Book Review: No Perfect Places by Steven Salvatore


Title: No Perfect Places

By: Steven Salvatore

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 384

Release Date: May 30th, 2023

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Rating: ★★★☆☆


Summary from Goodreads:

From lauded author Steven Salvatore comes a YA about twins whose incarcerated father dies and leaves behind a life-changing secret.

When their father was imprisoned for embezzlement, twins Alex and Olly Brucke lost everything except their strong bond with each other. But after their dad dies unexpectedly, the twins start to fracture. Alex is spiraling, skipping classes to get drunk or high. Olly is struggling with a secret his dad ordered him to keep: they have a secret half-brother, Tyler.

So when Tyler shows up in their lakeside town for the summer, hoping to get to know his siblings, Olly hides the truth from Alex. But as Alex and Tyler start to form a friendship, the lies become harder to juggle. If they can’t confront their father’s past and fix their relationship, Olly and Alex each risk losing two siblings forever.

A thought-provoking novel about grief, family secrets, and figuring out how to belong against the odds.


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Frustrating and half baked. This book kept my fight or flight mode on high alert throughout the whole story, making me feel burnt out and disconnected before the story was even over.

Each character had their own issues and for the most part, they were fairly relatable issues, but where the daunting feelings came from was the consistent bickering and fighting between the twins that circled around and around until I was dizzy. The most of it came from Alex. She consistently did the wrong thing, seemingly on purpose and for no reason. I found it really hard to even care about her character and struggled with hoping she was ok in the end and wanting her to disappear all together. 

My favorite scene was where Olly is taking to his dad in prison. This was the first time we met these characters and it set the tone for the story. It also made me realize how fractured Olly and Alex were already.

Favorite Quote:

"I exhale. “Where do I begin?”" This is the final line of the book. Very powerful.

This book was a 3 star for me. The frustration with the characters was too much for me and took away from the story that was struggling to unfold.

After reading so many other reviews of this book, I realize I'm in the minority here and although this author seems to have a large following of dedicated readers, this read didn't really do it for me. Not to say I wouldn't try reading another book by Salvatore in the future.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

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