Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing a review copy of Perfect On Paper!
Oh my god, this book. IT IS SO DAMN CUTE. I cannot. Perfect on Paper has it all – excellent LGBT+ representation, an anonymous relationship advice locker, and a super cute enemies to lovers story. Perfect on Paper feels like a new classic in the YA genre.
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?
I can’t get over how multifaceted and intricate each of the characters are in Perfect on Paper – everyone from the main characters to the side characters all felt like people you could have known in high school. They were all complex and flawed individuals. I particularly loved how the relationship between Darcy and Brougham’s relationship unfurled. Darcy went into their friendship with a lot of assumptions about who he was – she thought he was arrogant and surface level. As they got to know each other, it quickly became apparent just how much Darcy had misjudged him. When they started to see eye to eye, the sparks started flying.
Darcy was a wonderfully complicated character – on the surface she was a bit overconfident (particularly in her knowledge of relationships) and was definitely playing god a bit in her peers’ lives. When she started to get to know Brougham via helping him win his ex back, the cracks started to show in her seemingly perfect character foundation. What I really enjoyed about her was how she grew when everything around her started to fall apart – she learned from her mistakes and worked hard to become a better person.
I really loved how Perfect on Paper tackled some pretty serious topics – specifically, biphobia. Darcy was an out bisexual teen who was active in her school’s LGBT+ community. As the book progressed it became clear she had some serious internalized biphobia. I’ve never read a book where biphobia is directly discussed the way it was in this book – I particularly appreciated Darcy’s speech during a meeting for her school’s Queer and Questioning club.
Perfect on Paper is a new classic YA contemporary for me – I already know I’ll be rereading it ASAP. Between the excellent characters, fun story, and how it tackled important topics, this is definitely one of my new favorite books. This was the first book I’ve read by Sophie Gonzales that I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be the last – I can’t wait to read her other books. 5/5