May 26, 2021

#BookReview: The Flipside of Perfect by Liz Reinhardt

Synopsis: What happens when her two worlds collide?

AJ is a buttoned-up, responsible student attending a high-achieving high school in Michigan. She lives with her mother, stepfather, and two younger half sisters.

Della spends every summer with her father in Florida. A free-spirited wild child, she spends as much time as possible on the beach with her friends and older siblings.

But there’s a catch: AJ and Della are the same person. Adelaide Beloise Jepsen to be exact, and she does everything she can to keep her school and summer lives separate.

When her middle sister crashes her carefree summer getaway, Adelaide’s plans fall apart. In order to help her sister, save her unexpected friendship with a guy who might just be perfect for her, and discover the truth about her own past, Adelaide will have to reconcile the two sides of herself…and face the fact that it’s perfectly okay not to be perfect all the time.


Rating: 2 Stars
My Review: Unfortunately for this reader this one just didn't mesh with me.  It felt weird that this girl was trying to be two different people.  I mean I understand it and this story sounded really good and new. But the execution of it just fell flat for me.  I didn't care about this girl and her issues etc. It was just lacking emotion of any kind of me. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up—Seventeen-year-old Adelaide Josephine Jepsen Beloise is better known as AJ or Della, depending on where she is and who she's with. In Michigan with her mom, she's AJ, the privileged, overachieving oldest of the Jepsen Triple Threat sisters. In Florida with her dad, she's Della, the spoiled, laid-back baby of the Beloise family. When AJ's little sister, Marnie, has nowhere else to turn, she crash-lands into Della's summer family, and Della's perfectly divided life becomes irrevocably tangled. But in the disorder, Della finds love, happiness, and the strength to be herself. Can this new Della go back to AJ's old life? Though AJ/Della's split life is initially confusing, Reinhardt creates an engaging picture of both selves, and readers will will sympathize with AJ and Della alike. AJ and Della's families love her and one another other very much, and the slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance is filled with heart. Tough issues, such as teen pregnancy, cyberbulling, class differences, and alcoholism, are all addressed without being didactic. The white cast of characters are real, full of life, and flawed, which is why it's disappointing that the only LGBTQ character in the story, Marnie, is characterized frequently as a hot mess (unrelated to her sexuality) and whose only romantic relationship in the story ends in betrayal. Readers looking for similar coming-of-age stories would be better served by Jandy Nelson's I'll Give You the Sun or Rebecca Barrow's This Is What It Feels Like. Those seeking more diverse and nuanced romance should seek out Reinhardt's Rebels Like Us. VERDICT A sweet coming-of-age story and a tender romance marred by problematic representation.—Mimi Powell, Lib. Systs. and Svcs., Kissimmee, FL

About the Author

Liz Reinhardt was born and raised in the idyllic beauty of northwest NJ. A move to the subtropics of coastal Georgia with her daughter and husband left her with a newly realized taste for the beach and a bloated sunscreen budget. Right alongside these new loves is her old, steadfast affection and longing for bagels and the fast-talking foul mouths of her youth. 
She loves Raisinettes, even if they aren't really candy, the Oxford comma, movies that are hilarious or feature zombies, any a

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