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Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg
Young adult

Past Perfect Life

by Elizabeth Eulberg

Quick take

Think you know your family? Allison thought life with Dad was perfect—until she discovered his shocking past.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SuburbanDrama

    Suburban drama


Small-town Wisconsin high school senior Allison Smith loves her life the way it is—spending quality time with her widowed father and her tight-knit circle of friends, including best friend Marian and maybe-more-than-friends Neil. Sure she is stressed out about college applications . . . who wouldn’t be? In a few short months, everything’s going to change, big time.

But when Ally files her applications, they send up a red flag . . . because she’s not Allison Smith. And Ally’s—make that Amanda’s—ordinary life is suddenly blown apart. Was everything before a lie? Who will she be after? And what will she do as now comes crashing down around her?

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Free sample

Check out a preview of Past Perfect Life.

Why I love it

When it comes to reading YA contemporary, I crave something cute, but with substance. And on this, I know that Elizabeth Eulberg is always going to deliver. Her well-developed characters, relatable emotions, and sweet romances draw me right into a book’s world—and make it so I never want to leave.

Ally is a small-town girl with a devoted father and a small but wonderful group of friends. Her biggest problem? She’s got nothing noteworthy to include in her college application essays—that is, until an application detects an invalid social security number, and Ally discovers that she’s not who she thought she was. Soon her world is turned upside down as she comes to terms with the lies of her past and her new normal.

Ally’s emotional journey, told through Eulberg’s completely addictive writing, compelled me to keep turning the pages. I was moved by her deep friendships, developing romance, and the challenges her family faced. I didn’t mean to finish this book in one day, but that’s exactly what happened. I couldn’t put it down, and I don’t think you’ll be able to either.

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Member ratings (434)

  • Elizabeth G.

    Dallas, TX

    This was a great book! My favorite part was definitely NEIL, but I loved how it made me think about how both sides of the issue were feeling, as well as about how I would react in the same situation.

  • Lillian G.

    Ventnor, NJ

    “Perfect Past Life” follows 17 year old high school senior Ally Smith. She has her whole life planned out, but when the life she knows is shattered, she must learn to adapt to her new found life.

  • Amanda F.

    Robinson, TX

    I seriously couldn't put this book down and read it from start to finish in one night. I laughed, I cried, I was surprised. It was a quick read that left me hoping for a sequel!

  • Dallas Y.

    PA Furnace , PA

    I loved this book so much. I cried about 90% of the time I was reading it because I felt everything the main character did. I would recommend this book to literally everyone.

  • Kat S.

    Pike Road, AL

    This book was great! My only wish was that it was longer, I felt like it built up and never really concluded? Maybe that means there’s a sequel coming!