Blog Tour Review: A Perfect Mistake by Melanie Conklin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A masterful mix of mystery, ADHD representation, and valuable life lessons.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Melanie Conklin for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: Middle Grade Mystery
Publishing Date: July 12, 2022

A moving, voice-driven novel about friendship, responsibility, and fighting against unfair expectations, for fans of Rebecca Stead and Erin Entrada Kelly.

Max wishes he could go back in time to before he was diagnosed with ADHD, before he grew to be the tallest kid in his class, and before he and his best friends went into the woods in the middle of the night. Max doesn’t remember what happened after he left his friends Will and Joey and the older kids who took them there. He’s not sure if he wants to remember. Knowing isn’t going to make Joey talk to him again, or bring Will out of his coma.

When the local authorities run out of leads, Max realizes that without his help, they may never know what really happened to Will. Charged by the idea that he may be the key to uncovering the truth, Max pairs up with classmate and aspiring journalist Sam to investigate what really happened that night. But not everyone in the community wants that night to be remembered.

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

About the Author

Melanie Conklin grew up in North Carolina and worked as a product designer before she began her writing career. Her debut middle grade novel, Counting Thyme, is a Nerdy Book Award winner, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book, winner of the International Literacy Association Teacher’s Choice Award, and a finalist for the Missouri Mark Twain Book Award, the Iowa Children’s Choice Award, the Illinois Bluestem Award, and the Arkansas Charlie May Simon Award. She is also the author of Every Missing Piece, A Perfect Mistake (2022), and her picture book debut, When You Have to Wait (2023). When she’s not writing, Melanie spends her time doodling and dreaming up new ways to be creative. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

Happy Monday all! The book I’m reviewing today was a lovely middle grade mystery with great ADHD rep. I haven’t read many books with ADHD representation, so I deeply appreciated the educational aspects of this book in relation to how ADHD may present itself in both children and adults.

The plot of A Perfect Mistake follows a young 6th grade boy, Max, as he struggles to figure out how exactly his best friend Will ended up in a medically-induced coma. Will isn’t awake to provide the answers, and Max wasn’t there when Will’s accident occurred. The friend who was there when Will mysteriously got hurt is suddenly no longer talking to him, and the police’s witness reports don’t seem to quite add up. Max and his classmate Sam—in true cozy mystery fashion—decide to team up, determined to find out what really happened that night.

I was a huge fan of both Max and Sam’s characters. It was easy to root for them to succeed because of how morally-good they both were. Seeing how well they communicated with each other and with those close to them was a nice change from the normal overuse of miscommunication tropes that tend to litter MG and YA novels.

If I had to choose what my favorite part about this novel was, I would have to say it was the portrayal of healthy familial relationships. Max gets along well with his parents and his sister and their family is extremely supportive of each other, especially during adversity. Even when there’s tension between Max’s mom and Max’s uncle (his mom’s bother), both Max and his dad are there to provide helpful insight into how they can improve their flawed relationship. Sam and Luca’s sibling dynamic was also lovely to see. Overall, I really enjoyed how this book seemed to be teaching middle grade readers the importance of open and honest communication.

The time I spent reading this book absolutely flew by. I had figure it would be a relatively quick read but I got so lost in the story that, before I knew it, I was already 200 pages is. It can easily be read in one sitting if you have a decent block of time available.

A Perfect Mistake comes out tomorrow, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested!

4 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: A Perfect Mistake by Melanie Conklin

  1. infinitepagesbookreviews July 11, 2022 / 1:52 pm

    Excellent review! This book sounds good and I love to see some accurate ADHD rep in a MG book. I firmly believe kids need to see themselves in characters at times, especially for kids with mental health stuff going on like depression, anxiety or ADHD. They need to see that it’s OK to be like they are. I’ll check this one out!

    Liked by 1 person

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