Monday, April 16, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Perfected by Girls by Alfred C. Martino

Title: Perfected by Girls
Author: Alfred C. Martino site
Format: Paperback, 310 pages
Published: 11/1/2011
Publisher: Cole Street Publishing
Source: Received from author for review
Challenges: Completely Contemp Challenge (hosted by Chick Loves Lit)

Navigating high school isn't easy for Melinda Radford.

She's the lone girl on the Ashton High wrestling team, grappling with opponents who refuse to compete against her, a few who want to crush her, and a coach who's less-than-pleased having a female in his practice room. At home, Mel's parents forbid her from seeing her new boyfriend, her grandmother insists she start preparing for her future by taking a dreary office internship, and her infuriating older brother, who's the varsity team captain, flirts with her best friend, Jade.

Just when it seems things can't get any more complicated, an off-handed comment puts Mel at odds with her teammates, her brother, and, worst of all, her coach. But through a twist of tragedy and fate, Mel is given an unexpected opportunity to accomplish something no girl in her school's history has ever done - something that just may redeem herself in the eyes of her detractors. But is she strong enough to handle the pressure?

I have to say, I was a little skeptical that the author would be able to write a convincing female character. But I can happily say that I feel that Mel was a very believable, and for the most part realistic, female voice. She definitely wasn’t a cookie cutter. And I loved how passionate she was about wrestling. So much so that it got me excited as well, and I’ve never watched a minute of wrestling in my life. I think that’s one of the signs of a good writer, to be able to convey your feelings strongly through your writing and make the reader feel the same.

Plot and Story:
Too often in contemps, the message the writer is trying to get across is obvious in the plot and is so repetitive it makes the reader want to tear their hair out. I have to applaud Alfred Martino for writing a novel partly about girl power, without the story being over wrought with the same monotonous message. The only part of the story that irked me was something that happened at the end. **SPOILER ALERT** (Highlight section to read) Melinda gets back together with her boyfriend. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but it really obvious and somewhat implied that he’s only with her to get into her pants. When they were together he was always pushing her to go further that she was comfortable. It seemed like the author was trying to make them getting back together a positive thing, a happy ending.*

Point of View:
Perfected by Girls is from the point of view of Melinda, nicknamed Mel, an amateur wrestler and the only girl on her high school JV team in Ashton, Michigan.

I really enjoyed Perfected by Girls. I absolutely love it when an author is so passionate about something, in this case wrestling, that it shines through and can make the reader feel that passion. I think it’s one of the attributes that make a good writer. If you like contemporary fiction, I’d give this one a try. I’m giving Perfected by Girls 4 of 5 stars. Chick Power!

I know how much you all like giveaways, and the author of Perfected by Girls has kindly offered up two signed copies of his book! 

After I finished Perfected by Girls, I did some snooping on the internet and was happy to discover that Alfred C. Martino, the author, is a big animal lover as well. He helped start Dog Park Publishing , a totally cool organization that specifically help pit bulls.  And even if you don't enter the giveaway, be sure to visit Dog Park Publishing and their Pit Bulls and Itty Pitties Facebook page. You'll be in for some very cute pet pictures.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. When are you going to draw the winners?

    1. I already did a couple of days after the giveaway. I just forgot to "Announce the winners" in the Rafflecopter widget. Thanks for reminding me, and sorry you didn't win this time around.