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Past Perfect Life
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Past Perfect Life
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An exciting new direction for acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg, Past Perfect Life is a tense and tender read about secrets and lies, reality and identity, and the ways we put ourselves back together...
An exciting new direction for acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg, Past Perfect Life is a tense and tender read about secrets and lies, reality and identity, and the ways we put ourselves back together...
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Description-

  • An exciting new direction for acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg, Past Perfect Life is a tense and tender read about secrets and lies, reality and identity, and the ways we put ourselves back together when everything is broken.
    Small-town Wisconsin high school senior Allison Smith loves her life the way it is—spending quality time with her widowed father and her tight-knit circle of friends, including best friend Marian and maybe-more-than-friends Neil. Sure she is stressed out about college applications . . . who wouldn't be? In a few short months, everything's going to change, big time.
    But when Ally files her applications, they send up a red flag . . . because she's not Allison Smith. And Ally's—make that Amanda's—ordinary life is suddenly blown apart. Was everything before a lie? Who will she be after? And what will she do as now comes crashing down around her?
    Perfect for fans of Far From the Tree, this is the story of one teen's search for herself amid the confusion of a shattered past and a future far from all she planned.

About the Author-

  • ELIZABETH EULBERG is not a detective (or so she claims). She is, however, the internationally bestselling author of The Lonely Hearts Club, Prom & Prejudice, Take a Bow, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality, Better Off Friends, and We Can Work it Out. Elizabeth lives outside Manhattan, where she spends her free time stalking English bulldogs in her neighborhood and filling her brain attic with random pop-culture facts. The Great Shelby Holmes is her first middle-grade novel.
    www.elizabetheulberg.com
    @ElizEulberg

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 6, 2019
    Calling to mind Caroline B. Cooney’s The Face on the Milk Carton, this riveting missing-child story contrasts 17-year-old Allison Smith’s contented life in a small Wisconsin town with the chaos that follows her father’s arrest for kidnapping her from her mother 15 years earlier. Suddenly, her father is in jail and Allison is a national news story, hounded by the media. Before she’s had a chance to process the events, Allison is wrenched away from everything she loves to live with her mother and a new, unfamiliar family in Tampa, Fla. Filled with shock, homesickness, and anger, she is unprepared and unwilling to reinvent herself to become Amanda Linsley, the happy daughter her mother wants her to be. Although the story is told from Allison’s point of view, Eulberg (The Lonely Hearts Club) sharply delineates the emotions and motivations of other characters, clarifying the reasons behind the kidnapping and the pain it has caused for various members of Allison’s family, including younger stepsister, Sarah, who has had to endure the lifelong repercussions of Allison’s disappearance. An excellent choice for prompting discussion, this thought-provoking novel captures the devastating legacy of family lies. Ages 13–up. Agent: Erin Malone, William Morris Endeavor.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Ally Smith is in her senior year at her small-town high school in Wisconsin. She is at the top of her class and plans to attend UW-Green Bay with a much-needed merit scholarship. Her father is widowed and works seasonal construction jobs to barely make ends meet. But despite periodic financial troubles, Ally loves the life she and her father share. The two are incredibly close, with countless traditions and inside jokes. Ally also has the love and support of the large Gleason family, who practically run everything in town. Their support becomes crucial when Ally learns the reason her social security number was rejected during the college application process. Suddenly, she realizes that her entire life has been a lie. The turning point in Ally's life is foreshadowed in the opening pages, but once readers discover her new reality, they will race to the end of the story. The secondary characters are not entirely well drawn, but their connection with and importance to Ally is clear, especially as she struggles with the possibility of being away from them. The ending is a bit discordant with the character development, but readers will find much to discuss and debate as Ally navigates her new life. VERDICT Readers looking for a quick yet compelling novel will want to add this to their summer beach bags.-Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2019
    When you realize your life is a lie fabricated by your dad, the daunting task of facing college applications suddenly loses its severity. Ally Smith lives a financially humble but socially rich life with her single dad in a small Wisconsin town. She's an unofficial member of the Gleason clan (the first family of Valley Falls) and an official top-notch student vying for college scholarships. But those application essay questions are the worst--particularly the one about a significant life event. Ugh. As a dorky, predictable creature of habit routinely indulging in Taco Tuesdays and Football Sundays with her dad, there's nothing blockbuster about her life's lovely little cadence. A red alert shatters Ally's same-old existence when her social security number on a college application is revealed to be falsified. Confusion evolves to anger as she learns that her father has kept a life-shattering secret from her--and the changes that follow force Ally to leave behind everything she knows. This novel takes the self-identity trope and intensifies its scope, layering in the mature navigation of family relationships. An honest pace, salt-of-the-earth protagonist, and sympathetic, well-rounded characters keep the conflict from being hyperbolic even though Ally's story becomes national news. Ally, friends, and family are presumably white. Family melodrama in theory, genuine identity crisis in execution. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    May 15, 2019
    Grades 9-12 Life is simple in Ally Smith's small, tight-knit Wisconsin community: Sunday afternoon Packers games with her widowed father, weekday lunches with her best friend and her endless list of cousins, and stressing about college in her spare time. But due to a snafu during Ally's application process, she realizes everything she knows about herself isn't as straightforward as she has been raised to believe. Her father kidnapped her as a toddler, her name is an alias, and her mother is still alive and searching for her. Soon after being discovered, Ally is whisked off to a shiny new life in Florida with family she barely knows, and is forced to reconcile who she is now with everyone's memory of the girl they lost. Though the plot feels disappointingly formulaic throughout, Eulberg (Just Another Girl, 2017) manages to shine in her ability to aptly portray family as both imperfect and nebulous, while reminding readers that sometimes the truth of who you become is just as important as who you once were.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews This novel takes the self-identity trope and intensifies its scope, layering in the mature navigation of family relationships. An honest pace, salt-of-the-earth protagonist, and sympathetic, well-rounded characters.
  • Publishers Weekly Riveting. . . . This thought-provoking novel captures the devastating legacy of family lies
  • School Library Journal Once readers discover [Ally's] new reality, they will race to the end of the story. . . . Compelling.
  • E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of WE WERE LIARS on JUST ANOTHER GIRL Eulberg writes with huge heart, an open mind, and a delicious sense of fun.
  • Booklist on JUST ANOTHER GIRL This quick read will appeal to fans looking for believable characters, such as those in novels by Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins.
  • Booklist on BETTER OFF FRIENDS A pitch-perfect rom com. With a nod to When Harry Met Sally, rising YA romance writer Eulberg situates relatable characters in realistic situations. . . . A humorous and cozy story about friendships and relationships, and the oh-so-fine line between them.
  • Kirkus Reviews on PROM AND PREJUDICE Jane Austen for the Gossip Girl set. . . . Eulberg's adaptation is faithful without being dogmatic; she successfully translates the essential elements of Austen's narrative into 21st-century dialogue and descriptions and still leaves enough room for play with the details.
  • Susanne Colasanti, author of WHEN IT HAPPENS and TAKE ME THERE on REVENGE OF THE GIRL WITH THE GREAT PERSONALITY This fresh, fun, fabulous read will have you cheering for new beginnings. Five shiny gold stars!

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