If you’re a fan of Rob Buyea’s first installment of The Perfect Score series – eponymously named The Perfect Score! – then you’d better mark your calendars for the publication of his second installment, The Perfect Secret. Here’s a little secret of my own, while maintaining a spoiler-free review: it definitely lives up to the standard and expectations set by the first novel.
The Perfect Secret revisits the characters that we left back in The Perfect Score, and they return for a brand-new year filled with brand-new complications. Gavin, Randi, and Trevor are all dealing with uncovering truths that could threaten their family lives, Scott discovers lies surrounding the topic of an article he is writing for the school newspaper, and Natalie is set on figuring out why Mrs. Woods and Mrs. Magenta are not on speaking terms any longer.
As partially indicated by the novel, these five kids have their own problems and secrets to confront, but also the unfortunate possible fallout once the secrets are unleashed.
Ever since I dived into the young-adult genre years ago, one of my favorite narratives involved the inclusion of multiple points-of-view and have them consolidated to tell one story. Buyea not only commits to this narrative style, but writes it masterfully. The only con that I encounter with omniscient narratives is that once I finish one character’s perspective and have to move on to the next one, I consistently resist the urge to skip forward to that character’s next chapter. This is not necessarily a critique, but more of a personal struggle with reading in this particular style.
Buyea’s writing style comes through in the form of five unique personalities that tell their own story, while simultaneously contributing to the bigger picture of The Perfect Secret. All of these kids – Gavin, Randi, Scott, Natalie, and Trevor – are all characters that I found easy to connect to as they maneuver through a variety of conflicts in their lives. Buyea’s treatment of several modern concerns, such as turmoil within the family, is portrayed in a way that is perfectly relatable and age-appropriate. These issues are confronted in a manner that is mature, yet never loses sight of the adolescent mind dealing with them; it’s certainly a treatment that a diverse audience of adults, teenagers, and children would appreciate.
Buyea’s brand-new novel works as both a sequel and as a stand-alone, and I would highly recommend picking up a copy upon its release.
Rob Buyea’s The Perfect Secret will be available for purchase on October 9.