March 9, 2021
In Sophie Gonzales’ Perfect on Paper, Leah on the Offbeat meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: a bisexual girl who gives anonymous love advice to her classmates is hired by the hot guy to help him get his ex back
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?
Have you ever been so off-put by a narrator’s voice, general bad mood, and whining that you considered just tossing the book aside? That’s exactly how I felt after reading the first couple of chapters of Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales. But then, the most amazing thing happened. Darcy’s snark grew on me and I actually began enjoying her rude sarcasm. Go figure.
Darcy is a bisexual girl who has been in love with her best friend, Brooke, forever. Brooke, however, has never considered Darcy as anything but a friend, so Darcy suffers from unrequited love and lots of jealousy. Darcy has a secret though that only her sister knows about. Darcy gives advice to the lovelorn, the teenagers trying to navigate the murky depths of relationships. And, she’s good at it with about 95% success. When Brougham, a hot swimmer, catches her removing the envelopes from the advice locker 89, he seemingly blackmails her into helping him win back his ex-.
A lot of what I found entertaining about Perfect on Paper was the voice that I initially disparaged. Darcy is a surprising character with a surprising voice. She can be quite egotistical and apt to cut herself slack in instances where she most assuredly should not. She’s self-questioning and definitely one of the more interesting characters I’ve read about in a while. Likewise, Brougham is her equal. They have a snappy rapport to rival some of the best romantic comedy exchanges.
Perfect on Paper speaks matter-of-factly about gender fluidity and the typical teenage worries about fitting in and being accepted and does so without stereotypes. Which brings me to the characters. All of these characters were layered. Even the “mean girl” showed that she was more than a label. They were an enjoyable lot that I would love to read about again.
There were some wonderful scenes in this fast-paced novel, ones that made me laugh and cry (not at the same time). This proved to be the perfect escapism with me reading far longer than I should, but how could I not? I needed to know how things were going to be wrapped up. Loved it!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies