Cover Image: Perfect on Paper

Perfect on Paper

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Member Reviews

This book was so much fun to read!  I loved Darcy and getting to learn about all of her friends and Brougham who she agrees to help.  Also her friend Brooke who she's known for her whole life.  It's just fun to read about all the different scenarios that happen and how Darcy helps solve them!
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I wasn't ready for such a great story!

Darcy gives out advice anonymously to make sure the school doesn't find out and that people who knows her won't feel troubled to ask Locker 89 for help. That is until Brougham catches her collecting letter from said locker and makes her help him get his girlfriend back. As Darcy teaches the tricks, she studies him but her profiling of Brougham keeps changing and so does her feelings, that for so long had belonged to her best friend Brooke.

Although the focus here is a het relationship, Darcy is bi and troubled about where she stands in the LGBT community while developing feelings for a boy. Although representation is far from the point of the book, it is very well done and is as present and it should be.

But more than that, Brougham is an excellent book boyfriend, to a point I wonder if Darcy deserves him. Don't be fooled though. She does advise people, and she is confident in her knowledge but it's not unbearable at all. I liked how the writer knew the perfect measure when building Darcy, she never looks smug of her knowledge and is in fact constantly studying and improving herself. It all sounded real to me, so she was highly relatable, especially that she could read others so easily but be almost blind about those surrounding herself.

On that topic, I loved how the conflict and Darcy herself are presented in a way you just notice the problem when you're right in the middle of it. The romance too was cute, with some very swoon-worthy scenes. To make it all better, I feel this book raises lots of topics to discuss if you're reading this with someone else or even for ourselves, the way Darcy conducts her business being one of them, and I've already mentioned the issue of her liking a boy. 

It's still just a little above average as a read and that's why I didn't feel comfortable giving it five stars. Nonetheless, Sophie Gonzales is a great YA writer and being her second book I fall in love with, she's surely an author I'll keep following. Highly recommended even to readers who aren't into LGBT themes, don't miss this just because of that.

Honest review based on an ARC provided by Netgalley. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
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Thank you to St Martins Press, Wednesday Books and Netgalley for providing an ARC of this book for an honest review. 

Darcy has been writing relationship advice in secret using Locker 89. So when she is one day caught by Brougham and he blackmail her into helping him get his ex girlfriend back he realizes it's not as simple as it seems. 

I enjoyed this read by Sophie Gonzalez. I love the characters and I love how different she writes them and puts them together. I loved the idea of a bi sexual character. I loved the drama that the story had. Overall I gave it an A.
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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 an advance review copy of this book*
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Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales is a fun, quirky story about a bisexual high school student, Darcy, who anonymously gives love advice to the kids at her school. She does this by having them slip notes (and money) into an unused locker at her school, and she’s done an incredible job with it. Nobody knows who the mysterious advice giver is, but she is well known for her advice working. Unfortunately, she’s better at giving others advice than she is handling her own relationships and crushes.

She’s successfully anonymous for years, until she is caught by a popular boy named Brougham, who wants to hire her to help him get his ex-girlfriend back. He bribes her to help him in exchange for keeping her secret, and through this “job”, Darcy learns more and more about herself and her issues with it comes to her own relationships.

Perfect on Paper was funny, romantic, and a quick, enjoyable read! I loved the diverse characters, the friendships, and at times I felt like I was in high school all over again, as I read this book. I will definitely be recommending this book to my students!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book.
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I admit it. I’m old. And this is the reason I don’t read much ya anymore. I feel like I don’t really understand because I’m 20+ years removed from my teens (notice the 20-it’s more). I also feel like I don’t understand because oh my word kids are going thru a lot more drama these days, gender, sexuality, social media, not to mention the standard norms I dealt with, friend drama, grades, college, etc. I feel so removed from it all.

The blurb on this one follows Darcy as she navigates private high school as a bisexual who is giving secret relationship advice to the entire school. She even takes in hunky Alexander as a special project to earn some extra money. She comes under fire when her bestie Brooke, who she’s secretly in love with, figures out she’s been giving the advice and it’s been a bit twisted when it comes to Brooke. Darcy is stuck in a world where she doesn’t feel queer enough to count as queer, that people hate her once they find out it’s her they’ve been spilling their secrets to, and she’s in love with both Alexander and Brooke.

See. Teenage drama and such a new breed of it. I didn’t feel like I could relate at all. But then I did. It is the same old story, just made to fit with the times. It’s the story I lived thru once. It’s the story of feeling like you don’t fit in, you aren’t good enough, and that no one likes you. It’s the same story every teen has just in different clothes. I felt so much pain when Darcy was going thru everything. I just wanted to give her a hug. I cried when she was found out. I wanted everything to work out for her.

So even this old lady can learn a few things. I also learned that high school drama never really changes. It just gets more complicated. I enjoyed this one and it certainly reminded me of high school even though mine was a long long long time ago. Fantastic job. Highly recommend.
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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 but otherwise, it was enjoyable and I'm actually looking forward to reading the author's next book.
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So good! Loved all the characters and the plot. Darcy and Alex (Brougham) were perfect together.

The side characters were well written and the LGBTQ community was well represented. 

Darcy seemed to be a typical 16 year old, with crushes and parent issues.
Being on love with her best friend Brooke, but kind of knowing that she will never feel the same, was sad. Enter Brougham (Alex), blackmail, secrets and break ups, this book was entertaining and I couldn’t put it down!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ebook arc in exchange for an honest review.
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PERFECT ON PAPER is a delightful YA romantic comedy. Darcy has been operating Locker 89 at her school for years. Students leave notes and money with their email address, and Darcy takes the time to reply to their notes with an anonymous email of relationship advice. There is a money back guarantee that if her advice does not work, she will refund the money. Her anonymity is put into jeopardy when she is confronted by a senior, Alexander Brougham.

Brougham wants Darcy to help him get his ex-girlfriend back with personal counseling sessions. Out of fear for others finding out the secret that she is behind Locker 89, Darcy begins to help him. At the same time, she sees advice relating to her BFF and secret mega-crush, Brooke, that makes her act out of jealousy rather than the usual whole-hearted advice her secret agony aunt program gives. As time goes on and she spends more time with Brougham, she realizes that there is more to him than she would have expected, and maybe getting him back with his ex is not as high on her priorities. What could go wrong?

What I loved: This plot had me completely hooked to see how everything came together. I also really adore unexpected romance with some enemies-to-romantic flair, and this book delivered in a big way. The characters are unbelievably well-written and highly compelling. Aside from Darcy, who grows a lot as a character in the book, and Brougham, who is totally swoon-worthy, Ainsley is a character whose book I would happily devour. She's funny, clever, and makes her own clothes- plus gives her sister Darcy great advice. She was definitely one of my favorites in the book, and she had me literally laughing out loud with her antics at the end big friendship-related gesture. Ainsley was *chef's kiss.* I also had much love for Finn, who has his own conspiracy theories about High School Musical, and even Darcy's mother, who is doing her best and also evolving during the story.

Another great part of the book is all the representation of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the discussions around how different identities can be perceived (particularly bi, as per the main character) and related challenges. This was a really strong part of the story, and I also appreciated the importance of having safe spaces (like the Q + Q Club) demonstrated in a positive way.

I also really loved the inclusion of the letters and the advice Darcy gives sprinkled throughout the book. These sorts of additions just made the book even more fun. The writing style and pacing are really perfect in this book, and I never felt like there was a dull moment.

I would add some warnings for drug and alcohol use/abuse, parental neglect and abuse, and internalized biphobia.

Final verdict: With fantastic representation, strong love interests, and a bunch of personal growth, PERFECT ON PAPER was a compelling and charming read. Highly recommend for fans of ASK ME ANYTHING and FOLLOW YOUR ARROW.

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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First I wanted to say I love this cover!  This book has a diverse group of characters from many communities including the LGBTQ+ community.
This was a really fun read and Darcy gives some pretty good advice! I will definitely recommend to a friend.

Thank you netgalley for the ARC
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Perfect on Paper was a quick and cute read. 
It was full of drama but in that fun way we all love in a YA novel. 

This book is about Darcy, a bisexual teen who runs an anonymous relationship advice service from a locker at her school. Already sounds adorable right? That’s what made me want this book. 
I love the Queer representation, it’s my favorite part of this book. As a bisexual woman myself I have felt many of the things Darcy did. It’s so important to have these topics in YA novels. 

Another thing I loved was all the different relationships we got to see. Not just the romantic ones but the toxic ones with parents and the wonderful sibling relationships we all love. 

This was such a great book, I can’t recommend it enough. This was my first book by Sophie Gonzales but it’s definitely not my last.
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This book was such a fun and amazing read. Perfect on Paper focuses on queerness and bisexuality, all while telling an fun story. Darcy is a bisexual girl who anonymously runs a locker that gives dating advice to her peers. When Brougham catches her emptying out the mysterious Locker 86, he asks her to be his relationship coach in order to win back his ex-girlfriend. The romance in this book, as well as the advice that Darcy gives to her peers via email, is amazing. The characters are fun and interesting, and the relationships are complex.

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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Thank you so much to NetGalley and to St. Martin's press for an early look at Perfect on Paper. This is an honest review.

Darcy Phillips is your every day high schooler- her mother is a teacher, her parents are divorced, she's in love with her best friend.. oh, and she runs a very popular and successful dating advice business out of an unused locker. 
Darcy's been doing this for years, helping others with information she's picked up online through videos and books she's studied. She's pretty dang good at it too, but no one knows it's her. No one can KNOW it's her, because while she never breaches confidence.. she did once. And if she's ever found out, it could mean big trouble. 

When she's caught by Brougham- cute, accented, swim team member and best friend of one of her Q&Q club members- she thinks it's all over, until he asks her to help him get his ex back. He'll pay her.. and if she doesn't help, she's pretty sure he'll out her to the whole school. So, she agrees.

But spending time with Brougham is easier than she thought it'd be. Getting to know him makes her realize that relationships aren't as black and white as she'd thought. People can be different once you get to know them, and Brougham especially as she finds herself falling for him as things around her start to fall apart.

This is, without a doubt, the best bisexual representation I've ever seen. I am so glad that Gonzales saw the push back of OMD and said AGAIN, BUT LOUDER. Bisexual folx with opposite gender are not straight. You're queer. You're queer. YOU'RE QUEER! The representation here is out of this world. 

The pacing is fantastic. The story is one you don't mind sitting and inhaling in one fell swoop. Darcy and Brougham go one one of my favorite character lists. Highly recommend, especially for high schoolers questioning their sexuality and validity.
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Darcy Phillips *knows* how relationships should work. She knows about attachment styles, how to communicate, love languages, and tons of other important aspects needed to make a relationship healthy. Unfortunately, knowing things and applying them are two different things. Darcy uses her vast wealth of knowledge to run a secret service where people pay her for relationship advice. She *only* uses this position for good....except in the case of her best friend, Brooke, who she's secretly in love with. In the midst of this walks in Alexander Brougham, a heartthrob at Darcy's high school who finds out her secret identity and wants to employ her on the DL to get his ex-girlfriend back. As the two spend time together, Alexander is much more than he seems and Darcy has to question if she's really doing everything out of morality.

This is the best bisexual representation I think I have ever read. Darcy is unabashedly bisexual entirely through the book and even if she struggles with what this means for herself and society, she knows who she is. <i>Perfect on Paper</i> has the best conversation about bisexuality in queer spaces that I have ever read, especially in regards to "het passing" relationships. It is 100% necessary, beautiful to read, and so refreshing when biphobia is harmfully prevalent in our own community. The journey Darcy goes on in this book is going to resonate with so many people and I am so ecstatic this book exists so that kids, young adults, and adults are all going to be able to read this message.

Beyond it's potentially life-changing representation, this is also just a damn good story. All of the characters are fully realized. The plot is great. Nothing feels stale or overdone. Even the parts that could delve into cringy territory are done so with so much tact that it's impossible to put down.

Seriously. Everyone should buy this. This is catapulting to the top of my queer recs.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the e-ARC!

This was fine and cute. I'd give it 4 stars for sexuality diversity (awesome bi rep, lesbian, gay, trans characters, but there's only one non-white character amongst the main characters.

The plot is nothing new: a girl anonymously gives relationship advice to her peers, except there are behind the scenes hijinx and selfish choices along the way, and of course she ends up falling for one of the people she is trying to help. I thought the main character was really frustrating and borderline unlikable (and I really like unlikable characters) in her single-mindedness and oblivion to anyone round her who didn't directly affect her Big Crush. Both her girl and guy love interests seemed unremarkable.

I have a huge pet peeve for when non-American writers say their American teacher characters are working on "marking", because we don't call it that here, it's grading.

Also, Darcy really admires the architecture on Brougham's house, including making pointed statements about the dormer and bay windows. I honestly had no idea what dormer windows are...are teenagers super into dormer windows? It was just a really strange and uncharacteristic thing to comment on, unless she's previously pointed out how much she loves architecture.

Overall this was cute, but not my favorite I'd still get it for my library though.
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Darcy has my whole heart! Not only is she in love with her best friend, her complexity, and relatability unfolds on the pages. Thinking she has all these relationships figured out, despite not really being in one, Darcy is committed to helping. But, what we often discovery, is there's no formula. We can think we are playing one game with one set of rules and our opponent has a different rule book. We can prepare for our heart, for our future, and then when the moment comes, it turns out to be anything else.

Perfect on Paper has a fabulous sense of momentum and pacing. The action wraps you up in a whirlwind. I finished this one in half the time because I could not stop reading. With great power, comes great responsibility. And we're only human after all. I became hooked on the drama. The ways Perfect on Paper examines accountability, good intentions, and how life can sense when you have a plan - and mess it all up. As someone who grew up on Chicken Soup for the Soul, I also am a sucker for relationship/anonymous letters. SERIOUS CAT NIP!
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I'd like to thank Netgalley and St. Martin's Books/Wednesday Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Darcy is in high school and unbeknownst (is that a word) to her fellow students is kind of the Dear Abby of her high school. There is a certain vacant locker that students stick letters in about the problems they are having or questions they have about life, or just need advice and Darcy is the girl to give it. Until her identity is blown while she was taking letters out of locker 89.

This book had so much to it. Friends to lovers, teenage angst, friends to enemies, bisexual love, awesome characters who were likable, and high school drama. There were quite a few lol moments and some that really brought out the feelings. I also think there are some life lessons taught through out the book by Darcy giving advice through locker 89 and also some that she had to learn herself.

Such a great read and I'm glad I was chosen to review it.
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2021 is the year of the YA.

I believe that the YA genre has so many poignant and important reads releasing this year, and Perfect on Paper is one of them. While I am not a typical YA fan, this one captured my heart and made me think along the way. That is the sign of a well-rounded novel.

Darcy is keeping a secret. She is the one that collects all the letters placed in a lone locker in the school. These letters are written by students in the school looking for advice, and Darcy gives them what they ask for...but she wants to remain anonymous. Then a popular boy in the grade above her finds her taking the letters and her cover is blown. She will have to leverage helping him with his own problems to keep hers hidden.

I am impressed by how effortless this novel was written where I felt like I was a student at Darcy's school and experiencing the trials of teenagers today. I think that is highlight to this novel that expresses many viewpoints and situations that this age group experiences. There's so much respect and knowledge in this book with a sweet romance wrapped up in the story. Darcy was a pitch perfect main character and her friendships matched the well-written characterization. I will certainly recommend this to all of my YA fans. This story is brave, bold, and beautiful. Well-done.

Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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Just the rep in this book is *chef's kiss*.

This was my first Sophie Gonzales novel and now I want to read SO MANY OF HER THINGS. And I want her to write so many stories. 

I would recommend this story to those looking for a more grown-up story similar to Simon V. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, pick this up.
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A great book for fans of the YA genre (both young and old). This book dropped me right back into my high school years and I loved every bit of it.
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