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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. Darcy Phillips: • Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes―for a fee. • Uses her power for good. Most of the time. • 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. Darcy Phillips: • 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?


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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. Darcy Phillips: • Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes―for a fee. • Uses her power for good. Most of the time. • 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. Darcy Phillips: • 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?

30 review for Perfect on Paper

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Gonzales

    This book is a subtweet. I'm kidding (mostly!), but Perfect on Paper was born of some very confused, conflicting feelings. At the time of writing, I was working on a sapphic rom-com, which I was intending to be my next book (watch this space in the future!!), when something happened. I've been writing bisexual characters for many years, but I'd always written them dating someone who shared their gender. Then, in OMD I wrote a bi character whose story culminated in a romance with someone of a dif This book is a subtweet. I'm kidding (mostly!), but Perfect on Paper was born of some very confused, conflicting feelings. At the time of writing, I was working on a sapphic rom-com, which I was intending to be my next book (watch this space in the future!!), when something happened. I've been writing bisexual characters for many years, but I'd always written them dating someone who shared their gender. Then, in OMD I wrote a bi character whose story culminated in a romance with someone of a different gender, and I suddenly received push back. I started hearing that I'd done something wrong, and I won't list the specific things said here, because they're just hurtful, but the reasons given boiled down to this: "a bi person who is in a relationship with a different gender is not correct queer rep". At first, as is normal when we hear we've done something wrong, I felt awful, and doubted myself. But when I thought on it further, I didn't feel guilty anymore. Honestly, I felt angry. Because biphobia is still so ingrained in the community that people not only feel its acceptable to call a bi person less (or not) queer if they choose to date one person over another at a point in time, but that it was so ingrained within me that I hesitated. That I believed, for a moment, I might have done something wrong. So, because I'm me, I did it again but bigger. Perfect on Paper is a rom-com. It's light (mostly) it's funny (well, *my* funny, which means a lot of deadpan and self-deprecating humour, if you're into that), it's romantic. Its main pairing is m/f. And it's unapologetically, intensely, queer. All of those things are true at once. It is about a lot of things. It's about relationships, romantic and platonic. It's about the things we project onto other people to create a narrative that feels safe. It's about being part of the queer community, and feeling like you've lost your place in it because of who you've fallen for. It's about Disneyland (for a chapter). It's about biphobia. It's about love. I want to make it clear: this book has sapphic romance within it, but it is not a sapphic romance book. I don't want anyone going into this hoping to see representation that isn't there. I know how that feels. HOWEVER, I also want people to know the representation that *is* there. This is, at its core, a very queer story. This story is for everyone, but, most especially, it is for my bi--and my pan--readers. You are queer, because you are, and who you fall for or date or kiss does not alter that. No one else can change you. I know that the community has its prejudices, but I also know the boundless capacity for love and support that it has. The strength that it has. I hope that this ownvoices book is seen for what it is, and that the fear in the pit of my stomach that it will be pushed out for not being quite queer enough will turn out to be just that. Only fear. Love to all of you!!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    Full of cliche tropes and to slow for my liking, the only good thing was the end.

  3. 4 out of 5

    anna (½ of readsrainbow)

    rep: bi girl mc, trans sc, Vietnamese-American lesbian sc, bi sc, gay sc, pan nonbinary sc tw: biphobia, internalised biphobia, toxic parents, drugs, alcohol, vomiting If you’ve read Only Mostly Devastated, you probably more or less know what to expect here: teens who are allowed to make questionable choices & mistakes, and to learn from them; great dynamics between characters, be it friends, family or romantic partners; and of course great writing. Perfect on Paper offers all that, and more. Let’s rep: bi girl mc, trans sc, Vietnamese-American lesbian sc, bi sc, gay sc, pan nonbinary sc tw: biphobia, internalised biphobia, toxic parents, drugs, alcohol, vomiting If you’ve read Only Mostly Devastated, you probably more or less know what to expect here: teens who are allowed to make questionable choices & mistakes, and to learn from them; great dynamics between characters, be it friends, family or romantic partners; and of course great writing. Perfect on Paper offers all that, and more. Let’s start with the writing. Gonzales’ style is very clean, which is to say: it’s not purple prose, it’s not clunky, it doesn’t feel like it’s unpolished. It’s clean. It’s also fresh, and really does make you believe the characters are teens. And funny. Probably helps that my sense of humour clearly aligns with the author’s, but the point stands. The fact that the writing is so good, also translates into all the characters being well developed, superbly fleshed out. Which is possibly my favourite part of the book. Because I don’t just mean that yeah, it’s very easy to feel like you know all those people you’re reading about & like they’re real people. I mean that they are people, they do things they regret later, they keep secrets they know they shouldn’t, they hurt others. None of them are perfect, least of all Darcy. And that’s beautiful, frankly, since in real life no one is perfect either. Darcy is an amazing main character. She’s kind of messy, in love with her best friend, and thinks she’s smarter than everyone else (at least a little bit). She doesn’t end the story like that, though. When I say all those characters grow and learn, I’m dead serious. Darcy has all the answers. She knows how to solve everyone else’s love problems. She reads one letter, and she’s already an expert about any given situation. And like with everything, there are a lot of sides to look at this from. Yes, the advice she anonymously gives people is usually spot on. No, she can’t really know a person’s full story from a few facts they decided to put in a note - but the narrative calls her out on this. Yes, it’s made clear that it’s easier to figure out what to do when you’re not emotionally invested & that’s one of the reasons why Darcy is so successful. No, she can’t really take her own advice. When it comes to her own love life, Darcy reads too much into things or just doesn’t notice stuff, all depending on the outcome she’s hoping for. None of that smart assessment of situation she displays when telling others what to do. Very little logic, a lot of wishful thinking. Which, honestly, makes perfect sense. Darcy is also bisexual, and to be honest, that’s where the book truly gets to shine. You can clearly tell it’s an ownvoices story, with all the care taken to portray bisexuality. Not only in the very clear way of how the plot unfolds: Darcy is in love with a girl and then later falls for a boy (that’s not a spoiler, right? y’all must have been expecting that). There are also discussions, internal monologues about what bisexuality actually is and how biphobia comes into play. I don’t think I’ve ever read a YA book with bi rep this good. And yes, the Boy. Brougham is just… so sweet. Basically always willing to help, to spend time with someone, make them feel better. But even more importantly, Brougham puts a lot of weight on other people’s feelings, opinions, boundaries. In a phrase, he respects people. If Darcy tells him she doesn’t enjoy something, he’ll stop. A revolutionary concept, yes, I know. That’s just to show you, though, what an important part relationships play in Perfect on Paper. Obviously the romantic ones, given the whole premise of the book. Even with those, Gonzales took some turns you might not be expecting; some happy endings that don’t look like them from the start. But different kinds of relationships aren’t downplayed at all. Darcy and her sister are a major point in the story. Parents are actually visible here, and while they’re not always perfect, the narrative actually talks about that. Perfect on Paper is a perfectly wholesome story about imperfect people. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you yearn. It might even make you learn something. Most of all, it will make you feel loved.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    If I'm being honest, I don't even know where to start my review for Perfect on paper, so I'll just say... This book was everything! I have only read 4 ya books this year, and this novel reminded me how much I enjoy this genre, and how I happen to miss it, so in some way it can be said it inspired me to go more often for books from that genre. Perfect on Paper has amazing cast of characters, with great lgbtq+ representation. Our main character Darcy is bisexsual, her best friend is lesbian, her siste If I'm being honest, I don't even know where to start my review for Perfect on paper, so I'll just say... This book was everything! I have only read 4 ya books this year, and this novel reminded me how much I enjoy this genre, and how I happen to miss it, so in some way it can be said it inspired me to go more often for books from that genre. Perfect on Paper has amazing cast of characters, with great lgbtq+ representation. Our main character Darcy is bisexsual, her best friend is lesbian, her sister is in transition, and they are also members of lgbtq+ group in their high school, that so many wonderful charaters are part of. Now when we covered them, I want to sress out how joyful, fun and entertaining the plot is. I can't remember when was the last time I enjoyed a book so much. This novel has only 304 pages, but I read it for days, because I wanted to spend as much time with it as possible. However, I am sure it could be devoured in one-two sittings only. When Perfect on Paper came out a month ago, I feel it was talked about, but in my opinion it deserves bigger promotion because it really stands out and has potential to become one of today's ya classics. I would also like to see it on screens one day, hopefully soon. So if you want my advice, do yourself a favour and give this book a chance. I am sure many people will enjoy it, take something out of it and understand why it deserves the hype. I highly, highly recommend it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Hands down! What a great mash up of Simon vs Homo sapiens agenda, Leah on the Offbeat meets Netflix’s Sex Education series, To All the boys I loved before is fresh baked from the oven with amazing LGBTQ representation! Bisexual heroine, straight hero and gay, lesbian, trans supporting characters present us wide spectrum of sexual identity exploration of the young adults, challenges they face and learn to love true selves are well told by reflecting different perspectives honestly and realistical Hands down! What a great mash up of Simon vs Homo sapiens agenda, Leah on the Offbeat meets Netflix’s Sex Education series, To All the boys I loved before is fresh baked from the oven with amazing LGBTQ representation! Bisexual heroine, straight hero and gay, lesbian, trans supporting characters present us wide spectrum of sexual identity exploration of the young adults, challenges they face and learn to love true selves are well told by reflecting different perspectives honestly and realistically. Darcy Philips is school’s secret relationship consultant, yes, she’s different from Otis Milburn character from Sex Education :She doesn’t only help her friends with her objective opinions to solve their sexual problems with partners, she also help them to face their emotional problems gently. Of course she keeps her identity secret, collecting the letters from a secret locker, answering the questions via a pen name. She’s bisexual and she has second thoughts to date with opposite gender because she is afraid of being perceived as less queer by her inner circle! See, firstly she needs to fight against the wrong thought patterns to have a fulfilled, satisfying relationship. But unfortunately the most disturbing guy who pisses her off all the time finds out her secret. Yes, the one and only Alexander Brougham knows who she is and in exchange of his silence, he demands free relationship consultation from her to earn back his old girlfriend. It seems like easy peasy task for Darcy but what if the guy she thinks a real douchebag slowly starts to attract her attention more than she thinks and there is still risk that her best friend Brooke can learn her true identity which may end their whole relationship. Yes, when it comes to hearts, there will be always unexpected, surprising complications. Do you want to know what will happen next? Go on, but the book, devour the pages and find out! I mostly enjoyed this sweet, thought provoking, meaningful story. The first half of the book was a little slow for me and I wish the story may have been told in lesser pages which would have been helpful with the pacing but it was still enjoyable, entertaining, lovely. I’m rounding up 3.5 stars to 4 brave, complex, smart stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Wednesday Books for sharing this impressive ARC with me in exchange my honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    I'm sitting here in ALL the good feels right now, which is the perfect way to be when a book ends. It was so fun, but also so full of drama and mass bad decisions and absolute clueless numpties who need to jUST KISS ALREADY and it had some incredibly important things to say. After starting this year with falling in love with Only Mostly Devastated, I am a definite Gonzales romcom fan. 😍 relationship advice I loved the premise of this! Darcy runs an anonymous relationship advice business. No one in I'm sitting here in ALL the good feels right now, which is the perfect way to be when a book ends. It was so fun, but also so full of drama and mass bad decisions and absolute clueless numpties who need to jUST KISS ALREADY and it had some incredibly important things to say. After starting this year with falling in love with Only Mostly Devastated, I am a definite Gonzales romcom fan. 😍 relationship advice I loved the premise of this! Darcy runs an anonymous relationship advice business. No one in the school knows its her answering but she gives actually very good, well-researched advice.....despite never having been in a relationship herself. Part of me was like "duh why wouldn't she tell her best friend she's in love withe her?!" But also it's HARD. I get why she struggled to be brave enough. And I always love with a character is so super smart and insightful...until it's their own problems, and then they're a MESS. 😂 It has a bit of annoyed-at-each-other-to-lovers dynamics. So many queer characters, none of which felt stereotyped or cliche! It discusses biphobia too. And Darcy's sister is trans (honestly their relationship was everything!! sister goals). And it talks a bit about vaguely problematic parents and unpacks what love really even is. Also there's some exceptionally epic dialogue and funny moments. I love it when a book makes me feel things and laugh. Darcy is a total mess, and I loved her for it. She makes huge mistakes, and her flaws made her feel real (also everyone acted like actual teens!!). I also thought the book handled catastrophes really healthily and realistically. Although I was dying softly as Darcy crashed headfirst into BAD ideas omg. I had such a good time reading this! The romance, the friendships, the sisterly bonds, the hilarious scenes, the easy to absorb writing 😩👌🏻 A delight. Also nice to see Australian authors making it out in the world!! Darcy was American but Brougham was Australian and omg there were some PEAK Aussie culture references that made me laugh.

  7. 5 out of 5

    jenny✨

    03/09/2021: HAPPY PUB DAY! 💙💜💖 Now THIS is the kind of teen rom-com fluff I could get behind! 🥺 I’ve been struggling lately to find quirky, lighthearted romances that I enjoy, but Perfect on Paper hit just the right notes. The premise is oh-so-tropey and oh-so-good: Darcy Phillips is a high school junior, bisexual, member of the Queer & Questioning Club, daughter of the school’s science teacher. She’s also the person behind Locker 89, a mysteriously abandoned locker where everyone knows you ca 03/09/2021: HAPPY PUB DAY! 💙💜💖 Now THIS is the kind of teen rom-com fluff I could get behind! 🥺 I’ve been struggling lately to find quirky, lighthearted romances that I enjoy, but Perfect on Paper hit just the right notes. The premise is oh-so-tropey and oh-so-good: Darcy Phillips is a high school junior, bisexual, member of the Queer & Questioning Club, daughter of the school’s science teacher. She’s also the person behind Locker 89, a mysteriously abandoned locker where everyone knows you can drop $10 and a letter seeking relationship advice, and bam! You get an e-mail back from an anonymous relationship guru, love and satisfaction guaranteed. No one knows who she is, and that’s how she likes it. Until the day Alexander Brougham discovers her identity. (Picture Bill Skårsgard but Australian, aloof, and on the swim team.) And, to her horror and outrage, proceeds to blackmail her. If Darcy will help him get his ex-girlfriend back, he won’t tell the school she’s Locker 89. Sounds simple enough—until their antagonistic, strictly business relationship starts to become something more. Except Darcy’s been crushing HARD on her best friend, Brooke Nguyen, for ages. She likes Brooke. Not Brougham… Right? I'm not kidding—someone make this film adaptation stat!!! ◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️ Perfect on Paper wasn’t, well, perfect. (I’m so eloquent, aren’t I?) I mean, were certain moments cheesy? You bet. Was it overly didactic sometimes? For sure. The messages in this book are not subtle whatsoever, and they occasionally even verge on instructional. It felt at times like this novel was contorting itself to be perfectly inoffensive. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! It just felt a little conspicuous. (And I’m not simply talking about the advice that Darcy dispenses as a relationship guru. Though, for the record, I actually really liked reading Darcy’s responses to the students who sought her relationship advice—her words were optimistic, usually nuanced, but still firm and grounded in reality. I don’t personally buy into every psychological theory on love & relationships (my psych degree cured me of that gullibility) but I did appreciate Darcy’s advice. I felt like I could use her words in my own life, too.) ◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️ This novel touches on fatphobia and body positivity (via Darcy’s plus-size mum). It has scenes depicting characters being responsible drivers after a night of drinking, partners asking for consent (explicit and implicit), friends taking care of friends who’ve taken one too many weed gummies, and Darcy standing up to biphobia from her parents and her queer/straight friends and herself. This novel models boundary-setting. It affirms the heart-rending pain of friendship breakups, and how hard it is to accept we’ve fucked up, that we’ve hurt someone we love. And then it goes on to show that even in spite of this, we can own up to our mistakes. And of course: this novel, to my utter delight, represents a brilliant array of queer characters. There’s Ainsley, Darcy’s sister; she’s trans and a popular YouTuber with a knack for fashion, thrifting, sewing, and bugging/loving the heck out of Darcy. There’s Brooke, who’s Vietnamese and lesbian, and Finn, who’s Korean, gay, and convinced Chad/Ryan from HSM are the biggest conspiracy to ever exist. There are several other members of the Q&Q Club: Alexei’s pan and nonbinary, Lily’s ace, Raina’s bi like Darc. In fact, that was the best part about Perfect on Paper: it embraces queer characters in all roles and spaces. These are queer folk who are loving and petty and funny and hurtful and kind, all of it at once. It felt so goddamn real. And that’s what I loved best about Darcy, too: Sophie Gonzales was NOT afraid to write all of Darcy’s imperfections, her selfish and petty and straight up mean moments. This book toes the line between being a little too preachy and being just the right amount of instructive—and it’s Darcy who really keeps the balance firmly on the side of authentic and believable and fun. Here is a protagonist who is neither perfect on paper nor in practice; she fucks up, several times, and each time you can’t help but root for her. Bottom line: Was this book perfect? Not at all. But it DID make me genuinely laugh. Its protagonist was flawed and all the realer for it. The love interest, despite being a rich straight white dude, was fucking adorable. And the REP WAS GREAT. Like I said: Perfect on Paper hit just the right notes. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Storiesandcoffee

    "You are queer, because you are, and who you fall for or date or kiss does not alter that. No one else can change you." - Sophie Gonzales This. 👏🏻 Book. 👏🏻 Dynamic and diverse, Perfect on Paper is the YA romance I've been waiting for. The representation in this book is praiseworthy, with lovable characters and a fresh-voiced heroine who is flawed but self-aware. A unique plot with a Dear Abby vibe, Perfect on Paper is about a girl named Darcy who uses an unclaimed locker and a secret alias to give "You are queer, because you are, and who you fall for or date or kiss does not alter that. No one else can change you." - Sophie Gonzales This. 👏🏻 Book. 👏🏻 Dynamic and diverse, Perfect on Paper is the YA romance I've been waiting for. The representation in this book is praiseworthy, with lovable characters and a fresh-voiced heroine who is flawed but self-aware. A unique plot with a Dear Abby vibe, Perfect on Paper is about a girl named Darcy who uses an unclaimed locker and a secret alias to give advice to her classmates. (Her classmates write her letters about their relationship problems, leave their letters in the locker, and she replies via email with advice.) But when she is caught emptying the locker by the senior class heartthrob, he convinces her to help him win his ex-girlfriend back, and suddenly she's spending more and more time with a boy she never expected to be interested in. There's some high school drama here that feels very...well...high school, but I still can't give this book anything less than 5 stars. I wish I had this book available to me when I was growing up. I wish I went to a school with a Q&Q (Queer and Questioning) Club. I wish I knew the extent of biphobia before reading this, but I'm grateful for this story and for all it has taught me. TW: biphobia, internalized biphobia, toxic parents, drugs, alcohol Thank you Wednesday Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    oh my goodness, what a wholesome read!! it's a fluffy YA romcom, so perfect on paper is often predictable and cheesy. but it's such a sweet and easy book; the dialogue feels very real; and there's a diverse array of lgbt+ representation. i snagged perfect on paper because of one element of the premise that's absolutely irresistible: our bi protagonist runs an anonymous relationship advice service for her fellow high school students. like our protagonist, darcy, i love relationship shit. browsing r/ oh my goodness, what a wholesome read!! it's a fluffy YA romcom, so perfect on paper is often predictable and cheesy. but it's such a sweet and easy book; the dialogue feels very real; and there's a diverse array of lgbt+ representation. i snagged perfect on paper because of one element of the premise that's absolutely irresistible: our bi protagonist runs an anonymous relationship advice service for her fellow high school students. like our protagonist, darcy, i love relationship shit. browsing r/relationshipadvice is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. it's fascinating and entertaining, and i like to think that analyzing complicated relationship dilemmas can help me to function better in my own relationships. and the advice angle in this story is really fun. most chapters begin with an anonymous letter requesting relationship advice, followed by darcy's response. this breaks up the story nicely, and makes it hard to put the book down! and hey, readers might learn something, too. one of the most important components of any relationship is COMMUNICATION, so ironically this is something that darcy struggles with. for much of the book, she is unable to tell either of her potential love interests how she feels. (view spoiler)[and yes, there is a BI LOVE TRIANGLE. i have to admit that this is one of the first times a fictional m/f romance has ever appealed to me. i even have a too-hetero shelf for all the books with boy/girl stuff that's made me cringe. but there's one particular scene between darcy and brougham that made me absolutely GLOW with warm fuzziness!! i consider this a mark of good writing. (hide spoiler)] we've got fun romance tropes, miscommunications, messy emotions, and lots of other good stuff. this is also a super validating book for bi readers. i really appreciate the frank discussions of biphobia. and even though our characters all feel very real and make plenty of mistakes, there's such an overwhelmingly positive vibe here. if you want some light and easy, warm and fuzzy entertainment with solid lgbt+ representation, this is your book!! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Corina

    I adored this book. It was poignant, interesting, sweet, sassy, entertaining and thoughtful. The set up was refreshingly unique, focusing on a YA relationship column out of a locker with great relationship advice. The relationship advice was on point and incredibly thoughtful, loved it. The main characters were all genuinely likeable, and I especially loved the sass between them all. Most of all I LOVED the writing, smart, witty and authentic. I had a blast reading the book, it was a fast and easy I adored this book. It was poignant, interesting, sweet, sassy, entertaining and thoughtful. The set up was refreshingly unique, focusing on a YA relationship column out of a locker with great relationship advice. The relationship advice was on point and incredibly thoughtful, loved it. The main characters were all genuinely likeable, and I especially loved the sass between them all. Most of all I LOVED the writing, smart, witty and authentic. I had a blast reading the book, it was a fast and easy read with many memorable moments, fantastic bi rep, and many thoughtful scenes. Since this is a YA novel, there were a couple moments when it became very YA, like head shakingly so, but otherwise it was enjoyable and I'm actually looking forward to reading the author's next book. ___________________________________ I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author. Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog Follow me on Bookstagram

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    huh, well... I'm not a total fan of this cover... it's just kind of generic... very HarperTeen-y ----------- i am here for the gay highschooler chaos | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram huh, well... I'm not a total fan of this cover... it's just kind of generic... very HarperTeen-y ----------- i am here for the gay highschooler chaos | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tijana

    Thank you St Martin Press for sending Perfect on Paper ARC my way. It was everything I ever needed! Disclaimer: overall, this story deserves a solid 4-star-rating, but I can't rate less than 5 stars a book with such a wonderful representation. "It’s when bisexuals start to believe the biphobia they’re surrounded by. We’re told that our sexuality isn’t real, or that we’re straight if we’re with another gender, and that our feelings don’t count if we’ve never dated a certain gender, that kind of Thank you St Martin Press for sending Perfect on Paper ARC my way. It was everything I ever needed! Disclaimer: overall, this story deserves a solid 4-star-rating, but I can't rate less than 5 stars a book with such a wonderful representation. "It’s when bisexuals start to believe the biphobia they’re surrounded by. We’re told that our sexuality isn’t real, or that we’re straight if we’re with another gender, and that our feelings don’t count if we’ve never dated a certain gender, that kind of crap. Then we hear it so many times we doubt ourselves.” Every aspect of this book was remarkable. Slightly flawed, yet absolutely likable bisexual MC; two adorable love interests: MC's sweetheart best friend and seems-stuck-up-but-actually-funny-and-down-to-earth guy; realistic family dinamics; all my beautiful supporting queer characters. Every page was filling me with warm, fuzzy feelings! There better be a whole lot of hype surrounding this book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    fanna

    ↣ digital copy received via the netgalley ↢ May 26, 2020: We already have a cover?! That color tho. I like it! May 20, 2020: After having loved Only Mostly Devastated, I'm ready to read everything that Sophie Gonzales writes so of course I'm excited for this one to release! ↣ digital copy received via the netgalley ↢ May 26, 2020: We already have a cover?! That color tho. I like it! May 20, 2020: After having loved Only Mostly Devastated, I'm ready to read everything that Sophie Gonzales writes so of course I'm excited for this one to release!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Holly | The Caffeinated Reader

    This book revolves around Darcy, our bisexual main character who runs an anonymous relationship-advice service from an unoccupied locker in her school. She's been doing this successfully for the last two years without issue, that is, until she gets caught redhanded by the school heartthrob as she's retrieving the letters. Unfortunately for Darcy, this means he's able to blackmail her into being his own personal relationship advisor to help him win back his ex, and as you can probably guess, thi This book revolves around Darcy, our bisexual main character who runs an anonymous relationship-advice service from an unoccupied locker in her school. She's been doing this successfully for the last two years without issue, that is, until she gets caught redhanded by the school heartthrob as she's retrieving the letters. Unfortunately for Darcy, this means he's able to blackmail her into being his own personal relationship advisor to help him win back his ex, and as you can probably guess, things don't exactly go smoothly. This book is 100% one of my top reads of the year. Never before has a book made me feel so seen and validated that I maybe almost cried at work over it. The way this book handled the bisexuality of the main character is some of the best bisexuality rep I've seen. It made me wish I'd had this book growing up because it would have really helped me out with my own struggles and worries surrounding my sexuality, but I'm elated that teens today have this type of representation. There were so many times where the main character's internal thoughts and struggles mirrored almost word-for-word my own. This particularly hit with how the book tackled biphobia and internalised biphobia. At numerous points throughout the book, people suggest that if Darcy dates a guy then she's basically straight and doesn't need to worry about dealing with homophobia, which completely invalidates her bisexuality. This is something I've heard and had said to myself, and when you hear it enough times it starts to worm its way into your brain and affects the way you view yourself. It makes you start to doubt your own sexuality and whether you do deserve to label yourself as gay or part of the LGBT+ community. That's why this book is so deeply important to me, because it lay this groundwork and then gave Darcy the chance to air her grievances about this biphobia and call attention to how hurtful it is in a way that made me feel so seen and validated. I also really appreciated that it didn't show these comments as coming from people who said them with the intention to harm, but from her friends and family who just didn't realise that what they were saying was wrong. Because that's the thing, biphobia can be really subtle and people don't realise how invalidating what they view as just a throwaway sentence can be. But yeah, i just really appreciated how this book depicted biphobia and the validation it gave to my sexuality. If you're bisexual - even if you don't normally read YA - please do yourself a favour and read this book in March when it comes out, it honestly felt like a form of self-care reading it. Another thing that really stood out for me was how this book utilised Darcy's relationship advice service as a way to offer up a plethora of information and advice to the readers on a number of topics, including relationships, consent, identity, sexuality. Multiple chapters began with someone asking for advice and Darcy's email response to them. Through this, the author is able to teach readers how to set boundaries in relationships, how to communicate effectively and convey your feelings, and that you should never settle for less than you deserve. This book is honestly filled with so much useful information that even I - at the ripe old age of 24 - was learning things. I just think that this is such an important aspect to include in the book and I really think it's going to help a lot of young readers. Alongside this, I also really loved the side characters and the plot, and honestly, I don't really have anything negative to say about this book, I loved it. So with that, please go pre-order it because this is such an important book for teen readers and I cannot recommend it enough.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emma Lord

    Y'all, I got to read the beginning of this when it was but a wee baby on proposal, and I adored it then and love every page of what it came to be! Sophie yet again gave us a narrator you root for from page one, and an ensemble of ridiculously lovable characters to boot. Don't miss out on this one, it'll hit you in all your feels <3. Y'all, I got to read the beginning of this when it was but a wee baby on proposal, and I adored it then and love every page of what it came to be! Sophie yet again gave us a narrator you root for from page one, and an ensemble of ridiculously lovable characters to boot. Don't miss out on this one, it'll hit you in all your feels <3.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

    Hold on... Before the full synopsis was released this book sounded a lot like Simon Vs, but now it actually really sounds like The Half of It and I’m like... very excited... and also emotional... ❤️

  17. 5 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    It's always strange to like something but have complicated thoughts or feelings about aspects of it.. and yet still can't help but rate it highly. That's really where I'm at. I don't think this is going to be a particularly informative or cohesive review, just warning you now. Overall I just want to say how happy I am that, conflicted confusedness aside, it is easier to like to this vs how I felt about ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED, which just didn't settle with me very well. The abovementioned was so m It's always strange to like something but have complicated thoughts or feelings about aspects of it.. and yet still can't help but rate it highly. That's really where I'm at. I don't think this is going to be a particularly informative or cohesive review, just warning you now. Overall I just want to say how happy I am that, conflicted confusedness aside, it is easier to like to this vs how I felt about ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED, which just didn't settle with me very well. The abovementioned was so messy and while we do have some mess, some misguided elements in PERFECT ON PAPER, it was.. a more acceptable mess, if that makes sense. Or maybe I was just more forgiving of it. "You do realize I'm agreeing with you here?" "I guess I’ve never had agreement feel so much like an argument." I can definitely suspend some of my disbelief at how competent a sixteen year old was at dispensing sage and well researched romantic advice to her peers but the narrative is pushed that said advise is well researched, well intentioned, so I can probably eat that one. And what helps to sell it is that while she's being paid, she's doing it to help others, as a passion project, and that goes a long way vs just doing it just for cash or to collect secrets on her peers. The motivation changes everything. "Did a fight lead to the breakup?" "More or less. I guess I gave her an ultimatum." "You didn't." "I wish that were true." "Why didn't you just throw a fucking grenade between you while you were at it?" So many elements of this felt strong; the mention but lack of focus, or harping, on her sister's transition. The discussion around queerness, specifically internalized and externalized biphobia. The ego checks our lead received throughout regarding missteps in advice, in realizing some people didn't want her help, and more. Where I think this was a bit weak, even though it played a big role, was her relationship with her best friend and, initially, the characterization of a love interest. Eventually the latter smoothed out but I do wonder if I missed something to explain why he behaved the way he did in the beginning. I'm not quite complaining as I found the interactions totally delightful because of how frustrating they found each other, but I still wish maybe something had been offered up as a why. But for the best friend, well.. I don't know. Something never really sat right about that dynamic. And I don't want to touch on too much for risk of spoilers — and a few other niggles are maybe too specific to mention for that same reason — so.. insert vague vagueries here. I don't know if this review is coming across as positive as a four star would warrant but I'll refer you back to my opening paragraph. Something about this just confuses me even though I enjoyed it so so much. Was it perfect? No. But it did just enough right. And I was just so happy about the ending, particularly one little interaction that shouldn't be so momentous, and may not even be remarked by many, but just.. wrecked me a bit. Left me so soft. And that combined with the fact that I couldn't tear myself away from this, well.. here we are. After my (albeit, strange) success with this sophomore release, I'm even more excited for what is to come for this author. ** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** ---- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  18. 4 out of 5

    tappkalina

    So... I dnf'd it halfway through, because nothing really happened and I didn't like where the story was going, but then I wasn't in a mood for another book, so I was like, might as well finish this one. And I'm happy I did. I guess. I listened to it on 2x speed and was still quite bored, but I really liked the end, and the relationship was my kind of sweet. So... I dnf'd it halfway through, because nothing really happened and I didn't like where the story was going, but then I wasn't in a mood for another book, so I was like, might as well finish this one. And I'm happy I did. I guess. I listened to it on 2x speed and was still quite bored, but I really liked the end, and the relationship was my kind of sweet.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Iris

    Second read, April 21st, 2021: hi so I love this book SO much!! I had so much time buddy reading this with Dezzy (aka one of my favourite humans <333), and it was also just so nice to be back with Darcy and Brougham and Ainsley and AHHHH I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH Y'ALL PLS just!! ahhhh!! it's so good!!! go read this! kthanksbye! First read review: I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my opinions in any way. I’ve been putting off writing this review Second read, April 21st, 2021: hi so I love this book SO much!! I had so much time buddy reading this with Dezzy (aka one of my favourite humans <333), and it was also just so nice to be back with Darcy and Brougham and Ainsley and AHHHH I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH Y'ALL PLS just!! ahhhh!! it's so good!!! go read this! kthanksbye! First read review: I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my opinions in any way. I’ve been putting off writing this review for quite some time now, but I guess I need to try and be coherent now. If you follow me like anywhere I’m sure you’ve seen me screaming about this book—it even made it to #5 on my favourites list for 2020—because I absolutely adored it, but actually sitting down and putting that love into words has proven to be difficult. But I’m going to try, so buckle up. I think the first thing to talk about is how much I adore Sophie Gonzales’ writing. If you like voicey contemporaries, her books are definitely the books for you. She has such a distinctive style, but still manages to differentiate the narrator from one book to another, and honestly what I wouldn’t give to be able to write voice like she does. It’s always a good sign when the protagonist’s internal monologue can make me laugh out loud, and this book had me laughing a lot. Darcy’s narration is just delightful. And on that note: Darcy. Our protagonist. Darcy Phillips is a hot mess, but in the very best way. If you dislike characters who are messy and selfish and sometimes do things that are less than great . . . Darcy is going to frustrate you big time. If you’re like me and you love messy characters . . . you’re still going to want to yell at Darcy once or twice, but you’ll probably love her too. I think—as much as I wanted to scream at her on occasion—that how messy and flawed she is was what I loved about her the most. She has a lot on her plate, and she’s not exactly handling it the best, but she genuinely does have so much good in her, and she cares so much. Also she’s so freaking smart and I love that for her, like she’s such a nerd and she’s so intelligent about relationships and stuff, and she . . . doesn’t always know how to apply that to her own life, but it made her narration so interesting. Honestly, I think my favourite part of the book is how it deals with relationships. Darcy has set up a business giving out relationship advice, and seeing her analyze all these different relationships and give this insightful advice was so fascinating. And the way it contrasted with the actual relationships in the book—and how their messiness wasn’t so easy to just fix—really drove home the point that all of this advice she was giving, while generally good advice, was sometimes easier on paper than it was in reality. Although Darcy’s advice focused on romantic relationships, all the different types of relationships in the book were so well done. I especially loved how messy and complicated the friendships were. Some of them made me really soft, some of them made me want to scream, but all of them were so perfectly written, and I would like to scream a lot because I had feelings. Her friendship with Brooke was definitely not . . . peak healthiness, but that only made it an even more interesting dynamic to explore. Both of them loved each other very much, and they really mattered to each other, but they also had a lot of pent up stuff that they needed to talk about and didn’t, and it hurt to read but ahhh it was written so well. The family relationships were also really nuanced and well done. 10/10 would like to write character dynamics this well please. Of course, as wonderful as the friendships and family relationships are, this book is ultimately a rom-com, and so that leaves us with the romance left to talk about. And let me tell you, the romance in this is incredible. The tension, the tenderness, the banter . . . all of it is top notch. Darcy and Brougham make such a good couple (and I would do absolutely anything for Brougham, just saying), and I’m just *screams* Seriously they’re so cute omg, I absolutely adore these two dorks. And like if you love banter? You want this book. (also I just want to note in case anyone else has the same qualms, I was slightly wary of how they were going to get from blackmail to like. a healthy relationship. but I swear it does actually work out in a really respectful way that worked really well!) Lastly, I want to touch on the queer rep in this book, because it’s such an important part of it. It’s so delightfully queer, and there’s a lot of queer joy in it, but it also addresses biphobia and how that comes from within the community as much as it does from without, and I think it has some very necessary conversations about that. I also really appreciated how the side characters spanned a lot of different identities, and it was nice to see a cast of queer characters that wasn’t all cis and allo. Anyways in short: go read this book. It’s so fun and sweet and heartfelt and funny and also I’ll love you forever if you come talk to me about it pls Initial reaction, Aug 15 2020: hi I don't have words I adored this wow I will like,,, actually review this later. but wow I loved it so much. I honestly think I would read anything Sophie Gonzales writes at this point because her books always hit me so hard despite also being fluffy fun silly romcoms anyways I cried I laughed I fell in love with this cast of characters and I don't want it to be over

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    a bisexual girl who gives anonymous love advice to her classmates is hired by the hot guy to help him get his ex back OMG THIS SOUNDS LIKE JACK OF HEARTS MEETS TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE YES YES YES a bisexual girl who gives anonymous love advice to her classmates is hired by the hot guy to help him get his ex back OMG THIS SOUNDS LIKE JACK OF HEARTS MEETS TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE YES YES YES

  21. 4 out of 5

    aarya

    4.5 stars This is so good and so queer. I normally don’t read arcs six months ahead of publication date; I can’t wait until March 2021 so I can squeal about this book with other people. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    In her newest book, Perfect on Paper , Sophie Gonzales gives us a cute YA rom-com that shows how the person giving advice is often the one most in need of taking it. When students need relationship advice, there’s often only one place they turn—Locker 89. This is where they leave their letters asking for help—along with a contribution to pay for the advice. The system works pretty well, and the advice nearly always is correct. Darcy is the person behind the operation, and no one has discovered In her newest book, Perfect on Paper , Sophie Gonzales gives us a cute YA rom-com that shows how the person giving advice is often the one most in need of taking it. When students need relationship advice, there’s often only one place they turn—Locker 89. This is where they leave their letters asking for help—along with a contribution to pay for the advice. The system works pretty well, and the advice nearly always is correct. Darcy is the person behind the operation, and no one has discovered her secret, until one day she is caught in the act of retrieving letters of help from the locker by Alexander Brougham, an arrogant classmate. Brougham agrees to keep Darcy’s secret—well, he blackmails her, actually—if she helps him win back his ex-girlfriend. The thing is, Darcy could probably stand to listen to her own advice. She has an unrequited crush on her best friend, Brooke, who doesn’t seem to like her that way. And if Brooke ever finds out that Darcy is the person behind the advice coming from Locker 89, their friendship is sure to end because the advice Darcy gave in the past wasn't always helpful to those seeking it, especially Brooke. When everything falls apart, why does Darcy find herself caring whether Brougham is successful at winning back his ex? What does that mean for her sexuality? Will she be able to regain anyone’s trust? With Perfect on Paper , Gonzales has delivered another fun story full of high school drama, friendship, identity crises, thrift-shop fashion, and even a trip to Disneyland! (Her last book, Only Mostly Devastated , was fun, too.) Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. Check out my list of the best books of the last decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    “WHY IS LOVE DEAD?” A bit dramatic, but that’s Darcy 🤣 Can I just start by saying that I appreciated the bi rep in this book so hard. I know not everyone is going to feel that way, but I am excited for it and I’m glad that someone will read this book and feel validated and seen by it. ANYWAY, Darcy is our main character, and I honestly enjoyed her so much. She’s relatable for me in so many ways and the fact that she screws up and makes some selfish decisions, but then learns from them... yes, we lo “WHY IS LOVE DEAD?” A bit dramatic, but that’s Darcy 🤣 Can I just start by saying that I appreciated the bi rep in this book so hard. I know not everyone is going to feel that way, but I am excited for it and I’m glad that someone will read this book and feel validated and seen by it. ANYWAY, Darcy is our main character, and I honestly enjoyed her so much. She’s relatable for me in so many ways and the fact that she screws up and makes some selfish decisions, but then learns from them... yes, we love a personal growth plot. Darcy secretly runs a sort of “Dear Abby” style love advice system through locker 89 of her high school. She’s not a professional by any means, but she has a 95% success rate. That being said, her own love life is pretty much nonexistent. She’s in love with her best friend, Brooke, but can’t pull the trigger on telling her. It doesn’t help that her friend starts dating someone else. Someone Darcy doesn’t like. When she’s caught by Alexander Brougham pulling love advice requests out of locker 89, he essentially blackmails her into helping him win back his ex-girlfriend. Yes, he’s paying her for her help, but she’s still annoyed he caught her and even more so that he’s forcing her to help him. She thinks Brougham is an aloof jerk, a spoiled rich boy who feels entitled to her help, but spending more time with him she realizes he’s more than what she assumed and what he presents to everyone in the halls of their high school. They form an unlikely friendship that started with blackmail, but ends with feelings Darcy is confused about. She’s been in love with Brooke for so long, and hasn’t had feelings for a guy since she joined her schools Queer and Questioning club. All worries about being judged by her friends for falling for a guy aside, things with the locker go left, like way left and she’s in big trouble. I don’t want to spoil too much, but yeah I just loved this read. I think that it represents a side of being bisexual that is often considered a co-opt when it comes to writing a queer story about a bisexual character, but I think it’s important that someone who falls in love with a person not a sex is represented fully. I do wish some of the relationships were fleshed out a little more, but I realize this story was more about Darcy figuring things out. I love that there is a variety of LGBTQ+ representation, and that it was easy to fall in love with even the side characters. All in all this was a great read. At first you’re going to want to shake Darcy a little bit, but she’s a good character that you will fall for. At least I did. AVAILABLE NOW! *ARC

  24. 4 out of 5

    cossette

    i'm in tears at this bi rep 🥺🥺🥺 rtc (and i actually mean rtc at some point) i'm in tears at this bi rep 🥺🥺🥺 rtc (and i actually mean rtc at some point)

  25. 5 out of 5

    theresa

    Perfect on Paper is a heartwarming, feel good rom com that I’d recommend to contemporary lovers everywhere! With a perfect balance of lighthearted high school fun and nuanced exploration of important themes, Sophie Gonzales has created an utterly spectacular story. I adored so much about this novel, in particular the writing style – it was quick and easy to read and gripped me from the first page. It also effortlessly conveyed the humour and emotions of the characters and carried the story perfec Perfect on Paper is a heartwarming, feel good rom com that I’d recommend to contemporary lovers everywhere! With a perfect balance of lighthearted high school fun and nuanced exploration of important themes, Sophie Gonzales has created an utterly spectacular story. I adored so much about this novel, in particular the writing style – it was quick and easy to read and gripped me from the first page. It also effortlessly conveyed the humour and emotions of the characters and carried the story perfectly. I loved the characters and their relationships with each other, especially Darcy’s bond with her sister. The novel also explored some more complicated relationships, such as the one between Darcy and her best friend which I really enjoyed reading about and felt was done so well. I really loved the relationship that develops between Darcy and Brougham, I felt that they just worked so well together and I was really rooting for them. What really stood out to me was the discussion around bisexuality and, in particular, biphobia. I felt that these themes were handled with a lot of nuance and sensitivity and I loved how they played into the story and into Darcy’s internal conflict. There is an incredibly powerful scene where she discusses biphobia that I adored and I would recommend the book based on that alone. Darcy’s character development, both as she deals with internalised biphobia and not always knowing all the answers, was such a joy to read and made her easy to relate to and sympathise with and I absolutely loved her journey in this book. Overall, I really just loved this one. Perfect on Paper is unapologetically queer and provides bisexual representation that’s going to mean the world to so many readers. It is the absolute perfect feel good read to curl up with if you’re feeling down or struggling to pick up a book, full of lovable characters you won’t be able to help rooting for and high school hijinks. I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter *eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I loved this book so much. I loved the representation and I loved the romance between Darcy and Alexander. This book (kinda) had a love triangle since our heroine has been in love with her best friend for a long time but it's clear that she doesn't feel the same for her. It's one-sided and after a while, we see a shift in Darcy. One that she doesn't seem to understand immediately. Because she's starting to really like the boy who paid her for giving her advice on how to get his ex-girlfriend bac I loved this book so much. I loved the representation and I loved the romance between Darcy and Alexander. This book (kinda) had a love triangle since our heroine has been in love with her best friend for a long time but it's clear that she doesn't feel the same for her. It's one-sided and after a while, we see a shift in Darcy. One that she doesn't seem to understand immediately. Because she's starting to really like the boy who paid her for giving her advice on how to get his ex-girlfriend back. You see, Darcy has a secret. She's the person behind the famous locker 89, the one where you'll receive good romantic advice if you put a letter with your problem inside it. Darcy is afraid it will come out since she did something selfish once and that concerns her best friend. Overall, this book was pretty fantastic. At the very beginning, I was hoping Brooke would fall in love with Darcy but I quickly changed my mind and I don't regret it. I loved the banter between Alexander and Darcy and when they finally kissed and talked, it was so sweet! (Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    4 stars I had so much fun reading this book! It was exactly the kind of YA book I love. It was fun, emotional, had loveable characters, and was incredibly diverse. Darcy was our main character and I thought she was fantastic. I loved the letter answering/advice giving aspect of the story so much. I wasn't sure who the love interest would be at first. She has a massive crush on her best friend, Brooke, but there is also this guy, Alexander... I absolutely love who she ended up with and how this on 4 stars I had so much fun reading this book! It was exactly the kind of YA book I love. It was fun, emotional, had loveable characters, and was incredibly diverse. Darcy was our main character and I thought she was fantastic. I loved the letter answering/advice giving aspect of the story so much. I wasn't sure who the love interest would be at first. She has a massive crush on her best friend, Brooke, but there is also this guy, Alexander... I absolutely love who she ended up with and how this one turned out. This is one of those books that would make a fantastic film! Audio book source: Audible (purchased) Story Rating: 4 stars Narrators: Berrie Kreinik Narration Rating: 4 stars Genre: Contemporary/Romance (YA) Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes

  28. 5 out of 5

    Madison Mary

    "It’s when bisexuals start to believe the biphobia they’re surrounded by. We’re told that our sexuality isn’t real, or that we’re straight if we’re with another gender, and that our feelings don’t count if we’ve never dated a certain gender, that kind of crap. Then we hear it so many times we doubt ourselves." Perfect on Paper is a queer rom-com about navigating the relationships around you, both platonic and romantic. How even when you are queer, you feel like you don't fit in as queer - and the "It’s when bisexuals start to believe the biphobia they’re surrounded by. We’re told that our sexuality isn’t real, or that we’re straight if we’re with another gender, and that our feelings don’t count if we’ve never dated a certain gender, that kind of crap. Then we hear it so many times we doubt ourselves." Perfect on Paper is a queer rom-com about navigating the relationships around you, both platonic and romantic. How even when you are queer, you feel like you don't fit in as queer - and the struggles that come from those feelings. *ARC received from publisher for an honest review - 4.5 stars* REVIEW Sophie Gonzales is an Australian author, and being a born and raised Aussie myself I smiled at the male MC being Australian. Too often I read books by American authors where the Aussie character is stereotypical, or even an Aussie author will over compensate on the Aussie-ness to appeal to a wider audience. Alexander Brougham, our Aussie love interest in this book, was the perfect example of an Aussie who grew up partially in America (like myself). He has little quirks and sayings that come up; he uses "reckon" all the time, a hallmark of Aussie vocabulary; he makes fairy bread for a birthday party; he calls Darcy a wuss and says “ta”; and he belts out Working Class Man in the car, a classic. He also mentions how the Aussie accent varies from state-to-state in Aus, which so few Americans understand. I will admit, while this high school is set in California - it read closer to what an Aussie private high school is like. Now, because Gonzales is an Aussie author this book uses the word "fuck" frequently. Like, very very very very very frequently. I had no qualms with it, in fact I actually adored how much it was used. I think it is unrealistic when I read YA novels set in high school and the characters don't swear. But it isn't commonplace to open up a YA novel and see it plastered on every second page of a book - So, just a little warning to those who are swear-averse. I cannot personally speak to the queer representation in this book but I do want to say that there is a really important conversation about internalized biphobia that I think a lot of people will relate to. Our main character, Darcy, is bisexual; Darcy's best friend and unrequited crush, Brooke, is lesbian; Darcy's older sister, Ainsley, is a trans-female; and there are many more queer characters in this book. Darcy is part of the Queer and Questioning Club, which is place where we get to hear from different queer voices and their struggles. The romance in this book takes place between Darcy and Alexander Brougham, a straight male. (There is a sapphic romance in this book though!) I really loved Darcy's growth throughout this novel. Darcy is obsessed with learning all she can about relationships and giving out unbiased and anonymous advice to the students at her school. She believes that everything she is doing is "good." Once Brougham finds out her secret, he starts questioning some of her methods - asking how she can do her job without always knowing the full story, how she can give advice without being in that person's shoes, how she can give advice having never been in a relationship herself. Brougham challenges Darcy in a way she has never experienced, and it unsettles it. It forces Darcy to confront a lot of the inner turmoil she has been pushing down for years. This book is about relationships - platonic, romantic, and familial. I found the little advice emails really interesting, and parts of this book had me sitting back and contemplating how I function when I am in a relationship. The high schoolers in this book really felt like high school students, and I appreciated that so much. Sometimes I read a YA novel and the characters read more like college students. The characters in this book are messy, they make mistakes, they are vulnerable, they are naïve, they are human. Random praise: Brougham is a swimmer, classic for an Aussie. When Gonzales describes the school's indoor swimming pool, I smiled - she describes the heaviness in the air, the heat of the chlorine, and the stickiness perfectly. It was so accurate to my days as a swimmer. Because Darcy runs an anonymous romance advice service and this is a YA novel, I knew that one of the climaxes in this book would be her identity being revealed. I was terrified of this scene occurring as I read the book because I was worried I would get second-hand embarrassment from it and that it would be a cheesy and cringey scene. Instead, I almost cried. The shame, guilt, and loneliness that comes out of this reveal is palpable. I just wanted to wrap Darcy in a blanket and protect her. Overall, this book was amazing. I had a blast reading it and would recommend it to my friends. It wasn't a full five-stars for me, but I know it will be for a lot of people out there. Quick trigger warning - Brougham's parents are in an extremely toxic relationship, you see on page verbal abuse and alcohol abuse. There is also a scene that includes *a lot* of vomiting after alcohol poisoning (I personally hate any vomit talk, but this didn't bother me too much).

  29. 4 out of 5

    book bruin

    Edited 3/11/21 Audiobook Review Overall 5 stars Performance 5 stars Story 4.5 stars I loved revisiting these characters through the audiobook. Barrie Kreinik did such an amazing job voicing all of the different characters and accents. I was worried that Brougham wouldn't live up to my Australian dreams, but Barrie Kreinik really nailed it! Definitely recommend enjoying this on audio if you can. ***** 4.5 stars Perfect on Paper was smart, thoughtful, funny, and everything I love about YA and more. This i Edited 3/11/21 Audiobook Review Overall 5 stars Performance 5 stars Story 4.5 stars I loved revisiting these characters through the audiobook. Barrie Kreinik did such an amazing job voicing all of the different characters and accents. I was worried that Brougham wouldn't live up to my Australian dreams, but Barrie Kreinik really nailed it! Definitely recommend enjoying this on audio if you can. ***** 4.5 stars Perfect on Paper was smart, thoughtful, funny, and everything I love about YA and more. This is my first book by Sophie Gonzales and I loved the writing style and humor. I thought the author also did a fantastic job with representation and diversity. The relationship advice and love tutor/coach premise has been attempted in books before, but Gonzales put such a fresh spin on it that it felt very new and exciting. The characters and situations were layered and complex, and were laid out in such an honest and relatable way. The evolution from frenemies to lovers between Darcy and Brougham really worked and I appreciated how the author showcased those tender moments as things started to shift, but also didn't rush them along. That uncertainty and vulnerability is one of the things I love most about the YA genre. The cast of secondary characters was delightful (Finn! LOL) and I also liked the focus on familial relationships (and how positive and negative they can be). The typical YA angst and drama do pop up in their own unique ways, but I thought it was handled and presented really well. Darcy and Brougham's character arcs were done so well and I was rooting for these two to find themselves (and each other) along the way. One thing I really loved about the book is that it made me pause and reflect on my own relationships and also the relationships I want to have. It made me think about and recognize the power and consequences of my own behavior and choice of words. I can't wait to read more from this author and Perfect on Paper is definitely a book not to be missed! CW: divorce, toxic parents, biphobia, internalized biphobia, drugs, alcohol *I voluntarily read and listened to an advance review copy of this book*

  30. 5 out of 5

    mace

    This book is for the bisexuals. It really has the kind of bisexual representation we need more of. Darcy anonymously gives relationship advice to students who drop letters into Locker 89, and her business is successful, perhaps just a bit too successful. When she is caught one day opening the locker by Alexander Brougham, he asks her for help with winning his girlfriend back, only this proves to be a bit more complicated than the relationship advice Darcy normally gives… As I said, this book truly This book is for the bisexuals. It really has the kind of bisexual representation we need more of. Darcy anonymously gives relationship advice to students who drop letters into Locker 89, and her business is successful, perhaps just a bit too successful. When she is caught one day opening the locker by Alexander Brougham, he asks her for help with winning his girlfriend back, only this proves to be a bit more complicated than the relationship advice Darcy normally gives… As I said, this book truly is for the bisexuals. For the bisexuals who struggle with internalized biphobia, who get told they need to choose a gender or get weird looks when they tell someone they’re into someone of another gender when they’ve mostly been having feelings for people of the same gender. It even addresses how people from within the community can unknowingly perpetuate biphobic ideas, which is so important to talk about. But it also celebrates bisexuality, with a main character who is proud of her bisexuality and who finds solidarity within the Queer and Questioning Club at her school. The development of the relationship between Darcy and Brougham feels very natural. Darcy misjudges him initially but eventually finds that she was wrong about him, although she still isn’t afraid to call him out when he says something she doesn’t like. Seeing them grow both as individuals and together was so incredibly lovely; it’s been quite a while since I read a book, especially in the contemporary genre, in which I enjoyed the romance so much. Let’s not forget about all the other important relationships in this book though. Darcy’s relationships with the women in her life are very important to her, and it’s always nice to see a book where the main character has important relationships beyond their romantic one. Her sister Ainsley is transgender, but that just happens to be part of her just like her being a YouTuber and fashion lover is. Her relationship with her best friend Brooke is arguably the most important one, even though it is complicated by several things, but I really liked the way this was all handled. If you’re looking for a lovely YA contemporary with amazing bisexual representation, a well-written romance, complex female friendship, and fun high school drama in the vein of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I would highly recommend picking up this book in 2020! Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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