Far From Perfect (The Valentines, Book 2)

Far From Perfect (The Valentines, Book 2)

By Author / Illustrator

Holly Smale


Friends and family

Age range(s)



HarperCollins Publishers




Paperback / softback




The second sensational book in the Valentines series - a hilarious and heart-aching story about the impossible standards for being a girl.    Be yourself but, you know, someone else . . .  Enthusiastic but not desperate; calm but not dull; funny but not try-hard; sparky but not crazy; feisty but not aggressive; beautiful but relatable; elegant but not icy; confident but not arrogant; feminine but not girly; nice but not boring.

Faith Valentine has it all - fame, money and extraordinary beauty. But what she wants more than anything is a quiet life away from the cameras. Except nobody ever asks Faith what she wants, and her family's expectations are crushing her.  The world thinks she's perfect, but is there is more to perfection than meets the eye?


Arnalina - Age 12

I love this book, because it is not only romantic, but also has other factors of feeling like sadness, anger, and loneliness. I simply adore the quotes in the book, and the way it raises your spirit. Far From Perfect can teach that the lives of stars are not so sugar sweet, and that they might need a break from cameras, and fans. This teaches that they do have struggles like us, and that they are not loved by everyone. So this is an unique type of book, and it should be more popular!! Go on Holly Smale:)

448 pages 

Suggested Reading Age 11+


Far From Perfect, he second book in the Valentines series from Holly Smale, follows Faith, the 16 year old beautiful Valentine sister.

Faith appears on the surface to have it all, looks, fame, a famous rock star boyfriend and a glittering future ahead of her. Yet all is not as it seems. Faith is clearly miserable and the famous Valentine acting talent seems to be absent in her case, despite her overbearing grandmother's best efforts.  We watch her struggle through painful auditions and acting classes and her relationship with the rock star Noah is clearly not perfect either. Faith undergoes a journey during this story and learns to be true to herself and stop presenting the fake 'perfect' instagram version of herself to the world.

We find out more about the other Valentines during this novel including Juliet, their mother, who is undergoing a mental breakdown due to a family tragedy and we also see more of Mercy, who will possibly be the focus of the next story.

This is a really enjoyable read, Faith is a very likeable character and you cannot help but empathise with her as she negotiates her way away from the path she thinks has been decided for her.

This is a perfect summer read for teenagers looking for a bit of fantasy and escapism.  See also book 1 in the Valentines series, Happy Girl Lucky.

432 pages / Reviewed by Jess Locke, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 11+


Far From Perfect is the second book in The Valentines series about a family of actors - the Valentines - whose lives are constantly under the spotlight of a voracious press. Each book in the series by Geek Girl author Holly Smale tells the story of one of the teenaged Valentine siblings.

I loved the first installment of The Valentines - Happy Girl Lucky - which focused on Hope, the youngest sibling, so I was looking forward to book two, Far From Perfect, which features the middle sister, Faith, and I enjoyed her story just as much.

Faith is beautiful, calm and kind, and obediently follows the rules to match her media image crafted by their steely grandmother. The way she manages all the expectations on her is to run; running in the early hours, away from people and the press, is her escape.

However, as Faith's love life and acting classes begin to unravel and the demands on her from the media, her boyfriend and family grow, Faith has to dig deep to discover who she really is; she has to stop running away. At this point, the story takes a slightly darker turn as - without giving any spoilers - we see the story arc in the series unfolding.

This is a perfect summer read for 11+ girls, especially if they are obsessed by famous actors and social media influencers as it will give them an astute glimpse from the other side of the lens! In The Valentines, Holly Smale delivers a finely-tuned critique of the expectations on young women, including how they look and behave in real life and on social media.

While Faith's story doesn't have the naive quirkiness of Hope, there is still plenty of humour, particularly in the mismatch between how the media observes the family and the reality of life for the Valentines behind their closed doors.

The Valentines is also a story about a family falling apart and as each book reveals more about the Valentines' past, the sisters learn more about themselves and the kind of women they want to become. I for one and keen to read where the final installment takes them in the third Valentines book, publishing next year.

432 pages / Reviewed by Elen Green

Suggested Reading Age 11+


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