Hello everyone! I’m sharing a very overdue review for a queer book that I really loved today! This book had messy, flawed characters and some important conversation and made for a cute, fun read!
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of the book via Netgalley but that in no way has any affect on my thoughts on the book.
Perfect On Paper
By Sophia Gonzales
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Content Warnings: biphobia, internalised biphobia, toxic parents, drugs, alcohol, vomiting
In 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?
If you’re looking for a cute, feel good romance with a complete disaster of a main character who’s great at giving relationship advice to others but sucks when it comes to herself, you’re at the right place!
Darcy runs an anonymous relationship advice ‘business’ through a locker, and has a 95% success rate, but when it comes to her own love life, she’s in love with her best friend and doesn’t know how to deal with it. Navigating feelings as a teenager can be hard and I love how this book explored the idea of how everyone has issues they need to deal with, and how they manifest for them in their lives. Teenagers are messy, they don’t know how to process their feelings and they often make mistakes and this book spectacularly explores all of that.
I really love Darcy for how she comes to face those mistakes instead of hiding away from them, and grows as a person. She is a flawed character, but she isn’t afraid to be vulnerable around those important to her and I really loved that about her!
I also loved the relationship between Darcy and her sister. Their ongoing banter and readiness to be there for the other had my heart. The romance was great, but it was really these two that stole my heart.
Now, moving onto the actual romance between Darcy and Brougham – it started off rocky and slowly, as they got to know the other better, it developed until they couldn’t deny their feelings anymore. It was complicated and sometimes, unnecessarily so, but it was just who they were. They worked well together and confided in the other, and I really loved that as their foundation! They are a couple you cannot help but root for!
I also really loved the discussion about biphobia in the book. It’s a hard topic to deal with, but the book does it very well and I enjoyed how it reaffirmed one’s queer identity because being queer can be a challenge, especially for bi people who often face criticism from the queer community too. It was a hard but important conversation that I am very glad was included in the book!
Overall, this was a wholesome, feel good romance with disastrous queer characters, and complicated friendships and relationships you can’t help but root for!
Have you read Raybearer? Do you plan on picking it and it’s sequel up? IF you’ve read either, what did you think of them? – Jayati