Title: Perfect on Paper
Author: Sophie Gonzales
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: 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?
Seventeen-year-old Darcy Phillips has a secret. She’s the relationship advisor behind locker 89 in her school. Students can drop off a letter asking for advice as well as ten dollars and their email into the locker, so she can help them with their relationship problems. One day, Alexander Brougham catches her removing the letters from that locker. He blackmails her into helping him get back with his ex-girlfriend. As Darcy continues to answer more letters, she has an important reason to keep her identity a secret. She has sabotaged Brooke, her best friend and crush, in her past relationship so that Brooke was still available for Darcy to crush on. Darcy has to help Alexander so that he doesn’t reveal her secret.
I loved the premise behind this story. It was fun, but also had potentially serious consequences. When Darcy’s identity was discovered by Alexander, she was blackmailed. She could have given some people advice that had devastating consequences. Darcy eventually had to face the consequences of running this secret business.
This story had an interesting discourse about what it means to be queer. Darcy was bisexual and she belonged to the queer club at school. However, she was concerned that if she dated a guy, she was no longer considered queer because she was in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender, and it would appear to be a heterosexual relationship. Even though she could be in a relationship with members of either gender, her queer identity shouldn’t change depending on who she was dating. This was an informative look at what it means to be bisexual and queer in a way I haven’t read before.
This was such a fun story!
Thank you Wednesday Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Have you read Perfect on Paper? What did you think of it?