I have so many mixed feelings for this book! I didn’t LOVE it like I expected to, there were parts I hated, some I loved, but overall, reading Present Perfect was one hell of an emotional roller coaster.
What starts as a very promising read soon goes downhill… then uphill… then downhill again. Seriously, I don’t think a book has made me so conflicted with my emotions as Present Perfect did. We have our heroine, Amanda, who is the second child in her family, and always striving to be as perfect as her older sister. But Amanda always, always, always believes that she can’t and won’t ever reach perfection. It was so painful to read about her low self-esteem, her disbelief in herself that I had to put this book down a few times. Amanda’s story is emotionally exhausting to read–I’d go from feeling sorry for her, and then angry at her for her poor decisions, which she makes a lot of.
But the one good, shining beacon in Amanda’s life–and this book–is Noah. Sweet, loyal, caring Noah, who calls Amanda Tweet, and is her best friend.
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.
Amanda and Noah have been inseparable since they were born. We get to see them throughout the years as they grow up–they’re partners in crime, they’re best friends, they’re everything to each other. But as they enter high school, Amanda and Noah start noticing things about themselves–things they shouldn’t notice if they were only friends.
Amanda, bless her heart, is in love with Noah, but doesn’t believe she’s good enough, perfect enough, for him. I wanted to throttle her so much sometimes, because she puts herself through so much emotional pain. She wants the best for Noah, which she believes is not her, but she gets jealous when he interacts with other girls. Amanda is a very frustrating character, and she becomes even more so as she grows older and sex is added into the equation.
But Noah… he was the perfect friend, perfect love, for Amanda. He stood by her through all the crap she threw his way. He loves Amanda–he has a beautiful, all-consuming love for his best friend.
“You’ve always been my girl and always will be. No one will ever take me away from you, Tweet. You’re my heart and soul and that’s never going to change, no matter what you say.”
But Amanda rejects him again and again, and soon that pure love turns a little tainted. Amanda hurts Noah so much that sometimes those beautiful, precious moments between them, those secret kisses, those happy times, don’t seem to be worth it. And so Noah and Amanda have this back and forth thing going for most of the book, which I didn’t like very much. I wanted more LOVE! More happy moments! But no… Amanda and Noah are hurt again and again, and it’s a long while before they even start reaching a happy ending. And most of the time, I didn’t even know if they were going to have a HEA. It seemed like they wouldn’t, because they’ve just hurt each other too much, and then they’d have this heart-warming moment that would make me smile, and I’d root for their HEA.
So… can you tell I’m kind of a wreck from this book? Even though I didn’t really connect with Amanda or Noah, I hurt so much for them. I was invested in their story, but I just wasn’t invested in them. Does that even make sense? It’s SUCH a conflicting read! I have to give this book 3.5 hearts. 3 hearts overall and an extra .5 for making me feel crazed while reading.