Book Review: A Crooked Kind of Perfect, by Linda Urban


Ten-year-old Zoe Elias
has perfect piano dreams. She can practically feel the keys under her
flying fingers; she can hear the audience’s applause. All she needs is a
baby grand so she can start her lessons, and then she’ll be well on her
way to Carnegie Hall.             

But when Dad ventures to the music
store and ends up with a wheezy organ instead of a piano, Zoe’s dreams
hit a sour note. Learning the organ versions of old TV theme songs just
isn’t the same as mastering Beethoven on the piano. And the organ isn’t
the only part of Zoe’s life that’s off-kilter, what with Mom constantly
at work, Dad afraid to leave the house, and that odd boy, Wheeler Diggs,
following her home from school every day.             

Yet when Zoe
enters the annual Perform-O-Rama organ competition, she finds that life
is full of surprises–and that perfection may be even better when it’s
just a little off center.


Quirky, humorous, and entertaining, A Crooked Kind of Perfect is an adorable middle grade novel with loads of personality.  The short chapters add to the overall quirkiness and young voice of the main character, Zoe.  

With a full set of fascinating and funny characters, you can’t help but love this story.  Zoe is an adorable little girl that has big dreams of playing the piano and being a prodigy.  Even though things don’t work out the way she planned or hoped, she learns to make the best of it and find enjoyment along the way.  With a workaholic mother and an antisocial and paranoid father, Zoe has learned that life doesn’t always hand everything to you on a silver platter.  Sometimes, life hands it it to your ex-best friend.  

Wheeler was a great character.  He was interesting, funny, and a great friend for Zoe.  He is completely loveable and sweet, even if he is a little messy.  

Zoe goes through a lot of the insecurities and roadblocks that many children her age face.  Friends change and move on, parents are neglectful or forgetful, boys start to notice her, and she feels out of place and awkward. 

The writing was fun.  It is like reading a young girl’s thoughts right as she thinks them.  There is a lot of humor in this story and I laughed out loud quite a bit.  I also cried quite a bit.  There are times when I got so wrapped up in Zoe’s story that I almost forgot it was a work of fiction.

I would definitely recommend this book to any young reader!

The Cover: Love love love the cover!  It is so adorable and absolutely perfect for the story.  The design is great and I love the font the designer chose for the title. 

File Size: 154 KB
Print Length: 225 pages
Publisher: Sandpiper; 1 edition (April 6, 2009)


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  • Reply
    Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)
    December 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    OMG! Foot Socks!
    Only in books would there be an organ competition… This sounds exactly what I like to read and what my mom shakes her head out when I take about it because it's a kid's story. I hate that awkward stage that all kid's go through. If I could have skipped it I would have. This one look like a sweet one.
    She’s Got Books on Her Mind

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 12:30 am

    I just loved this book. The foot socks on the cover is what made me pick it up. I'm so glad I did!

  • Reply
    Audiobook Review: Hound Dog True by Linda Urban | title
    September 5, 2015 at 1:36 am

    […] Linda Urban is also the author of A Crooked Kind of Perfect. […]

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