Goodbye, Perfect

Goodbye, Perfect

By Author / Illustrator

Sara Barnard


Friends and family

Age range(s)



Pan Macmillan




Paperback / softback




When I was wild, you were steady . . .
Now you are wild - what am I?

Eden McKinley knows she can't count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it's a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with a guy Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. And it's the last person she would have expected.

Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie's location, and that's the way it has to stay. There's no way she's betraying her best friend. Not even when she's faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts.  As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.



Wow! Powerful, engaging and a hard-hitting. Sara Barnard (author) once again has created an incredible tale that feels so real, I thought I was reading the real account.

Goodbye, Perfect tells the tale of Eden and her best friend Bonnie. Eden (narrator) has her life completely shattered when she realises that her her best friend has run away with her teacher. This tale is of the journey Eden must make - physically, emotionally and mentally - to uncover the truth behind Bonnie running away. Not only has Bonnie been groomed by her teacher, but she believes she is in love with him. It is up to Eden to find her and change her mind, before it is all too late.

I couldn't put this story down. Barnard has very cleverly structured this story to focus on the people left behind - best friend, family, friends, teachers. Quite often when these true life tales hit the papers, we don't hear anything about those close to the victim, but through Eden we build a picture of how one person's actions can destroy the lives of people around them.

One thing I particularly liked was the range of writing style - the newspapers and text messages. This made the narrative quite refreshing and gave a different perspective from just Eden's view point. I also really enjoyed the relationship that Eden had with her boyfriend, no drama or sexually explicit, just a nice teenage romance.

This is a perfect 'summer by the pool' type of read as it will keep you engaged with some quirky plot twists in between. Aimed at older readers due to its content, it is an interesting take on a hard-hitting and relevant issue.

320 pages / Reviewed by Joanna Hewish, teacher.

Suggested Reading Age 14+


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