BOOKBLOG: Helena Duggan

A Place Called Perfect: creepy and gripping; perfect by name and nature.


Violet never wanted to move to Perfect. Who wants to live in a town where everyone has to wear glasses to stop them going blind? And who wants to be neat and tidy and perfectly behaved all the time? But Violet quickly discovers there’s something weird going on – she keeps hearing noises in the night, her mum is acting strange and her dad has disappeared. When she meets Boy she realizes that her dad is not the only person to have been stolen away…and that the mysterious Watchers are guarding a perfectly creepy secret!

A while back, I asked people for their favourite book covers and one that kept creeping up was this one. I had never heard of it but I knew, JUST FROM LOOKING AT IT, that I needed it. The gorgeous people of Usborne (thank you Stevie!) sent me a copy to review and when it arrived it jumped straight to the top of my pile. I mean, you shouldn’t just a book by it’s cover (yadda yadda) and all that BUT JUST LOOK AT IT. It is absolutely beautiful. Incredible colours, lots of little things to notice, a suspicious looking boy and a girl with mysterious glasses. I wanted to know more INSTANTLY. So I dived in…


‘A Place Called Perfect’ follows Violet and her family who have moved to a place called Perfect because her dad is an optometrist (an eye doctor). The people of Perfect need an eye doctor to help them with their problems. Violet hates Perfect. She doesn’t want to live there. Who wants to live somewhere which claims to be perfect? What’s the fun in perfect? It’s that very first night in Perfect that Violet and her family meet the secretive and villainous Archer brothers. The Archer brothers and their tea. Whatsoever is so magical about their tea? Well, could it be, that the tea is the reason the population of Perfect are in need of glasses? Well who knows. Violet knows there is something weird and suspicious going on and when her dad disappears she KNOWS she needs to investigate. She’s new, she doesn’t have any friends, until Boy comes along. Boy who shows Violet that bravery comes in lots of forms. Violet realises that Boy isn’t like the rest of the people in Perfect. He reads between the lines, but the Archer brothers want rid of him. They work together to try and get to the bottom of the Archer brothers’ villainy.

How does reclusive brothers, tea and an incredible adventure sound to you?
Up your street? Then get on it.

I loved that Perfect was an unusual and different plot idea – working on the idea of “rose tinted glasses” to the max. How would the world work if we did live with rose tinted glasses? The characters are all likeable and interesting (or not so much in the case of the Machiavellian Archer brothers and their cronies) and I read on wanting to know what was to come! I was genuinely hooked on this book. It’ll be SO PERFECT for kids – it’s complex enough without getting lost in the details. There is some absolutely gorgeous vocabulary and description in the story that will grip children’s (and adults’) attention! It’s the right amount of creepy, spooky and eerie, without being too scary. I just adored it.  

As a debut novel, Helena Duggan has hit the nail on the head with this one. I can’t wait to share this with the kids at school. Perfect in a school librarykids will adore this! I hope there’s a second one! 

My goodreads review:
“Creepy, brave, brilliant.
A brilliant book with incredible characters and an interesting story. Boy and Violet are wonderful main characters and the baddies are truly bad. I absolutely loved this.”

Have you read ‘Perfect’?
Would you like to live in a ‘Perfect’ world?
What would your tea make people do/see?

Let me know your thoughts on twitter or in the comments below. I would love to know if you’ve read this! I loved it and need people to talk to it about!

S x

11 thoughts on “BOOKBLOG: Helena Duggan

  1. A Cup of Wonderland says:

    I just bought this Tuesday (complete impulse because of the cover) but now I’m really excited to pick it up and read it for myself!


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