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Testimony from Your Perfect Girl

Book review by
Amanda Nojadera, Common Sense Media
Testimony from Your Perfect Girl Book Poster Image
Slow coming-of-age tale has lots of swearing, sex, drinking.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Be yourself and define your own values. Money can't buy happiness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although Annie comes across as rude and spoiled, she eventually learns that money can't buy happiness and doesn't run from her problems. Nicole and Skip provide advice that Annie probably wouldn't receive from her own parents. 

Violence

One of Annie's friends is a state karate champ who tackles Annie and swipes Jay's legs out from under him.

Sex

Several mentions of sex, oral sex, and masturbation. A character loses her virginity and also mentions feeling gross after a family friend who was home from college put her hand over his pants and moved it back and forth during the summer before she started high school. Annie and Jay make a joke about being touched inappropriately by their aunt and uncle.

Language

Characters repeatedly use variations of "s--t," "f--k," "bitch," "ass," "douche," "bitch," "bastard," "slut," and more.

Consumerism

Annie's family is wealthy, but that all changes when her dad is on trial for real estate fraud. She has to learn how to adjust to life in the "run-down" side of Breckenridge. Annie also starts to see how her dad's actions affect other people's lives financially. Brands and pop culture mentions include Dancing with the Stars, Free People, Range Rover, Instagram, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of underage drinking and several mentions of wine, weed, Scotch, Ambien, and cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kaui Hart HemmingsTestimony from Your Perfect Girl is about 16-year-old Annie Tripp, whose affluent lifestyle is turned upside down when her dad is on trial for real estate fraud. It's best for older teens due to the amount of swearing, sex, and underage drinking. Characters repeatedly use variations of "s--t," "f--k," "bitch," "ass," "douche," "bitch," "bastard," "slut," and more. There are several mentions of sex, oral sex, and masturbation. A character loses her virginity and also mentions feeling gross after a family friend who was home from college put her hand over his pants and moved it back and forth the summer before she started high school. Characters also make a joke about being touched inappropriately by their aunt and uncle.

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What's the story?

In TESTIMONY FROM YOUR PERFECT GIRL, 16-year-old Annie Tripp's affluent lifestyle is upside down when her dad is accused of real estate fraud. Annie knows that her dad is innocent, but her parents think it's best if she and her older brother, Jay, live with their aunt and uncle in the "run-down" side of Breckenridge until the trial is over. As Annie starts to adjust to her new surroundings, family secrets begin to emerge, and she must decide how much of the truth should be revealed.

Is it any good?

Kaui Hart Hemmings doesn’t shy away from edgy topics or teen angst in this dramatic yet slow-paced coming-of-age tale. Readers might find it difficult at first to sympathize with Annie, who comes across as rude, spoiled, and naive for the majority of Testimony from Your Perfect Girl, until she learns the truth about her so-called perfect life. Although the family secrets and plot twists are predictable, teens will see the importance of being yourself as Annie starts to define her own values and realizes that money can't buy happiness.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about all the family dysfunction in Testimony from Your Perfect Girl. Is it realistic or over the top? How does the issue of money affect the drama that unfolds? How difficult would it be for someone in your family to keep a life-altering secret?

  • Does the amount of strong language, sex, and drinking seem realistic to you? Do teens really talk that way, or do books, movies, and other media only make it seem like they do? 

  • Are there any role models in the story? Who are they, and what are their character strengths?

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