Mini Review – Perfect on Paper

After reading If This Gets Out last year, I immediately wanted to read more books by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich. So, I went out and bought a couple books off their back lists. I finally got around to reading one of them, Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales, as part of Trope-ical Readathon for the love triangle challenge. What did I think of it? Read on to find out! 🙂

In Perfect on Paper: 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?

I loved this book and read the entire thing in less than a day! It was a pretty typical YA romcom with a lot of common tropes (love triangle, miscommunication, pining over the best friend, etc.), but the the author did a great job of using them in ways that felt fresh. The dialogue and writing were witty, and I loved the dynamic between the protagonist and the love interest. The premise of the story made it stand out, and I liked the idea of a teenage love advice expert failing so spectacularly in her own love life. It was executed well, and I appreciated the realistic ramifications of the character’s choices in relation to her underground business of helping her fellow students find love. There are two main reasons why this was a five star read for me, though. First, I’m a huge psych nerd, and all the info about attachment theory and other relationship theories was interesting and was incorporated in a way that fit perfectly for the story being told. Second, the tackling of bi erasure was absolutely fantastic. I don’t think I’ve read another book where a bi person ends up with a love interest of a gender different from their own. This book bucks that trend while also providing excellent commentary about bi erasure and internalized biphobia. Sophie Gonzales has definitely solidified herself as an auto buy author for me with this one, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her back list soon.

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