~ I received an ARC of this book on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Big thanks from the publishers for the opportunity!~
Perfect On Paper is one of those books I could have read in one sitting. Had I been able to pause time and all my responsibilities, I would have stayed up all night reading this book. But there was a bonus to not being able to do that, as I then had something to look forward to reading when I got home from work! I am so grateful I got the opportunity to read the ARC of this book because it was such a fun read that made me smile – something we all need in our lives these days.
Perfect On Paper is about Darcy Phillips, a girl who runs a secret advice service through locker 89 at her school. Students leave her envelopes of letters and cash in exchange for relationship advice, which Darcy carefully researches before sending over via email. Darcy loves helping her peers with their relationship woes and she’s really good at it. However, she can’t seem to figure out her own relationship issues, such as whether her best friend Brooke loves her back and her own feelings relating to her bisexuality and society’s biphobia. When senior hottie Alexander Brougham catches her in the act of retrieving letters from the locker, he hires her help to get his ex-girlfriend back. She cannot stand him, especially when he blackmails her. She has to agree to help him in order to keep locker 89 a secret, because if she doesn’t, there’s a chance Brooke would find out something awful she did last year. But when Brooke falls for someone else and she gets to know Brougham… things get even more complicated.
I really, really enjoyed this book. First of all, the concept just screams a fun and exciting plot that dips and twists with each new development, and the story delivers this through and through. Darcy is a fun, smart and witty character. I really loved seeing her locker 89 relationship advice in action with the snippets of letters and her responses that are weaved throughout the novel. Her friendship with Brooke and her secret feelings for her are layered and fun to read, especially when Brooke’s love interest comes into the picture and Darcy’s meddling with Brooke’s relationships unfolds. A big part of the novel is Darcy trying to deal with her feelings for Brooke and ultimately messing things up and then trying to win her friend back. I loved that aspect of the story, as it really established the importance of female friendships and also explored unrequited love. Darcy’s relationships with her mum and her sister, who has just recently transitioned and changed her name to Ainsley, are also a great aspect of the novel, as it really explores how important family is and how, even for a character like Darcy who offers advice to her peers, also needs people to turn to when her life is spiralling out of control.
Now, honestly, the best thing about this book is Brougham. I won’t lie. I just thought he was the greatest and wanted to give him a big hug. The reason for that is partly because he’s Australian like me, but also because his character just developed so well throughout the novel as Darcy got to know him. At first, he seems like an arrogant, self-involved ass, but he is anything but, which Darcy soon discovers as they end up spending more time together. I absolutely loved how Darcy’s quest to get Brougham back with his ex developed in the story and of course, how Darcy and Brougham developed together as a duo and in response to the other. He shows a great interest in Darcy’s relationship theories and they have many discussions that were really interesting and make Darcy reflect on her knowledge and grow stronger as a result. And, well, there were just so many great scenes between the two of them that made me all squealy and happy inside.
Perfect on Paper is a great read and I really recommend it if you are looking for something fun, dramatic and insightful with wonderful, unforgettable characters, an exciting plot and just an overall feel-good vibe. Perfect On Paper comes out in March next year, so add it to your TBR and be on the look out!
Thanks for reading my review. Happy reading!