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One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke
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One Whole and Perfect Day (2006)

by Judith Clarke

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Pretty good. A different sort of story, for a YA novel, which was a nice change of pace. Not overly romantic, or melodramatic, and not set in any kind of dystopian/futuristic/dysfunctional society. :)

I enjoyed the characters, but I wanted even a little more of all of them. They were all interesting enough that I'd have liked the book to be twice as long so I could get to know them better. But in all, I have no real complaints about this book (other than that maybe the last page was just one bit of "perfect" too far). ( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
Most of us have experienced some time in our lives when we wished we could change our families. A brief moment in which they would either disappear or magically change overnight. It is often the typical nightmare of a teenager to have mom or dad pick them up at high school and show up in horrid clothes or greet them in some other bizarre manner. It seems to be a right of passage to have at least one embarrassing experience with a loved one. As we age we come to understand that those moments that made us cringe as children were not all that bad. Perhaps age shows us that what we once thought was strange was actually unique. This book is about one such teenager named Lilly who suffers from one embarrassing situation after another. Her mother is a woman who brings home the forgotten elderly, her brother is ADHD at best, her grandmother speaks to an imaginary friend, and her grandfather is profoundly unstable. Lilly's family is the true definition of dysfunctional and makes a person question why certain people breed. She is tired of playing the role of housekeeper, student, mother, and mediator each day. Lilly longs for a normal life with a father, mother, and a brother that can make her proud. In her misery she decides to make a change. A change that will force her family to evolve into something more normal like. Will she accomplish this or will she be let down once again? Is her life truly defined by the past and can her family heal from old wounds?

This book started off somewhat interesting, but soon became rather dull. I reached the half way mark and had to put it down. I just could not get into the whining and depressive personalities of the characters. It seemed like each person was a walking disaster that tried to out do the prior. I honestly cannot see myself finishing this book and cannot recommend it. It was just too slow for me and there was no story line. It seemed like one descriptive monologue of one person after another. I found it chaotic with the constant introduction of one new character after another or minor characters that had no part in the story. I often was confused on what was actually going on in the story. This book was written as if a person were taking notes and not really writing a story. I would ask a person to check this book out at the library before they bothered to buy it. Going to have to pass on this one. Sorry :( ( )
  Jennifer35k | Aug 23, 2013 |
Lovely book. Good characterisation. All the threads coming together at the end was a bit far fetched but I didn't care because it was such a lovely, satisfying read. Y9+ ( )
  elaine-pearson | Jul 3, 2011 |
This was definitely an enjoyable read. It doesn’t have an intense plot, or any gasp-worthy twists and turns. The title is perfect, because that’s what the main extent of the plot is- family and friends trying struggling to be whole, and one girl who pushes for it so she can have her “perfect day.”

What I really liked about it was the changing characters. Though it’s written in 3rd person, each character has a story and purpose (except for one character- Jessaline. I didn’t really understand how she fit) so there isn’t really one main character. I also liked the age variations. With most young adult books, you only get a glimpse into the head of the teenage narrator, but these characters spanned from early teens to early eighties.

Everybody connects in a way. When I got into it, I was incredibly confused at why so many characters were being written such large parts, but it all fits. Everybody fits together, hence why the word whole is so perfect for the title. (Almost funny? Probably not. I’m lame, I know) Everybody’s issues, which every character has some, intertwine so wonderfully that I appreciated their flaws so much more at the end.

I finished it fairly quickly considering it’s not very long. It’s not the kind of book that you’ll get swept away in, but it’s something that definitely will lift your spirits. I laughed a lot, and probably smiled throughout the entire thing. I recommend picking it up, and saving it for a rainy day when you’re not feeling so awesome- it’ll make you feel a lot better, I promise! ( )
  katiedoll | Sep 7, 2010 |
One Whole and Perfect Day is marketed as a young adult novel, although only one of the "point of view" characters is in high school. The rest of the characters are adults, several of them are elderly.

Clarke does an admirable job establishing an individual voice for each of the rather several characters who alternate telling the events culminating in the "whole and perfect day" of the title.

My disappointment with this book is that the plot is contrived of coincidences. Granted, that is the implicit promise of the novel, but for me it cheapens the hard work the author did to create these characters. ( )
  Rennifred | Oct 18, 2008 |
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As her irritating family prepares to celebrate her grandfather's eightieth birthday, sixteen-year-old Lily yearns for just one whole perfect day together.

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