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This Tiny Perfect World


This Tiny Perfect World

When Penny receives a scholarship to a prestigious performing arts camp near her home, it completely changes her plans for the future in THIS TINY PERFECT WORLD, a new novel from Lauren Gibaldi.

Gone are Penny's plans to stay close to home, attend community college with her best friend, Faye, and her boyfriend, Logan, and take over the restaurant that her dad runs. Attending the theater camp allows her to meet new people who are certainly different from her friends back home. The camp causes Penny to wonder if maybe life in her small Florida town isn’t what she wants.

"Gibaldi writes very touching and heartfelt books, and really has a gift for making readers feel for the characters."

Even though Penny commuted to and from the performing arts camp, I do wish there had been a bit more build-up to the first time she attended. It seemed a bit abrupt to me, and I would’ve liked to see more of her life at home in order for it to contrast even more with her life at camp. I did think that there was a very noticeable difference between Penny at camp and Penny at home. This definitely fits with the theme of the camp being a different opportunity for Penny and really helped to set it apart. I thought that Penny’s indecisiveness about the future was incredibly realistic and relatable. Since I’m from a very small community where many teens face similar dilemmas as Penny, I certainly know about this and Gibaldi handled them perfectly, in my opinion. I thought the supporting characters were very strong and distinct from one another. They definitely added to the plot and I enjoyed them very much.

It was a nice touch from Gibaldi that the production at the camp related to Penny’s life. Using “The Glass Menagerie” as one of the camp’s shows tied into the plot very well and added depth to it. Having it be such a key part of the plot might also inspire readers to go out and read the play on their own, and I know I will definitely be checking the library for a copy.

The ending of the book was fairly open-ended. I normally enjoy books with endings that wrap up the story, but I thought Gibaldi’s more abstract choice definitely suited the plot and Penny’s character well. It made sense with her character’s personality and growth to end the book without a definite conclusion.

I would definitely recommend this book to teens who enjoy books by Katie Cotugno, Kasie West and Morgan Matson. It definitely had a very similar feel, but was also distinct from other authors. Gibaldi writes very touching and heartfelt books, and really has a gift for making readers feel for the characters.

Reviewed by Breck G., Teen Board Member on March 13, 2018

This Tiny Perfect World
by Lauren Gibaldi