Author: Martino, Alfred C.
Format: Trade Paperback
Length: 320 Pages
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 strange 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?
School Library Journal
"The protagonist has an authentic voice, and readers will empathize with her isolation throughout the school day. Some may gloss over the detailed wrestling descriptions, but the romance and other aspects of Melinda's life will strike a chord with girls, even those who don't participate in athletics."
"I encourage all wrestling families and coaches to buy the book, you'll be glad you did."
"Narrator Jen Taylor is splendidly fun as she introduces Mel's friends and family--and the boys who are reluctant to wrestle her. Martino and Taylor also capture Mel's home life as she deals with her bossy grandmother, who wants her to work in her office. Taylor's standout characters are the grandmother and a smarmy guy at the office who hilariously fakes how happy he is to have Mel working there. Listeners go along for the ride as Mel confronts death and eventually wrestles varsity."
InterMat Wrestling, Mark Palmer
"By being the first book to bring together whizzers, takedowns, and other wrestling terminology with Juicy Couture, Calvin Klein and other fashion labels residing in the lead character's closet, Perfected by Girls will do its part to bring more young people -- male and female -- to the benefits of wrestling, and a greater appreciation of those of both sexes who compete in it."
Novel Minded, Emma Brown
"I really enjoyed Perfected by Girls. I absolutely love it when an author is so passionate about something, in this case wrestling, that it shines through and can make the reader feel that passion. I think it's one of the attributes that make a good writer. If you like contemporary fiction, I'd give this one a try. I'm giving Perfected by Girls 4 of 5 stars. Chick Power!."
Chicklish, Luisa Plaja
"The wrestling scenes are infused with enough detail to allow even a not-very-sporty person (i.e. me) feel the drama, and cheer the underdog. Above all, this book is about coming to terms with who you are and reaching for what you want in life. An entertaining coming-of-age story with an original touch."
Ms. Yingling Reads, Karen Yingling, Blendon Middle School Librarian
"Martino does the most awesome wrestling books EVER. (Sorry, Rich Wallace!) My daughter, who has been a wrestling stat for six years and has thought about wrestling herself, still talks about Pinned. The middle school wrestlers, many of whom ran for me, are usually big readers, and I just don't have enough books for them."
"It's a busy year for Melinda Drake Radford as she wrestles on the JV team--and with other challenges of her sophomore year, too. Sometimes, Mel wishes she were a guy, or more like a guy. She envies their muscles and confidence and power. But over the course of several busy months, she does just fine as a girl, even as a girl wrestler, where on the mat the conditions are always the same. The mats are nearly all the same dimensions. Matches are indoors. Singlets and wrestling shoes are pretty much the same. It's just you and your opponent. For three two-minute periods. Off the mats, the world is less predictable. Her wealthy grandmother is pushing her into the business world, her boyfriend is pushing her into the bedroom and her varsity-wrestler brother pushes her to work harder, get better. The novel is a solid portrait of a teenage girl trying to be herself when everyone else seems to be deciding her life for her. Though wrestling is the heart of the tale, Martino wisely resists heavy-handed and inspirational sports metaphors, letting Mel's actions speak for themselves. There's always a need for more sports stories for girls, and this is a solid addition to the genre."
Surrounded By Books Reviews, Cherie Reich
"PERFECTED BY GIRLS has a wonderful, fairly authentic female teen voice. The characters and conflict seemed realistic. I love how the simple act of being a female wrestler showed people's character, whether they supported her or not. I found it interesting to learn about the Greco-Roman style wrestling, how there are women's teams, and how a woman deals with being on a predominately male team. The novel is fast-paced, and I wanted to keep reading until the very last word. If you're looking for a great contemporary young adult novel, then look no further than PERFECTED BY GIRLS by Alfred C. Martino. It's a great read that'll wrestle you to the page and keep you reading until the end."
Alfred C. Martino is the author of two highly-acclaimed young adult novels, Over The End Line and the Jr. Library Guild Selection and 'Best Books For Young Adults' nominee, Pinned.
Amateur wrestling has been a part of Alfred's life for over thirty-five years. He has competed on the midget, junior high, high school and collegiate levels, as well as coached Millburn's youth program for nearly a decade. Mr. Martino was born and raised in Short Hills, NJ, and graduated from Millburn High School, where he was captain of school's 1982 wrestling team. He is a graduate of Duke University and The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He currently lives in Jersey City.
AUTHOR ON THE RADIO
Nov. 2011 Radio Interview With Scott Casber, Host of Takedown Wrestling Radio and TV
AUTHOR ON YOUTUBE
Seminar at Washington Township (NJ) High School - Part 1
Seminar at Washington Township (NJ) High School - Part 2
Washington Township High School Video Ad For Seminar
Jen Taylor is a regional theatre actress based in Seattle, WA. She has voiced nearly thirty audio books, received several Audiofile Awards and was nominated for an Audie Award in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Jen also voices radio and tv commercials, as well as video games, most notably--the character of Cortana in the Halo video games and Princess Peach and Toad in Mario Brothers games.
NOVELS FROM ALFRED C. MARTINO
Over The End Line
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