Real, Not Perfect Review

So, I recently had the chance to read Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends) and I wanted to share my thoughts with you. If you’re looking for a book that tackles real-life issues while providing a Christian perspective, then this might be the one for you. I’ll give you the lowdown on what I liked and what I think could be improved, so you can decide if it’s worth a read.

Before we dive in, let me just say that this book really resonated with me. It’s not often that you come across young adult fiction that deals with tough topics in a relatable and compassionate way. I think you’ll find this review helpful in deciding if Real, Not Perfect is the right book for you or a young reader in your life.

Pros and Cons

What We Liked

  • The book provides a Christian worldview in a relatable way, which can be hard to find in young adult fiction.
  • The characters are engaging and feel like real people, making the story even more compelling.
  • It tackles tough issues like heartbreak and family struggles, which can be comforting for young readers going through similar situations.
  • The story doesn’t force a perfect, unrealistic happy ending, which adds depth and realism.
  • It’s a quick, captivating read that will keep you turning the pages.

What Can Be Improved

  • Some readers might find the sensitive topics, such as suicide, to be a bit heavy for the intended age group.
  • The book might not be suitable for younger readers, as it delves into mature themes.

Quick Verdict

If you’re in search of a book that offers a Christian perspective on real-life issues for young readers, Real, Not Perfect is a great choice. It’s a captivating read that doesn’t shy away from tough topics, and it’s sure to resonate with anyone navigating the challenges of adolescence. You can find it here.

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Unboxing – What’s Inside?

I purchased Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends) on Amazon because I had read great reviews about it and was eager to dive into a new series. The delivery was incredibly fast, and I received the book within two days of ordering. When I opened the box, I found a brand new, crisp paperback copy of the book.


Publication date: April 6, 2021. Print length: 240 pages. Book 1 of 7: Riverbend Friends. Best Sellers Rank: See Top 100 in Books. Dimensions: 5.43 x 0.63 x 8.19 inches. Item Weight: 6.4 ounces. Grade level: 7 – 9. Reading age: 12 – 16 years. ISBN-13: 978-1589977044. ISBN-10: 1589977041. Paperback: 240 pages. Language: English. Publisher: Focus on the Family (April 6, 2021).


The user guide for Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends) was very helpful in providing background information about the series and the author. It also included discussion questions, making it a great resource for book clubs or group readings. You can find the user guide here.

Features – What We Found

The book Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends) delivers an empowering message about embracing imperfections and being true to oneself. It teaches valuable lessons about self-acceptance and the importance of authenticity, making it a great read for both children and adults. The characters in the story demonstrate the beauty of being real and imperfect, which can resonate with readers of all ages. Pro-tip: Use this book as a conversation starter with your child to discuss the importance of self-love and embracing uniqueness.

The storytelling in Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends) is captivating and engaging, making it an enjoyable read for both kids and parents. The narrative draws readers in and encourages them to empathize with the characters, creating an emotional connection to the story. With its relatable characters and relatable situations, this book is a valuable addition to any family library. Check out the book here.

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This book presents positive role models that children can look up to and learn from. The characters demonstrate qualities such as resilience, empathy, and courage, which can inspire young readers to embody similar traits in their own lives. The story highlights the importance of kindness and understanding, serving as a great example for children to emulate. The positive role models in the book make it a valuable resource for teaching important life lessons in a meaningful way.

Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends) provides plenty of interactive discussion points that can be explored with children. The story opens up opportunities for meaningful conversations about self-esteem, embracing imperfections, and the value of authenticity. Use the book as a tool to initiate discussions with your child and encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings on the topics raised in the story. Pro-tip: Create a safe and open environment for your child to share their own experiences and feelings related to the themes in the book.

The illustrations in Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends) play a crucial role in enhancing the storytelling experience. They bring the characters and their emotions to life, adding depth and visual appeal to the narrative. The art complements the storytelling by capturing the essence of the characters and the messages conveyed in the story. The vibrant and expressive illustrations make the book visually engaging and captivating for readers, further enriching the overall reading experience.

Our Review and More

Our Score: 93.0

Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends) is a captivating young adult fiction book that I couldn’t put down. The story of Tessa grappling with the challenges of life as a teenager in today’s world really resonated with me. The author skillfully portrayed Tessa’s emotional journey, making her struggles feel authentic and relatable. The Christian worldview woven throughout the narrative added depth and meaning to Tessa’s experiences, making this book a refreshing read for young adults. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a compelling story that addresses real-life issues in a way that is both engaging and faith-affirming. If you’re interested in purchasing Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends), you can find it here.

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This book is a valuable addition to any teenager’s reading list as it offers a realistic and insightful perspective on the challenges teens face today. The characters are well-developed and the storyline is compelling, making it a page-turner from start to finish. Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends) provides a powerful message of hope and resilience, making it a must-read for young adults navigating their own struggles and uncertainties. I found myself deeply moved by Tessa’s journey and am eager to continue following her story in the rest of the series.

As a parent, I appreciate that this book presents a positive and faith-based approach to the difficulties teenagers encounter, making it a suitable choice for young readers. The book effectively tackles sensitive topics while offering a Christian perspective, making it both impactful and uplifting. Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends) is a compelling and enriching read that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone seeking a meaningful and engaging young adult novel.

Best combination

Looking for a heartfelt and inspiring read after enjoying Real, Not Perfect (Riverbend Friends)? I highly suggest Searching for Normal (Riverbend Friends) as the perfect companion. This alternate product delves into the lives of characters who are searching for a sense of normalcy amidst life’s unpredictable twists and turns. The depth of their journey will captivate your heart and leave you feeling a profound connection to their stories. Plus, the blend of humor and genuine emotion will keep you engaged from start to finish.

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