Reviews

Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to WednesdayBooks and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

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?

Ever since reading and adoring Only Mostly Devastated, I was ready to read Sophie Gonzales’s next book. And then I found out it would be about a bi girl who secretly gives dating advice out of a locker at her school, who is also in love with her best friend, but starts becoming closer with the guy who catches her at her advice locker. It sounded like such an amazing book, and my jaw literally dropped when I saw that I was sent an e-ARC from the publisher. I was really, really looking forward to reading it.

I loved this book just as much as Only Mostly Devastated. I know this author was already on my favorites list after that single book I read by her, but this book just firmly secured her spot. This book was so, so good.

I’m gonna start off by screaming about the casual trans rep. THERE WAS CASUAL TRANS REP. Darcy’s older sister, Ainsley is just casually trans. She’s just there and she’s just awesome. Her needing to take hormones and small mentions of her transition are mentioned, but always in passing. It was so cool to see and as you can tell from my gushing, I loved it a whole lot.

Alright, moving on. One of the things I liked best about Only Mostly Devestated was the messy, complicated emotions. Well, Perfect On Paper might just be messier and even more complicated. But still in the best way possible. Darcy isn’t perfect. She makes questionable choices and makes mistakes. But she felt so deeply and such hard emotions. And sometimes those kind of emotions inspire questionable decisions.

Though, Darcy doesn’t blindly make those decisions and feel nothing over them. Those complicated emotions are looked at, examined, and felt. And Darcy wants to try to make things better. She wants to be better. She knows when she does something wrong and she wants to grow from it. Sometimes its hard and painful, but that’s how emotions are felt sometimes and that’s alright.

This book touched parts of me that I didn’t expect it to. I got Darcy’s feelings toward friendship. I got her feelings toward her bi-ness. I got how she got scared and overwhelmed and how hard it was to feel scary emotions. This just made me love the book all the more.

I also thought Darcy’s whole set up with Locker 89 and her dating advice was so cool. She does it because wants to put even a little bit of good into the world. I loved how into it she got. She researched advice and it was something she was truly passionate about. It was fascinating to see her fascinated by it.

I loved Brougham a whole lot too. I loved how her turned out to be something completely different than what I thought he was going to be. Darcy wasn’t sure of him in the beginning and I loved discovering more about him with Darcy. He’s such a great guy overall. He’s serious, but he’s kind. He’s awkward and he has his own struggles. I just loved him a whole.

I also loved all the other side characters, some of whom grew on me as well. That’s also something I liked about this book, it completely flipped my expectations at times. I didn’t think I would like this one girl and Brougham turned out to be different than my original perception.

This book also had such amazing relationships. Relationships that were complicated and weren’t perfect. But they were relationships that the character’s were willing to fight for. I loved the friendships, I loved the familial relationships, and I loved the romantic relationships. Sometimes they were completely flipped on their head, but sometimes that’s what is needed for growth.

This is kind of a minor thing, but this book was seriously hilarious. I started cackling multiple times haha.

Oh, also, Sophie confirmed that the movie Respawn that Darcy and Brougham watch isn’t real haha. I know I wanted to watch it when I read that scene, so I thought I’d let you know in case you were also curious!

All in all, this was another amazing Sophie Gonzales book. I loved the conversations about queerness, about healthy relationships, and about messy and painful emotions. It has amazing writing and amazing characters and I just loved it so, so much.

Perfect On Paper comes out March 9, 2021! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!

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