For a suspensful mystery book, Pushing Perfect probably did not make the cut but as a contemporary YA that is quite unique and signifcant, this is actually good. The author surely knows how to write subjects that are out of the ordinary like she did with her debut novel, Playlist for the Dead although I liked this second book of hers a bit better.
This novel explores insecurities teenagers go through and how desperation could make them do something they would later regret. In this case, “Perfect Kara’s” secrets and insecurities pushed her to try something, a drug in particular to help her with her anxiety. However, this drug is also the very thing the “Blocked Sender” is using to blackmail her and as it turned out several other kids too to do his/her bidding.
Together with the other victims, Kara and the others do their best to figure out who the mystery person and although the reveal is a little anticlimactic, it could plausibly explain how drugs could circulate in schools. It’s not a far-fetched concept at all.
What I find good is that despite the bad situation Kara finds herself trapped in, she also learned to become more honest, more self-confident, earn good friends, gain back her old ones, be more open to her parents and even accept her flaws. It was like she had to go through this ordeal in order to learn to accept herself.