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Perfect Score

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Feckless, exasperating Alex Finch is a rich, handsome and talented singer/songwriter who longs for two things: a career as a professional rock singer, and to have his love for Sam Barrowdale reciprocated. But drifter Sam's two aims are simply to earn enough money to pay his sister's medical bills and to hide from the world his reading/writing and speech disability. At this ...more
Kindle Edition, 2, 331 pages
Published May 3rd 2017 by Mundania Press LLC (first published September 2010)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Romantic, reflective and heartwarming!

In this novel by Roebuck, she transports us back to the 1960s to the rugged terrain of the dusty prairies where life is hard; blood, sweat, and tears are the norm; and small-minded mentality surrounding politics, economics, special needs, and sexuality is rampant.

The characters are troubled, unique, and endearing. And the plot, which is ultimately about life, loss, survival, family, morality and love has a lot of subplots and tackles a lot of issues, includi
Lena Grey
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm usually a fast reader, but it took me a while to get through 'Perfect Score' by Susan Roebuck; I consider it time well spent. The style, content and complexity of the story dictated that each page be read and digested before proceeding to the next, otherwise, no compass in the world would have been able to help me find my way back. A pet peeve of mine is when information is repeated several times. I am pleased that Susan Roebuck did not do that. She explained something once and expected me t ...more
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When Alex and Sam first meet, Alex is a bored rich brat waiting in his uncle’s fancy car, and Sam is a ragged street kid collecting cardboard. Even during this first scene, their characterization starts, in an amazingly subtle and yet unmistakable way: Alex is a dreamer who waits passively for what life dishes out for him, shaping what plays before his eyes until it meets his own perception and the way he wants his world to be. Sam is a doer, going about an impossible task like pulling a cart th ...more
Personally, I found this to be a very strange book, with a very odd ending, and while I know others appreciated the authors unusual style, I can't say it a style that works for me.

It is the mid 1960's and Sam is a homeless man, living from hand to mouth, and taking odd jobs where ever he can find them, with his earnings all going towards keeping his disabled sister in a community home. Sam himself suffers from at least one form of speech impediment (stuttering), as well as dyslexia and synaethes
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, quite honestly I think I approached it as yet another ‘gay’ romance as in boy meets boy and it’s all very predictable. Well Perfect Score has a lot more depth than that.

This is set around the 1960’s in small town USA, in those days a male relationship was viewed entirely differently to now. Ultimately this is a love story where both parties ‘meet’ but there is never a good time for things to develop. Will there ever be a moment that these tw
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-historical
I am going to enthuse. This–I know from people who complain that I’m too critical–is a rare thing, but I was so impressed by this debut novel I can’t not. It’s not perfect–and I can’t give it five stars for reasons I’ll explain later, but I’ll say right out that I consider it a must read and it has my highest recommendation. I will discuss plot points, so beware of spoilers.

The story hangs on either side of the Speak Its Name cut off of Stonewall. It starts in 1963 and goes on for twenty or so y
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Perfect Score is a difficult book to read and it’s not entirely enjoyable. The story is complex and the characters three dimensional with strengths and weaknesses, all against a backdrop of the 1960s when attitudes were very different about a lot of things. The story takes a real chance in introducing a rather unlikable main character who I never really warmed up to despite his later attempts at change. The other character’s speech defects should endear him to readers but I found myself pitying ...more
Nov 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Original review found at The Romance Reviews.

Perfect score is a sweet M/M romance that will appeal to all lovers of the genre and will change the way that you look a gay romance novels...

Alex Finch doesn't know what he's going to do. He wants to be a rock star but the rich uncle who's been taking care of him for the last 6 years wants him to go into the family business. He also wouldn't mind being loved by the man who's starred in his fantasies since the first day they met about 5 years before.

Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
It’s hard to review Perfect Score without giving away spoilers, but I’ll do my best. Alex Finch’s first recollection of Sam Barrowdale is a chance meeting in 1963 when a grubby thirteen year old Sam pushes a rickety, overloaded cart down a windy sidewalk and Alex gawks at him from the rear seat of his uncle’s shiny black Fleetwood.

This is a time when dyslexia is unknown to the parenting public. To the public period. Sam’s disability manifests itself in stuttering and a false mask of illiteracy
The Pen & Muse
Sam watched Alex chase a potato around his plate. How the hell could you do one kind of course while pretending to do another? How could you fool someone for so long? Alex took another long slug of whiskey. “I don’t really know why I am telling you this.”

Neither did Sam. If he had done something like that he sure as hell wouldn’t yak about it.

Liza’s hand was still on my cheek and I pressed it more comfort than anything else. “I think I lost him in any case.” As I spoke my fears, longing for him
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I write in the afterglow of this wonderfully written light literary/romance novel, the characters' emotions of heartwrenching longing still washing over me in waves.

Alex is a character I didn't understand, nor care for very much, at the beginning. I didn't understand his fascination with a boy he had only barely met once before. But, as I read on, I began to witness his circumstances and I began to empathize with him. I could see that he needed Sam, as a youth. And, once I knew of Sam's story, a
Nov 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, romance
Perfect Score Review

I’ll be perfectly honest with you, when I started reading this and found that the prologue was written in first person, I nearly quit and said to h**k with that. I don’t like first person pov. It jars me- well - since we’re being honest, it grates on my last nerve. But the prologue was intriguing, and I persevered. Glad I did. In fact, I actually read it at my computer into the late hours of the night because I couldn’t stop reading it. I wanted that badly to know what would
Dec 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. Engaging descriptions. Perfect Score is never slow or dull. The story is told in chapters through the views of both Sam and Alex, with a mix of the first and third person. Interestingly enough, the first person point of view does not clash with the third person point of view; both work to weave together the boys’ stories.

All of the characters have big, distinct personalities, no matter their roles. They’re lifelike. But Sam and Alex are beautiful – together and apart. From
Bronwyn Rykiert
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family, friends, e-book
I quite enjoyed this book, my first e-book.

Sam was living on the streets when Alex first meets him - Alex felt an instant connection to Sam and would have liked to talk to him some more but it was to be at this time. Alex was 15 and living with his rich uncle, Sam was 14 and had been living on the streets on and off since he was 7, such a different life to Alex. Roll on 5 years and Alex goes home to see his mother and stepdad and is surprised to find Sam working and living there. It seems that S
Romancing the Book
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, m-m
Review by Sabrina
Review copy provided by author

Through most of this book I was just chugging along. The type of writing style was stream of thought. Which definitely fit well for this book, but I had a hard time following sometimes. There was a weird little back plot of an uncle taking advantage of the small town and trying to get Sam to take the fall. It was weird.

Now, with that being said- the ending was so worth it. When they finally got together and had their little heart to heart I turned t
Ann Nibbs
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an intricate book with well drawn characters who develop in a credible way throughout. The author explores the complex relationship between Sam and Alex and does not flinch from confronting the difficult situations and darker sides of human nature head-on. Alex is by no means a wholly likeable character - but he is all too real and three dimensional and I felt the pace of the story meant that his personality, along with Sam's and the other main characters with whom they interract, unfold ...more
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This story and characters are so complex and in such way written that it really amazed me fully. The plot in this story is so had and so deep...., damn hard book but so realistic. I could picture it.
Really have to say it's complex but awesome piece of book. OK I could think of negative critic about the story... but when I think about it..., it wouldn't be fair to the author, because I believe that this book was really hard to write. And I have only admiration in my head. Truly great and awesome
Lyn Davis
Mar 31, 2011 is currently reading it
Shelves: romance, mystery
I just won this in a contest! I'm so excited, I started reading it right away. I had to laugh. On so many sites, we've talked about how readers don't like prologues and editors won't accept prologues. This starts with one, but it's great, capturing the essence of the 1960s with James Darren's Mac the Knife, the two boys from opposite sides of town (or tracks, as the case may be) down to their clothing, voice and desires. Love it so far. Stay tuned for more as I progress. Will fit it in around th ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read by this author and I really enjoyed it. Set in the late 1960's this story sucked me in completely. Sam and Alex are very different men but they compliment each other very well. The story is complex, emotional, intense, very well-written and filled with a varied and very interesting cast of characters. Sam especially is a fascinating and unique hero. The story dragged a bit at times but ultimately is well-worth reading. Recommended. ...more
Joanne Valiukas
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was given this book by the author. This book takes you on an emotional ride filled with some tender highs and brutal lows in a very good way. A book that can draw emotion from you and show the characters' perspectives from their different points of view is well worth the read. This book was, for me, a reinforcement of my own personal belief that we are all just one version of normal. I recommend that everyone read this book. ...more
Steve Emmett
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ms Roebuck has managed to tackle a gay romance and not make it stereotypical. There is a plot, lovable characters, and a sense of place. It's not 'porn' from cover to cover and is the sort of book anyone can read and broaden their outlook. I enjoyed it. ...more
Barbara Elsborg
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was so beautifully written I can forgive the slightly rambling plot. It's the story of two very different guys and their journey towards, away from and then back together. I suppose in a way it was like a fleshed out Brokeback Mountain - and just as well written, IMO. ...more
Selena Collins
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Blogged about this book at my blog,

Really liked the story. Good read!
Elisa Rolle
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
2011 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Emma Shortt
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A book that you'll read over and over, and sigh with contentment when you turn the page. ...more
Wendy F
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Reading Perfect Score I really had no idea what I was picking up. My deciding to read this was really as spontaneous as you can get. I do know why I did, though. I was intrigued by a M/M romance story that took place in the 60’s. It’s not something I’ve read before.

Perfect Score had a good solid foundation in the two main characters. It was their interactions that kept me reading the most. I loved how they both acted and spoke, it felt authentic. I also believed their attraction, especially from
Alex Alden
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it
The plot floats around a main storyline, but misses a lot of key events that would have added a lot of depth to the story, and the end just sputtered out rather than climaxing.

(view spoiler)

One of the w
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, abuse, disability
I was def disappointed. It was very hard for me to get into this book. There was just too much going on & I felt like this book was all over the place. It kept skipping from Alex's point of view to Sam's point of view, then from the past to the present. I had a hard time following the story. There was even a talking cat .... very strange.....

Anyway, I am giving it 1.5-2 stars only because I liked Alex and Sam as a couple but this story just didn't do it for me. I am truly surprised at all the hi
Mar 05, 2011 marked it as dnf
Just got this book and already know it's not for me. Just difficult to read and I don't even know what they're talking about half the time and it's too 'inside' and slangy stuff from the 1960's. It doesn't help that one of the characters has a speech impediment/dyslexia and stammers his way through obscure references. I've read Kassa's review and I can see this will be a waste of time for me to continue. ...more
Nov 15, 2011 rated it liked it
What a perfectly weird little book, right at the intersection between gothic and psychedelic. Definitely not what I was expecting. Not bad, either.
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Do M/M novels have to be erotic? 2 7 Jun 29, 2011 04:58AM  
Susan Roebuck was born and bred in the soft south of the UK but was exported to Portugal after meeting her husband in London. She now lives overlooking the mighty Tagus River which is a wonderful source of inspiration.
She loves being in her adopted country and believes that Portugal has a huge heart, which the world should know more about. Portugal also doesn’t appear in many English-language nove

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