Author: Alfred C. Martino
Publisher: Coles Street Publishing
To Purchase: Amazon
Description: 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 her in the eyes of her detractors. Is she strong enough to handle the pressure?
Review: Alfred C. Martino’s Perfected by Girls is a fascinating young adult novel revolving around girls and sports.
Melinda Radford just wants to wrestle for her high school team, but getting onto the team seems the beginning of her troubles. The boys either don’t want to wrestle her or feel her up when they do. The captain and her own brother don’t seem pleased to have her there. Then, a comment to a reporter put her at odds with the entire team. She has to find a way to bring her life into control while continue doing what she loves.
Perfected by Girls has a wonderful, fairly authentic female teen voice. The characters and conflict seemed realistic. I love how the simple act of being a female wrestler showed people’s character, whether they supported her or not. I found it interesting to learn about the Greco-Roman style wrestling, how there are women’s teams, and how a woman deals with being on a predominately male team. The novel is fast-paced, and I wanted to keep reading until the very last word.
If you’re looking for a great contemporary young adult novel, then look no further than Perfected by Girls by Alfred C. Martino. It’s a great read that’ll wrestle you to the page and keep you reading until the end.