Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales.
Perfect On Paper follows our protagonist, Darcy, and her journey with running a secret relationship advice service through a deserted school locker. Her business has been a secret for years, until the irritating Brougham catches her and she is roped into helping him win his ex-girlfriend back. If you’re looking for an interesting slow burn which will keep you tearing through the pages, this one is definitely for you!
After reading Only Mostly Devastated, I was desperate to get my hands on more of Gonzales’ work. Luckily for me, Perfect On Paper did not disappoint – I didn’t think I could love it any more than Only Mostly Devastated but I was pleasantly surprised. I think Perfect On Paper might actually be my favourite contemporary read of the year so far, and now that I’ve finished it I will once again be on the hunt for more of Gonzales’ work – she’s definitely become one of my favourite authors!
There were so many things which made this book so wonderful. The friendship, advice giving, and excellent characters all really contributed to my love of Perfect On Paper – but I think the thing I loved the most was almost definitely Darcy and Brougham’s romance.
There was just something about them which made me root for them throughout. Even at the beginning, when the two could barely tolerate each other, I was planning their wedding. It sort of reminded me of Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney, actually – the development the two went through was quite similar. That being said, I think Darcy and Brougham had that much more chemistry, which is so important when reading a romance!
Of course, the relationship wasn’t the only thing which made the book so amazing – there were also the friendships. Despite the obvious issues, I really liked Darcy and Brooke’s friendship, and how close the two were. I was so relieved when they were able to move past the secrets and lies and start anew. It was abundantly clear how much they both cared about each other – particularly Darcy at the beginning, as for a good portion of the book she was crushing on Brooke – and it was great to see them find their way back to each other. They had so many great moments together and I was so relieved it wasn’t all thrown away!
Of course, most of the issues between them stemmed from Darcy’s actions. Despite this, I think this only made me like her character more; she was human, she was flawed, and she made mistakes. There was something about seeing someone mess up so spectacularly which really elevated the book – it was refreshing to read a character who wasn’t perfect, and so nice to see her develop and grow from her mistakes!
Brougham was another character who really developed – at the beginning he was very stiff and rude, but there was a real shift in his behavior after they went to Disneyland. I loved reading him become more open and vulnerable with Darcy and seeing a much softer side of him, and by the end he was definitely one of my favourite characters!
I also really enjoyed the letters and responses included. Much like Not My Problem by Ciera Smyth, the advice aspect was definitely one of my favourite parts of the book, and was really interesting to read. Darcy really knew what she was talking about and it showed – the only problem she had was with applying that same knowledge to her own issues with regards to her love life.
The diversity and representation in this book was also incredible. Darcy and Brooke were both a part of the Queer And Questioning club, which featured a multitude of great characters. I thought this was a really fab addition of Gonzales’ and I found it really interesting and insightful reading about the group’s different struggles. Darcy herself was bisexual, and during the book Gonzales explored the theme of biphobia and the implications of it, which was all handled incredibly sensitively.
Family was another key theme in this book. Darcy’s parents had divorced when she was a lot younger, and this was explored throughout the book, particularly when she was helping Brougham with his own family issues. I also really loved the relationship between Darcy and her sister, Ainsley, as they were incredibly close and I love reading good sibling relationships in the book. Ainsley herself was ridiculously funny and I definitely giggled a lot at her character!
Of course, most of this giggling occurred near the end – which was absolutely amazing, by the way. The ending in Perfect On Paper was absolutely perfect and I really loved the way it all came together at the end. Reading all the potential loose ends being tied up so nicely was lovely to read and Gonzales did a really great job with it. The only issue I had with it was that it essentially left no room for a sequel, which I would love to read!
Overall, I would recommend Perfect On Paper for anyone searching for a fantastic story of friendship, romance, and the general craziness that can be high school. I would also recommend it for anyone searching for a book with some really amazing characters as the ones in here jumped through the pages!
I hope you enjoyed this review!