Cover Image: Twice as Perfect

Twice as Perfect

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Member Reviews

I started and stopped reading this one quite a few times as the beginning just did not grab me. But overall I thought this was good! The pacing was a little off at times but I really enjoyed the intense family relationships and liked the ending.
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Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for providing me with an Arc in exchange for an honest review. All the views and opinions expressed are purely my own and not affiliated with any brand. 

This was a good book that deals with some very real issues. Not everyone can relate to the struggle but it doesn't make it any less real. Everyone should read this book just to get a different perspective.
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Let's start by establishing something: I am an adult, white, woman living in the United States. So a book about the teen daughter of Nigerian immigrants living in Canada is pretty far from my lived experience. And my initial response to not understand parts of this book was "okay, so this book is not intended for me". But on further reflection I realize: that's exactly why it is intended for me. A major theme of this book is how these teens struggle to fit into different cultures, how they feel expected to speak for an entire culture. They are weighed down by expectations from their parents and the world around them and it's desperately unfair that they have to act as a bridge. So, no I'm not an immigrant. I don't know Nigerian immigrants. But reading books like this one, books that delve deep into character and ask us to connect with these worlds on a personal level, can help members of the dominant culture understand the unfair ways that they treat people and help us be more sensitive. They endeavor to answer the impertinent questions and maybe prevent us from asking them of real people. And that is valuable. That makes this book absolutely for everyone, both those who will see themselves in it and those who don't know this world at all.
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-Emotional and moving
-Deals with pressure and expectations in what I found to be a realistic way
-Refreshing/meaningful introspection
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This is a beautifully written book about a girl split between two cultures. Adanna is Nigerian-Canadian, the daughter of immigrants. She's under high pressure to be the perfect daughter - to get good grades and go to law school - especially now her brother isn't in the running for golden child. Or around at all, but no one talks about it. At school, Ada is known as Sophie, a sophisticated, smart, got it all together type of girl who definitely is in the contention for valedictorian. After accidentally reconnecting with her estranged brother, Ada is determined to bring him back into her life and have him reconcile with their parents. Along the way, Ada starts questioning if her current life plan is actually what she wants to do, or if it's someone else's dream...

I really loved seeing the Nigerian cultural details. I'm not very familiar with Nigerian ANYTHING, so I really learned a lot from this book and am inspired to learn more.
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I liked the story and the underlying message of this book was good! The aspect of romance in this book had me stressed at times but I was overall so happy with the ending.
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I started reading this one, but didn't finish it. My review should not dissuade you from reading the book - I am going to pick this one up at a later date to read it. Louisa is a great author!
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I am unable to give a proper review as I ended up not finishing Twice as Perfect after a few chapters in. I could not get into the story, so I ended up putting it down to start on a different ARC I received from NetGalley. I would still recommend this book to students though because I believe that certain students of mine could get into it! I hope that the kids / adults who would enjoy this book find it and read it.
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"After her debut novel Like Home, Louisa Onomé returns with her latest book, Twice as Perfect. In her sophomore novel, Onomé centers on a Nigerian-Canadian family split not only by generational divides but the conflicting hopes and dreams that threaten to tear them apart."
. . .

[rest of review included in link below]
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This is a story of being an immigrant/cross-cultural kid and feeling like you need to do anything your parents want you to do to pay them back for their hard work of providing you a better life than they had. It's a roundabout way to make sure your family can support themselves when you are gone, so they don’t have to worry. However it can come off stifling and like your interests and things you care about don't matter. Western culture teaches us that you should be allowed to pick what you want to do for yourself. Ada (who's classmates call her Sophie bc they kept pronouncing her name like Ay-Dah instead of a short A sound.) is realizing she might not want to be a lawyer like her parents have expected. Her Brother who is estranged from the family disappears for 6 years. Ada sees a photo of her brother performing at a poetry slam and attends it to tell him off for running away from the family. But when she sees him she realizes that he's happy and she wants that for herself. Did her parents kick him out of the family just because he didn't want to be an engineer? What will happen when Ada admits not wanting to be a lawyer? I really enjoyed this book. It felt genuine and nuanced. Ada doesn’t want to disappoint her family but they act like her doing anything outside of what they tell her is disrespectful. She struggles finding a balance while figuring out what she wants to do instead of being a lawyer. I also listened to the audiobook which definitely added to the narrative and correct understanding of pronunciation.
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This book was really good and I related to quite a bit of the main characters experience as a child of immigrants. I liked the humor that was woven in and the various things that were going on. I also loved seeing a Black girl being desired by more than one person and having a choice when Black girls are often shown the opposite. She also got to be conflicted and figure out what she wanted. I ate up this book.
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I enjoyed the details about the wedding and Nigerian culture, I felt that Adanna’s concentration on her brothers poetry detracted from part of the story.
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Juggling her parents expectations, her desire to reconnect with her estranged brother, and some budding feelings for two boys from very different worlds, reading Ada's story was such an honor. I got lost into her world and fell in love with her just as fast. Onome crafted a relatable and earnest journey for Ada to navigate, and for readers to be seen and guided on their own paths. Thanks to NetGalley and Feiwel & Friends for an early read in exchange for my honest review.
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1.5 stars because Ada/Sophie's story had so much potential and the opening chapter gave me hope.  But, this was such a scattered, loosely constructed story that fell short of initial expectations.  Plot lines were presented but not followed through on.  This was one where it seemed like the author said, "oh, let's have her do this, do that, but things weren't fleshed out enough.  With some guidance from a good editorial team, Ada/Sophie's life experience could have been a much better read.
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i discovered louisa onomé last year with her debut novel, and i was super excited to get to read her next one! she is a new author i look forward to supporting in the future! as a west african girl, it feels great to read books about characters that are like me, thank you for this arc.
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As the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Adanna knows she's expected to excel. Ever since her brother Sam became estranged from her family, she's been expected to pick up the slack. When she stumbles upon him performing at a poetry slam, she longs to reconnect—but she also resents him for abandoning her. Can he teach her the importance of following her passion instead of living up to other people's expectations?

This is a character-driven story that taps into the immigrant experience and the challenges teens face in finding their own identity separate from their parents. 

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.
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Against the backdrop of her cousin's wedding to a Nigerian superstar, a straight-A student on a path toward law school connects with her estranged brother--and herself--through poetry.

Onomé builds an immersive, character-rich world around her protagonist in this heartfelt contemporary novel. As she learns more about herself, Ada finds a place for herself as an individual within her family and her community and negotiates the challenge of pursuing individual needs while still caring for those around her. Clear, conversational prose with a first-person narrator provides the perfect voice and vehicle for this story. I highly recommend this one to fans of YA contemporary literature!
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Thank you to #NetGalley, Louisa Onome, and the publisher for eARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
Adanna is all about the dedication to her family, the debate team, and her cousin's upcoming wedding. Ada tries to keep her parents happy since her older brother, Sam, disappeared from their lives. Soon Sam and Ada reconnect. Ada is worried about what her parents will think if they hear she's in contact with Sam. Ada is determined though to find out what happened between Sam and her parents. With the stress of everything going on, will Ada be able to learn to put herself first?

This book was slow to start but got better as I got further into the story. I like the message of the importance of taking care of yourself first and not letting the stresses of your family, school, etc. get in the way.
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Such a unique book, I loved the plot and oh my god the characters we're so amazing!! I definitely will be recommending it!!
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3.5 stars 
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own. 
Twice as Perfect is an interesting read, capturing the nuances of being Nigerian Canadian and the child of immigrants. Ada deals with being torn between two cultures, working to please her parents while also following her heart, and the reality that everyone will expect her to be “twice as perfect” because of her identity. Even if I do not share her cultural identity, Onomé depicts Ada sympathetically, and in some way, navigating the expectations of parents/guardians and adult authority figures with regard to one’s future is a common one most teens go through. 
A major plot point is her brother having deviated from the family’s expectations for him (and become estranged from the family as result), going from working as an engineer to being a poet. I loved the sprinkling of Sam’s poetry throughout, both in and of itself and for how it helps Ada on her own journey of self-actualization. 
It does at times feel like some things aren’t given their due, given how packed the book is. As fun as the wedding planning is, it’s much more of a side plot than the blurb suggests. And there’s also some romance (with a love triangle), and I just feel like all of that gets a bit neglected. The main arc is strong, but some of these other elements could have either been cut, streamlined, or fleshed out, depending on importance to the A-plot. 
In spite of my issues, I generally enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys multicultural YA contemporaries.
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