Wednesday 16 January 2013

A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan

Every now and again I like to vary the books that I read.  Although I particularly enjoy modern women's fiction, I do like to try a few other genres.  Over the past few years I've been really impressed by the quality of Young Adult fiction that is appearing, I wish this sort of story had been around when I was growing up.

A Place Called Perfect is Helena Duggan's debut novel and I would say it is aimed at readers aged 10 plus, although I would encourage adults to read it too.

Violet Brown and her parents have moved to a new town called Perfect after her optician father is offered the best job in the world.  Violet doesn't really want to go, but adults do what they want to do, kids have no say in the matter.  As soon as they arrive in Perfect, Violet realises that this is no ordinary place.  There is no litter, no flaking paint, the tea tastes delcious, everyone is clean and tidy and friendly ....... it's so boring!  Violet really doesn't want to be perfect.     Violet's mother begins to change, who is this woman who cleans and bakes every day?  Mum was never like that!    When her father disappears on a mystery 'business trip' without saying goodbye, Violet realises that there is really something not quite right about Perfect.
And then she meets Boy.   Boy is not like the other Perfect people and Violet soon realises that her father's bosses -  the two Archer brothers,  are far more dangerous and cunning than they appear.   Violet and Boy begin the quest to save the people of Perfect from the Archer brothers.

A Place Called Perfect is a wonderfully exciting tale of adventure that races along and keeps the reader hooked.   Helena Duggan has created a world of magic, and terror, and thrills.  Violet and Boy are perfectly created, funny and quirky and incredibly realistic - despite the magical setting of the story.  The evil twin Archer brothers are typical 'boo-hiss' bad guys, quite menacing yet they also raise a giggle.

Underneath the action and the adventure, there is a serious message to be found.  The people of Perfect have no imagination, it's been stolen from them.  They are afraid to say or do anything that may upset the Archer Brothers - something to think about in this computer-generated life that we find ourselves part of?

Helena Duggan

Helena Duggan is also a designer and has designed the cover for the book herself - it is gorgeous, beautifully detailed line drawings that really catch the eye and will appeal to readers of all ages, both male and female.

A Place Called Perfect was published in November 2012 and is available from Amazon in either paperback or e book.

Helena Duggan lives in Kilkenny, Ireland and has a website here, you can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Sounds like a good read with a clever storyline, and I love the cover.

  2. I just reviewed this Anne, I really enjoyed it and found it took me back to when I was a younger reader. Not a fan of eyes though :p