beautifully strong and intelligent woman. That she is good enough for him. And that he loves her, without reservation. 

“Nothing has ever been a waste when it comes to you. Not my time, my thoughts, or my heart. I don’t regret anything about my life with you, even the times we were apart. Those times showed me how much I belonged to you. I knew we would be together one day. I just had to be patient and wait. And you were so worth waiting for.”

Throughout their time, Noah and Amanda love. They fight. The makeup. They fight more. It’s a constant battle of wills. Until the time comes where Amanda makes the decision that Noah cannot be happy with anyone while she is in his life. So they end their “friendship”. 

“Loneliness is controlled by others. I’ve heard people say, just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely and you can be standing in a crowded room with people, but feel lonely. There’s only one person in my life who reigns over whether or not I’m lonely. Whether I’m physically with him or not, knowing he’s in my life keeps the loneliness away. When he’s standing in front of me and I feel him slipping away, the ache of loneliness takes over and drowns me. Being that vulnerable to a person is frightening.”

After some time of being separated, Noah and Amanda find their way back to each other. Though this time – they are each with other people. So – being friends is their only option. It’s the safe option. It’s what works for Amanda. 

And then, my lovelies….your heart will be shattered. Something happens that will just wreck you. However, through this – you meet one of the most amazing characters I’ve ever read. Dalton stole my heart. He and Amanda instantly become close. They form a bond unlike anything she’s ever had. Dalton teaches Amanda the most important thing she will ever learn: 

“The present’s perfect, young grasshopper, because we’re breathing, moving, laughing, crying, and are surprised when we finally meet someone we connect with. Stop living in the past and wasting your present.”

This book was stunning. It made me laugh. And I cried more than a few times – yes, it’s a sobfest. So grab your tissues, chocolate and wine and prepare to be blown away. 

In the words of Dalton: 

"Everyone deserves a thank you and a goodbye."
With that being said – Thank you, Alison Bailey for this amazing story. And goodbye my lovelies – until next time! 
5 Breathtaking Stars!!!

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