Review; Perfected by Girls by Alfred C. Martino

Alfred C. Martino 
Goodreads summary:
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 herself in the eyes of her detractors. But is she strong enough to handle the pressure?

In the town of Ashton, Michigan Melinda Radford would not be what you call a “typical” high school teenage girl. She is a wrestler, and though her mom and dad outwardly support her it would seem as if they weren’t thrilled to juggle being the parents of not only the Varsity team Co-captain, but the only girl on the team who can’t seem to win.

I was THRILLED to read this story because I had initially thought that I could identify with Melinda after all I too was a lone female wrestler once upon a time, but that was where our similarities ended.  Melinda comes from serious money and though throughout the story she constantly claims to not care about fashion, yet she seems to get rather excited over various top designer items and not only subscribes to but reads fashion magazines.

Then she is supposed to be a “loner” with only one friend, but has the audacity to walk up and flirt with a valet named Stewart only to later have a hard time talking to him, her character seems somewhat flawed.

I like the flow of the story with the exception of a few minor time travels that seem confusing for a brief moment until you read further into the scene for a second then you figure out what’s going on.
I really enjoyed how the reader is brought in on not only the technical names for some of the wrestling moves, but went into detail so that the reader  if they had no knowledge of wrestling can visualize what’s happening in the story.

The ridicule of being the only female on a male dominated sport is intense and I think stories like this can improve the ideals of young impressionable girls and reiterate the theory that they really can do anything that they set their mind to if they are willing to push themselves and in a sense be willing to “suffer” a little to achieve their dreams.

Overall I ended up enjoying this story more than I thought I would in the beginning and I’ve fallen in love with the quote “Wrestling. Invented by boys. Perfected by Girls.”   

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  1. Thanks, Melyssa, for the very nice review. It means even more coming from a (former) girl wrestler!


    Alfred C. Martino



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