Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales ~ 304 pages ~ to be published March 9, 2021 by Wednesday Books
Her advice, spot on. Her love life, way off.
• Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes―for a fee.
• Uses her power for good. Most of the time.
• Really cannot stand Alexander Brougham.
• Has maybe not the best judgement when it comes to her best friend, Brooke…who is in love with someone else.
• Does not appreciate being blackmailed.
However, when Brougham catches her in the act of collecting letters from locker 89―out of which she’s been running her questionably legal, anonymous relationship advice service―that’s exactly what happens. In exchange for keeping her secret, Darcy begrudgingly agrees to become his personal dating coach―at a generous hourly rate, at least. The goal? To help him win his ex-girlfriend back.
Darcy has a good reason to keep her identity secret. If word gets out that she’s behind the locker, some things she’s not proud of will come to light, and there’s a good chance Brooke will never speak to her again.
Okay, so all she has to do is help an entitled, bratty, (annoyingly hot) guy win over a girl who’s already fallen for him once? What could go wrong?
What I Thought:
*I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
I am a big fan of friends to lovers romance, as well as enemies to lovers romance, so this book seemed destined to be meant for me! I really loved the premise behind this story, of a girl who runs a secret, and slightly illegal, relationship advice service out of an empty locker in her high school. Then having someone, a very cute someone, find out about it and kind of blackmail her into helping him…mmm, delicious 😉
First, I want to say how much I really liked Darcy. She was very believable as a teenager, which I really appreciated. She was likable while also having some very frustrating flaws (namely lying to the girl she has a huge crush on not once, but twice!) She was also the perfect example of that phenomenon where teens feel like they have all of the answers to life and get really defensive when people try to tell them they are wrong. I loved it. She was real, but you still were rooting for her.
The side characters in this novel were all absolutely fantastic. Darcy’s sister, Ainsley, was so vivacious and full of life. I wanted to be her friend! Also, the fact that she was trans was never explicitly stated, but it was still openly acknowledged. I loved the fact that she was such a prominent part of the book without the author feeling like they had to harp on her sexuality. I thought this was very well done. Speaking of sexuality, all of the LGBT representation in this novel was done so nicely. Darcy is bisexual, and her best friend (and major crush) Brooke is a lesbian. These things were talked about, but they were never the ultimate focus of the novel. I thought this was beautifully written and normalized sexuality in a way I haven’t seen in a YA novel in a while.
Brougham was an interesting character. He starts off the novel kind of aloof and a little bit rude. He slowly opens up as the novel goes along, which I was glad for because I grew to like him more and more. He actually reminded me a bit of Darcy from Pride and Prejudice in that way, and we all know how much I love him ❤️
This is a book about accepting yourself, and also not wrapping yourself up too much in someone else. This is so important, and these are often lessons that teens learn too late. I think this is a great book that you will certainly enjoy if you like a contemporary romance with some self-discovery thrown in.
I gave Perfect on Paper 4 STARS!
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Are you a fan of contemporary romance? What are some of your favorite YA contemporaries? How about any books with LGBTQ+ leads? Let’s chat in the comments!
Love and happy reading,