Title: Twice As Perfect
Author: Louisa Onome
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Published: July 26th, 2022 (Feiwel & Friends)
Synopsis: For seventeen-year-old Adanna Nkwachi, life is all about duty: to school and the debate team, to her Nigerian parents, and even to her cousin Genny as Ada helps prepare Genny’s wedding to Afrobeats superstar Skeleboy (“Skeleboy me, Skeleboy this money, everything na Skeleboy…that Skeleboy!”). Because ever since her older brother, Sam, had a fight with their parents a few years ago and disappeared, somebody has to fill the void he left behind. Ada may never know what caused Sam to leave home, but the one thing she’s certain of is that it’s on her to make sure her parents’ sacrifices aren’t in vain.
One day, chance brings the siblings back together. Although she fears how their parents will react if they find out she and Sam are back in touch, Ada’s determined to get answers about the night Sam left—Sam, who was supposed to be an engineer but is now, what, a poet? The more she learns about Sam’s poetry, the more Ada begins to wonder if maybe her own happiness is just as important as doing what’s expected of her. Amid parental pressure, anxiety over the debate competition, a complicated love life, and the Nigerian wedding-to-end-all-weddings, can Ada learn, just this once, to put herself first?
Thank you to the publisher, HCC Frenzy for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Seventeen year old Nigerian Canadian Adanna Nkwachi has her future all planned from getting through high school with top grades and going on to become a lawyer. Between balancing school, her upcoming debate competition, helping her cousin plan her big Nigerian wedding to a famous star, Ada just wants to live up to her parents’ expectations and make them proud, especially after her brother Sam left home some years ago following a fight. But in the midst of all this, when she unexpectedly meets Sam and learns about what he has been doing all these years, and how he is pursuing his dreams makes her take a second look at her carefully laid out path and she begins to wonder if doing what is expected of her is what will make her happy.
Twice As Perfect was an interesting read, and I liked the plot. Not being Nigerian, I have little to no background on the culture, but I thought it was very well explored in this book and I enjoyed reading about it. It was great to read a book set in my hometown of Toronto, I realized only now that I’ve actually never come across one before.
Ada was a remarkably relatable character. The story describes so well how hard it is to be torn between two different cultures, and to have the weight of familial expectations on you. It also wonderfully portrayed Ada’s relationships with her friends and family, though I do wish Sam had more page time. Reconnecting with her brother is what makes Ada rethink everything she thought was set in stone, so it would have been nice to learn more about him. The character development was great and Ada’s arc was very nicely written.
On the down side, I felt like this story was way too long and dragged quite a lot, so I was extremely bored for much of it. The plot set around the wedding didn’t really need so much page time in the earlier parts of the book as it barely felt relevant.
Overall, while it wasn’t really my type of read, nor one of my usual genres, I did like the message the story sent and it was a decent read. I would recommend this book for fans of contemporary novels!
Twice As Perfect releases on July 26th, 2022.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
All quotes in this review were taken from an advance reader’s edition and may differ from the final version of the book.