Growing up in a society so obsessed with perfection that the government gives people grants for plastic surgery, 15-year-old Morgan can't help being a bit envious of her best friend Summer. Summer is beautiful and rich, her father is a top plastic surgeon and her mother is a beauty consultant with a celebrity client list. Her life seems so effortlessly perfect. Whereas Morgan isn't so rich or beautiful and her little brother, Josh, has Down's syndrome - which, according to the Ministry and society in general, is a crime. Then Josh is kidnapped and the authorities aren't interested so Morgan and Summer decide to investigate. They, along with another teenager, Jamie, whose sister, Holly, has also been kidnapped, uncover a sinister plot involving the kidnapping of disabled children and find themselves in terrible danger. Can they find Josh and Holly before it's too late?
Perfect Summer is set in the future a little, twenty to thirty years from now. The heroine of Perfect Summer is 15 year old Morgan Taylor. Let’s find out a bit more about her.
Q: Everyone is pretty much obsessed with how they look and striving to be as beautiful as they can. How did you feel about that?
Morgan: I never really thought about it, it’s just the way it was. I was actually looking forward to being 16 so I could have some PP (Physical Perfection) surgery.
Q: Your family was put under a lot of pressure when Josh was born. How did that make you feel? Did you ever wish your parents would put him in care?
Morgan: I loved Josh as soon as I saw him, we all did. But I’m really ashamed to admit that I resented him sometimes. I got bullied a lot at school because of him, and that was really hard. But no, I never wanted to send him away. I really love him.
Q: Having a rich, cool friend like Summer must be really hard for you. Did you ever resent her?
Morgan: Yes, lots! I couldn’t help it, she had everything – looks, money, cool parents – the lot! Or so I thought. She was a fantastic friend though, and was always there for me. I felt really sorry for her how everything turned out.
Q: How did you feel when you discovered how many disabled children had been kidnapped and why?
Morgan: Sick. Angry. And desperate to save my little brother.
Q: You, Summer and Jamie risked your lives to find Josh. Especially you and Jamie. Were you ever scared?
Morgan: Terrified! But what could I do? I had to find Josh and the LEF weren’t bothering.
Q: Talking about Jamie, do you fancy him?
Morgan: You bet. He’s really cool. I thought he was a bit geeky at first but he risked everything for us. He’s fantastic.
Q: Do you think your terrible experience has changed you?
Morgan: Definitely. I’ll never be so obsessed with how I look again. There’s more important things in life. And I’m tougher too, stronger inside. I was lucky. I’ve looked death in the face and survived. Others didn’t.
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Karen King has had over one hundred children’s books published. She’s written for many children's magazines too including Sindy, Barbie, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine. She writes for all ages and in all genres; story books, picture books, plays, joke books and non-fiction. Perfect Summer is her first YA. It was runner up in the Red Telephone books YA Novel 2011 competition.