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Perfect Ten

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Who is Sam Raines's Perfect Ten? 
It’s been two years since Sam broke up with the only other eligible gay guy in his high school, so to say he’s been going through a romantic drought is the understatement of the decade. But when Meg, his ex-Catholic-turned-Wiccan best friend, suggests performing a love spell, Sam is just desperate enough to try. He crafts a list of ten traits he wants in a boyfriend and burns it in a cemetery at midnight on Friday the 13th.
Enter three seemingly perfect guys, all in pursuit of Sam. There’s Gus, the suave French exchange student; Jamie, the sweet and shy artist; and Travis, the guitar-playing tattooed enigma. Even Sam’s ex-boyfriend Landon might want another chance.
But does a Perfect Ten even exist? Find out in this delectable coming-of-age romcom with just a touch of magic.

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 6, 2017

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About the author

L. Philips

2 books80 followers
The pen name for Laura Wettersten who lives in Ohio with her wonderful husband, their adorable baby son, and their two neurotic dogs. She has degrees in both music education and library science, and when she’s not writing or teaching she enjoys directing middle school musicals, dancing awkwardly around her kitchen, and watching WIPEOUT and 30 ROCK reruns. Her debut novel, MY FAIRE LADY, releases from Simon & Schuster BFYR in 2014.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 222 reviews
Profile Image for emma.
1,825 reviews48.4k followers
May 11, 2017

I received an ARC of this book through Penguin First to Read. Thanks!

Okay, so. This book isn’t my thing. When I applied for the copy, I thought it was just a contemporary - look at the cute cover! But alas, there’s a good chunk of magical realism in there. And you all know my relationship with magical realism. (It’s that I hate it.)


But, like, that's not the reason I'm rating it so low. I'm not pathological. It's my own fault for doing the bare minimum of research before requesting an ARC. I'm just saying this book and I were already off to a ROUGH start.

And it's also that this book was lowkey unbearableeeee. It felt so cheesy and unrealistic and the main character was so pretentious I wanted to hit him over the head with a paper bag full of used-bookstore classics. But we'll get to all that.


Uh…can “stuff” be singular? I have one thing. It’s a big good thing, though!

The main character of this is gay. Which is so great. In many ways - in all ways, really - this was pretty typical/cheesy/cliché, but with the addition of LGBT rep. That kinda makes sense? More sense than if it was the same old tropes and the same old heterosexuals. Anyway, I suppose what I'm trying (and failing) to say is that it's at least more important to tell more diverse versions of the same stories than to tell them over and over and over again with straighties.

But the downside? This was still really, really boring. Like, tempted-to-put-this-book-down (well, my phone down technically) and-do-homework levels of boring,. I say like I don’t spend the vast vast vast majority of my time doing schoolwork. Anyway. We’ll get to all that. (Except not the part about where I spend all my time studying. I need you guys to keep thinking I’m achieving, like, 1950s-guy-in-a-leather-jacket-with-a-nicotine-addiction levels of cool all the time. Which, hey, I totally am! And nailing good grades on top of it. You’re allowed to worship me as a hero. I’m fine with that.)


Our central character is Sam. Sam is unlucky in love. Sam has 2 friends: one is Meg, who has that normal thing of deciding your parents are oppressing you so you shirk the religion that you feel they’re pressing on you but is actually just one of the tenets of their lives but anyway you don’t care about them so you become a witch. What? That’s not normal at all? It's literally insane and makes no sense and why would someone ever build a book upon a foundation that wild? Touché.

Sam’s only other friend is his only ex-boyfriend, Landon. (You'd think these three must live in the dinkiest tiny town of all time, until never-before-seen-hot-guys start popping up out of nowhere - and Sam doesn't even make out with all of them! But we'll get there.) Sammyboy and Landon dated when they were teeny little things and their relationship was like, too intense or something so Sam ended it and broke Landon’s poor widdle heart. Also, by “intense” I mean toxic, repressive, unhealthy, and maybe even emotionally abusive. All accomplished by a couple middle schoolers! Nice. They’re like jealousy prodigies, my guy.

But let’s talk about why they suck individually, k?

Meg we basically covered. Her only traits are that she is in a bad relationship with a terrible (?) guy, which is something I am supposed to care about but absolutely do not, and that she is a LITERAL WITCH. SHE PRACTICES WITCHCRAFT. LIKE, WHAT? More on that later.

Landon is really controlling and gross. Even though Sam broke up with him years before for being horrible, Landon’s still all jealous whenever Sam so much as makes eye contact with another dude. So messy and toxic!!! End that friendship, idiot!!!!

And then the crown jewel of terribleness: Sam. Sam treats people like GARBAGE. But I’ll rant on that later, because that’s the entire plot of this book. He’s also so pretentious with his music taste and his dumb coffees and the way he talks. AND SO COCKY. He’s constantly talking about his writing, describing his stuff as “the most incredible stories” at one point. But lemme tell you, Sam tries to write quote-unquote song lyrics at one point, and it is NOT A FUN RIDE. (Those quasi-song lyrics later become Sammy's NYU application, and everyone raves over it. It took me so long to even THINK that people could ever possibly compliment that weird-ass collection of sentences that I didn't realize that was what they were throwing praise at until the end of the book.)

We also get a bunch of love interests but they are all so boring. One, Gus, is French, and anytime he says ANYTHING the author tries to write it in this weird cliché French accent. Like, “I vill be taking zee bus.” I hated it. There’s also Jamie, who’s an obsessive doormat who spends his time painting birds, worshiping at Sam’s feet, and TAKING GUYS TO HIS DAD’S GRAVE ON A FIRST DATE. Plus Travis, who is gross and mean and like twenty something. In his free time, he harasses high schoolers, buys them alcohol, never cleans his apartment, and is constantly described by the movement of his tongue ring. (Even grosser than it sounds.) (I don’t want to talk about it.)

This book was 350 pages of cringing.


The entire story of the book is founded upon this absolutely ridiculous thing, which is that Sam’s seventeen-year-old pal is a Wiccan who can “communicate” with ~The Goddess~ and do spells. I CAN’T WITH THAT. This is why I goddamn hate magical realism so frequently. That’s an unreal starting point for any book. Literally unreal. Get it? Anyway, if you can’t do it like The Night Circus, DON’T DO IT AT ALL. (Is that fair? No. But I recognize that, and I’m SAYING IT ANYWAY.)

Okay. So the general plot to this story, which I think I have at this point started saying 1000 times but never gotten there. Here we go. Sam has “dated” “the” “only” “eligible” “gay” “boy” in his small-town school, so he f*cking has his friend cast a spell to get him a hot boyfriend using a list of traits the ideal guy has to have - the “Perfect Ten.” Bleh. (Even though the thing I put in an excess of quotes is so patently untrue that Sam is nonstop meeting young, hot gay guys for the rest of the book.)

Anyway. Shocker - it’s not as simple as casting a creepy/suspicious/dumb spell! Poor little Sam actually gets THREE hot-ass guys, plus the leftover residue from an emotionally abusive relationship that should never have been allowed to become an equally controlling friendship “sexual” “tension” with Landon! Ughhhh. This book just follows Sam as he messes with the feelings of a bunch of different people, while judging those who don’t fully commit to him - i.e., those who are acting like he is.

And we, as the audience, are just supposed to be pretty much okay with this. Here’s what Landon says to Sam, and what we’re supposed to believe: “Maybe [you were being an asshole]. Or maybe two really hot guys both wanted you and you had trouble deciding between them. [...] Which isn’t an asshole move. Maybe a horny teenage boy move, but not an asshole move.”

Here’s the thing. The Venn diagram of “horny teenage boy move” and “asshole move” is a circle. Sam’s almost 18, as he reminds us and the older guy who is sexually harassing him. There’s no excuse for the way he treats people in this book. He ditches his friends, he rubs his suddenly-discovered hotness in their lonely rural faces, and when he discovers a cute lil guy, a wee babe who’s genuinely into him, he hooks up with another guy a bunch of times while leading him on. What the f*ck? Just because you’re a teenager doesn’t mean you have an excuse to treat the people around you like sh*t. Or be a cheater! No matter your age, you should know the two rules of America: 1) don't cheat on people and 2) snitches get stitches. These are the principles that founded this great nation.

Another thing that sucks: When the tiny bean of a baby finds out his God, Sam, has been cheating on him, Landon says that it’s the tiny bean’s fault for not forgiving Sam. Even not for “fighting for” him. WHAT?! Always break up with the people who cheat on you! Sam doesn’t disagree - in fact, he blames the bean - Jamie - for the whole thing. HE SAYS IF JAMIE REALLY WAS HIS “PERFECT TEN,” THEN SAM WOULDN’T HAVE WANTED TO CHEAT. Blaming a fifteen-year-old for not being perfect?! Those, my friend, are the sentiments of an INSANE PERSON.

Also, worst offense of all: That’s a boring ass plotline. Who caaaaares. It was so repetitive. Just makeouts and dates and the same settings and interactions for 350 pages. I could’ve written the most in-depth synopsis of this book in a handful of paragraphs.


I have, seriously, never read anything like the friendships in this book. They are so profoundly strange. Do people live like this? I pray they don’t. I can’t imagine.

I’ve already mentioned a million jillion times how unhealthy it is that Landon and Sam are still friends. Landon, like, freezes up with sudden-onset depression whenever Sam mentions a guy, and tries to prevent him from interacting with any potential suitor, out of his own poor self image, or whatever.

But when an older guy at a bar who they don’t know very well tries to take Sam home to his apartment ALONE after buying him drinks all night - knowing Sam is underage - MEG AND LANDON LET HIM GO. They spend the entire goddamn book policing his decisions (not what a friend should do), but when the essential stranger who has been sexually harassing him and plying him with illegal alcohol wants to take him home, they’re all like yeah, go for it.

Sam is almost as bad of a friend to Meg. Dumb as it is - and it’s un-freaking-bearably dumb - Meg is the one who got all this success in romance for him. And not only does he rub it in her face, he constantly harasses her about her relationship not being up to his standards and calls her a b*tch when she calls him out on his hypocrisy. He really, truly sucks.

They all just spend all this stupid time meddling in each other’s lives and trying to make decisions for each other, but they don’t do anything when it counts. Maybe because they only have TWO FRIENDS. Ugh. No one has relationships like this, right? Please tell me they don’t.


So. The main character of this book hooks up with three guys in the span of a couple weeks, and flirts with a few more. I’d be fine with that if he wasn’t cheating on someone for a bunch of those occurrences. But I’ve talked about.

Here’s the thing. After all that, this book slut shames. And not even to that asshole! (Again, not the sluttiness that makes him an asshole.)

When dumb Meg’s dumb boyfriend cheats on her, here’s Sam’s reaction: “‘Gillian Carlisle?’ I ask, incredulous. I knew Michael had no taste, but this is just ridiculous. ‘But she’s so slutty.’”

I WANT TO SCREAM FROM THE ROOFTOPS. Just because she hooks up with people doesn’t mean she’s less than! And the hypocrisy of Sam saying that with such vitriol when he’s so much worse than she could be - messing with people’s feelings - is so profoundly f*cked. I’m so, so mad at this book. The whole thing was a test of my strength, but the last hundred pages made me want to die.


Here’s what needs to stop: Authors calling characters funny when they aren’t. At. All. The most useless dialogue in this book is followed up by responses like “I laughed so hard at that I got tears in my eyes.” It’s upsetting. Where are my funny characters at? Maybe I’ll send out a recommendation request.

Also, Sam applies for college and gets in, like, a few days later. I hate that. That’s so intensely not how it works.

Bottom line: Like The Upside of Unrequited, this is getting a little extra for good representation, but I HATED READING THIS MORE THAN I HATE STUDYING. (To be fair, I don’t really hate studying.)
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,710 reviews701 followers
May 8, 2017
With that cover and synopsis, I was expecting fun and fluffy. What I got was drama, shady behavior, and possibly cheating {depending on how you look at things.}

What I loved:

•The friendship between Sam, Landon, and Meg. They're all so loyal to each other. I loved the code words they used and the perfect support system. People should be so lucky to have friends that will tell you you're being an ass while hugging you.

•How open and comfortable Sam was in his sexuality. He's been out for a while and it was refreshing to read a teen in that part of his life.

What I didn't like:

•How focused Sam was on the looks of the boy he was looking for. Yes, attraction is important, but damn. Worry about the person having some brains too.

•The maybe cheating. Sam hooks up with a few boys and isn't really honest about the fact that he's seeing them all. I don't care about the open relationship as much as I do the lying and hiding things.

•I struggled to care about a lot of what was going on. There was some background drama and it felt forced instead of helping the story along.

Overall, there was something that kept me reading, but I couldn't tell you what it was. Perhaps I'm still in a sight hangover from my previous book. Regardless, I am interested in future books from this author.

**Huge thanks to Viking Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 19 books2,399 followers
March 22, 2017
Lordy that was cute as hell. And what I really liked about it, which is surprising for me considering I kinda hate cheating/love triangle/etc. situations, is how well I think the author handled the whole concept of not being ready as a teen to settle down. It didn't feel like any of that stuff was done for dramatic effect or to make the plot move; it felt like a real depiction of a queer teen finally having options to explore. And I liked that it wasn't utterly predictable, either; that's all I'll say about that for spoiler reasons. But I hope other people appreciate that too.

My only negative on this book was that it feels like a serious reinforcement of every complaint about thin, attractive, white cis gay men as the top of the LGBTQIAP hierarchy. No one else is ever presented without mockery, with the exception of one guy who likes men and (predominantly) women but never uses a label. There are so many passing characters in this book that it legitimately felt weird that *every* queer person acknowledged as being worthy of the MC's time fell into that description.

Obviously I still adored and recommend this book, but I'm really excited for future stuff by the author and hope this won't be a running theme.
Profile Image for Amber.
630 reviews26 followers
April 15, 2019

*Let the RANT Begin*

Profile Image for Eilonwy.
814 reviews205 followers
July 8, 2017
Sam Raines is tired of being single. He dated the one other gay guy at his high school during their first year, but he’s been alone since they broke up, and after two years, he’s ready to find a new boyfriend. But who, and where? His best gal pal Meg, a Wiccan, has a suggestion: Make a list of his top ten traits, then ask the Goddess for help. And what do you know? It works, as Sam meets three potentials in quick order: Confident French exchange student Gus, sweet and artistic sophomore Jamie, and super-magnetic and bisexual older musician Travis. Plus Sam still seems to have some unfinished business with Landon, that former boyfriend and current best friend. How can he tell who he should be with?
This is a case where I really wish GR would let us give half stars. This was a solid 3½ for me, and it was a really hard call whether to round it up or down.

Why I Would Round It Down: I found the story to be really uneven. The cover and the first half of the book give the impression of fluffy light rom-com. A spell? Guys suddenly coming out of the woodwork and all throwing themselves at Sam? Cute and fun. (Except for Gus’s French accent, which became very annoying when I had to see it written on the page every single time he spoke.) Then the plot sagged for me a bit while I thought, “Sam has met a perfectly nice boy! Why are there a hundred more pages of this book?” Then it turns into a more serious story about how to recognize real love and healthy relationships. That message was well worth getting to and makes really good points, but wow did it take a little too long to get there. I nearly DNF’d, and that would have been a shame.

Why I Rounded It Up: The message, duh. And because Sam did end up with the right boy, which I was truly afraid wasn’t going to happen, so credit to the author for faking me out successfully. Also, my totally personally biased reason: The story is set in Athens, Ohio, home of Ohio University. And while I’ve never actually been to Athens, I grew up in another college town in Ohio. So I had an extra layer of enjoyment of this book on that account.

So while I really wish the tone of this had been more even through the story, and that it had maybe been a little shorter, overall I found it to be a good, solid contemporary YA romance with some really great advice about what makes for good or bad relationships. Sam has good character development, going from pretty shallow to a little deeper and wiser, the hard way. It was a 3-star book for three-quarters, and then turned into 4-stars to leave me feeling all positive and happy at the end. And that’s what a romance should do, right?
Profile Image for Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}.
475 reviews170 followers
June 5, 2017
I got nervous when I went to read this because I saw a bunch of not great reviews on Goodreads. I am so glad I still gave it a go because I thought it was cute and a really addicting read.

Sam has been single for two years since breaking up with boyfriend, Landon, the only other eligible gay guy at his school. In a desperate attempt to get out of his dry spell Sam lets his Wiccan best friend Meg perform a love spell to find someone with the ten traits he wants in a boyfriend. When three guys seems to come into Sam's life shortly after he wonders if it was really the spell or if will ever find his "perfect ten".

What was super refreshing for me was that this was a book about a gay teen and that was it. It was him coming out or dealing with bullies - just a gay teen guy looking for a boyfriend. I don't think I have actually read a YA book like that and I liked it a lot.

Sam, Landon (the ex) and Meg were really good friends and I loved their little group dynamic. There was some tension between Sam and Landon as they are exes but I think it was handled well.

I love the touch of magic in the story with the love spell. I am always a sucker for a little of the unexplained.

I will say that I had a favorite guy in Sam's life and hoped he would end up with him. And he did :) I think he did learn and grow with each experience he had with the other guys though. At that age that is all you can hope really. There were times when Sam had some overlapping with the guys but it wasn't cheating per se but it wasn't super honest with the guys. I wasn't super bothered because of his age and finally exploring his options. I think he learned from it by the end which is always a good thing.

Overall I thought the book lived up to the cuteness of that cover. It was quick, cute and a story I really enjoyed.This review was originally posted on Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Profile Image for Billie.
930 reviews79 followers
April 23, 2017
The world needs more books like this—a teen romance about a boy looking for a boyfriend that is not a coming-out story or a bullying story or a story where Sam's gayness is any big deal at all, but just a swoony summer read for anyone who's made wrong turns along the road to love.
Profile Image for J.H. Trumble.
Author 5 books480 followers
June 10, 2017
L Philips's PERFECT TEN is a fun romcom with echoes of David Levithan’s BOY MEETS BOY. A great beach read from this sparkling new voice in YA lit. Buy it. Read it.
Profile Image for ˗ˏˋ janet ˊˎ˗.
165 reviews40 followers
March 24, 2019
Alright where to start. Although I did enjoy reading this and it was a fairly quick read for me, I had multiple issues with it. First, Sam was so indecisive that when he was supposed to be in love with Jamie, he kept thinking about Gus or Trevor and occasionally Langdon. Which brings me to my second issue; Sam is a huge hypocrite. Sam calling Michael out for cheating on a Meg on a technicality is hypocrasity as its finest. He do the same thing to Jamie with Trevor. Also he’s so hung up on Jamie even when he’s back with Langdon and that pisses me off, if he really cared for Jamie, why did he cheat? He regretted cheating on Jamie but almost cheated on Langdon WITH Jamie ? At this point I was thinking he didn’t learn anything. And my last issue, Langdon deserved better. That’s all I’m gonna say on that.
Profile Image for Rhianna.
459 reviews86 followers
June 10, 2017
Is his Perfect Ten a unicorn?

A cute blend of magical realism, young adult rom-com, and a look at the challenges of teenage relationships when they get complicated by expectations, PERFECT TEN, is really good.

I struggled a little with the characters in this book and it took me most of it to figure out why. They frustrated me because they were so well developed and thus, realistically flawed! Sometimes I just really wanted to give Sam a good shake and tell him to... well, I don't want to spoil anything. But suffice it to say that if you have ever stood by a friend through their complicated romances you're sure to find this read to be much like that.

With a cast of potential Perfect Tens for Sam to develop his relationships with you're sure to pick a favorite. Charming and enchanting Gus, shy and artsy Jamie, flirtatious and wicked Travis, and familiar and special Landon could each be great with Sam. But it's never as simple and though at times the plot felt particularly circular and draggy I found the overall journey to be enjoyable.

If you're new to LGBTQIA+ romances I think this is a really great read for a first timer. It's funny, sweet, and has enough depth to make it more than just a fluffy beach read.

Notes: ARC received through the Amazon Vine Reviewer Program.
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,481 reviews902 followers
May 23, 2017
A cute story about a guy trying to find love. He gets his best friend to do a love spell for him, in which he makes a Top Ten list of what he wants in a guy. Bam! His wish gets granted and then some. Is he in lust with a cute French foreign exchange student? That hot musician? The shy artist? Or is he still in love with his ex??

Okay, so I was voting against the French foreign exchange student. I love accents of all kinds, but the book had this poor guy speaking like "zis all ze time. " Nails on chalkboard! I had my fave out of the guys and (yay!) my pick won out.

This book is all romance drama, so don't go in expecting something deep. It's a fun summer read, though!


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The FTC would like you to know that the publisher provided me a free advance copy of this book, that free books can be enjoyable or not, and other readers may disagree with my opinion.

Profile Image for Is.
597 reviews
February 25, 2017

Warning: I’m going to get very ranty, and ragey, and spoilery!


For more of my reviews visit me at The Written Voice of Is/a>
Profile Image for Erin.
477 reviews4 followers
June 25, 2017
3.5 Stars - not gonna lie, when I started reading this I was sure I was going to hate it. But I soldiered on and I'm so glad I did! All of the things I disliked about Sam and his list in the beginning were totally addressed as his character evolved throughout the novel. Did some of this feel a bit cliched and contrived? Sure. But there were so many important topics discussed AND discussed in a manner that was thought provoking and authentic that I didn't mind one bit! Definitely a happy and welcome surprise!
Profile Image for Jeninne.
1,096 reviews28 followers
September 10, 2017
You guys, you guy, you don't understand how upset I am. You don't understand how sad I am. If I weren't so sad, I'd be mad. But I'm just so sad. This book was on my most anticipated list of the year. This book promised to be sweet and endearing, funny and poignant, and just downright good.

Guys, guy, this book isn't good.

I mean, this book is just a mess.

And the first and biggest glaring issue with this book, is the main character. Sam comes off as this hipster, arrogant, douchey little prick who seems steeped in double standards. He isn't likeable. He isn't charismatic. He isn't even nice, not really. He has these weird, oddly endearing moments, mostly with the best character in the book, Landon, but then seems to slip right back into bro mode and just go for it with being selfish, irresponsible, and honestly kind of mean.

How am I supposed to like a character who is completely oblivious to how much of a double standard he is. A walking, talking double standard. Get cheated on? Oh no, feel bad for Sam. Sam cheats on someone, it's okay, they weren't even really that serious or completely dating!

But Sam is just where the problems in this book start. Aside from the back that the humor and running commentary of the author misses the mark most of the time, she's gone ahead and thrown a bunch of characters at the wall in some desperate bid to have one of them stick. Here, have a foreign kid who's dialogue is written phonetically (and is really fucking irritating). Here, have some 15 year old kid (which is creepy to begin with) who's an art student and woefully virginal and naïve and stupidly ignorant. Or here, have the hard on the outside, sweet on the inside rocker who Sam can totes change if he just tries hard enough.

NONE of these characters are all that interesting. I'd say Travis is probably the most interesting of them all, but only barely, and probably because he gets the most character development. Don't get me wrong, practically none of these characters are flushed out, or given depth, or made to be interesting, but Travis is probably the furthest along.

I think what makes me the most sad about this book is all the wasted potential. This could have been a book about Sam and Landon. It SHOULD have been a book about falling in love too young, kind of having to figure out who you are, and making your way back to the person who completes you. Sam had chemistry with exactly ZERO of his suitors, but when he and Landon were in the same room, I felt some kind of pull between them. Their dialogue was easy, and had emotional depth, and I believed in their back history.

Is that what we got here?

NO. No. OF course not.

And it's like I want to give the book some credit for its easy and comfortable depiction of sexuality between gay characters. They kiss and it isn't this big taboo. They have sex, and it's just sex, nothing explicit or noteworthy. But every time I try to give the book credit for that, I just start thinking about how Sam basically was a cheater, and liked to slutshame to a degree, and just was a prick. Being okay with your sexuality and open about it does not excuse being a prick.

I'm just so devastated by this book. It could have been so good. GODDAMN IT. This book could have been this epic story with Landon and Sam, and it just wasn't. And Landon is the best character in this book. Landon is the only saving grace of this book. This kid is honest and frank, and he's more mature than all the other characters put together. You get the feeling this kid knows who he is, and accepts who he is, and is just waiting for everyone else to catch up. He's a good friend, and his scenes were definitely the best.

On second thought, no, I'm glad for the ending of this book. I'm glad Landon didn't end up with shitty Sam. Fuck that.

I'm rating this a one star. I think there's a big difference between disliking a book because it goes in a direction you don't want it to, and because a book goes in a direction that's full of shit and kind of ridiculous. This book could have been something special. This book could have been a great story about what it is to grow up and figure stuff out. Instead this book ended up being a giant disappointment, a giant waste of my time, and something that I'll be sad about for ages.

Don't buy this book. Don't waste your money or your tears. Reader, you deserve better. We all deserved better.
Profile Image for books are love.
3,131 reviews24 followers
July 2, 2019
Received in exchange for a honest review.

Highly entertaining and sweet.

This reminded me of the searching for series by Jennifer Probst but for young adults. The love spell and how it doesn’t always turn out as expected. The funny adventures and growth of characters.

Sam, when he began, was lost and floundering. He is a great character and you learn alot from him as he navigates his way through relationships and not just romantic ones. He has a great set of friends in Meg and landon. Both of them also grow in the book. Landon and Sam learn what made their relationship go wrong and it takes them awhile but when they do it helps them to become better people. They are best friends and you can see that Landon feels more and is not sure how to deal with it. Sam is tired of feeling lonely.so Meg convinces him to do a love spell-only it does not work as expected. He does get attention but he gets more than he bargained for. As he journeys into seeing what he wants from someone he learns and grows. He realizes that looks don’t really matter as much as loyalty. I think the one he learns the most from is Travis. I also think Travis learns from him. It is Travis that gets him to realize what he really wants and what he is afraid of. Travis helps him see what love is and isn’t. He gains friendships and does mess up along the way. Only his mistake was one that almost cost him the one he wanted.

Meg and Landon are great friends. Loyal and true. Honest and real. They learn from Sam’s journey as well. We see these three grow and become closer but also learn from one another.

Jamie was my favorite. He was shy and quiet. He had to grow as well in the end. Learn to forgive and understand mistakes are made and people will do stupid things when trying to find their way. He learns patience. Sam learns that perfection is in the imperfections as well.

A really great entertaining and sweet story about a young man finding his way in love, life and relationships. He has a great group of friends around him and a wonderful support system as he journeys into the world of dating, friendships and finding his way. It is funny and well written with characters you fall for from the beginning. And I was so happy with the ending.
Profile Image for Kurestin.
42 reviews11 followers
April 18, 2017
So cute and so fun! The story never judges Sam for wanting to be young and explore his options but he still has a very satisfying journey to figuring out what he wants and how to be ready for it. And of course, all his options are so lovable! It's a rom-com, so don't expect hyperrealism here, but if you want a feel good search for Mr. Right then this is right on target.
Profile Image for Alana.
Author 6 books18 followers
June 8, 2017
Okay, this book is not perfect. It's 4.5 stars round up for people acting like people--cheating, skirting the line of cheating, being b*llshit about being casual, even slut shaming. These kids have a ton of issues, but they're the issues we all have, and they all come out the other end having learned lessons without slamming them home. Which I appreciate.
Profile Image for Kaja.
208 reviews59 followers
June 30, 2019
There was so many things wrong with this book and i had to skip through the last 80 pages of the book only checking if anything interesting happened (which of course didn’t) because i just couldn’t bring myself to care for the story anymore.
Ugh i hated this

Rtc - i’ll try to explain exactly what problems i had with this
544 reviews6 followers
October 31, 2019

No complaints. Simply a pleasure to read. I’d tell you more but that will just delay you from reading this book. Can’t have that. 4.0 for Perfectness
Profile Image for Jenn.
349 reviews2 followers
June 4, 2017
I won an advance copy of Perfect Ten through the Goodreads Giveaway with the hope of a review - so here is mine:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read quite a lot of YA, and I think it is easy to forget how an actual 17 year old acts and thinks. Many characters are presented as immature or older than their years. Characters are rarely allowed to just be - and Sam definitely delivers! Sam has a clear voice and the story is presented through his point of view.

Sam knows he wants love and he's willing to take a chance to find it. Casting a spell may seem hokey, but a person willing to open themselves up to the possibility of magic (magick?) is also open to new experiences. Sam's spell seems to have kicked his love life into gear and we are taken on his journey as he experiments to find his "just right" - his Perfect Ten. Sam is allowed to make mistakes, change his mind, and remain completely oblivious to others' thoughts and feelings - all typical behaviors of a 17 year old. I loved this character.

I appreciated that Sam's friends were part of the story but never removed focus from Sam. I found myself having strong reactions to each love interest and enjoyed discovering their personalities. I definitely recommend this book and cannot wait for the next release from this author.
Profile Image for Bill Gray.
Author 1 book4 followers
June 11, 2017
First of all, if you're turned off by paranormal stories, don't let the paranormal themes surrounding this book turn you off. Nothing paranormal actually happens, and events can be written off to coincidence. Perfect Ten is a fun tale of a desperately lonely gay high school boy who after participating in a Wiccan ceremony is confronted by three very hot and very different potential lovers, all of them meeting the ten things he wants in a boyfriend, the perfect ten. Add to that the boy's best friend, who used to be his boyfriend, getting in on the action, and suddenly our main character has his hands full. This book is about learning lessons on the road to relationships, and about finding true and real love. It's fun because you have a boy suddenly presented with this plethora of boys to choose from, and all of the romantic situations he finds himself in. And his two best friends are along for the ride. The book is well written and filled with very likable characters. I strongly recommend Perfect Ten.
Profile Image for Ashley.
451 reviews32 followers
October 18, 2017
*I received this book for review from Penguin First to Read. In know way shape or form does that influence my opinion.

This book is interesting in the sense that Sam, the main character makes a list of the ten things he is looking for in a boyfriend and his best friend Meg, who is a Wiccan performs a spell so that Sam will meet his "perfect 10." After the spell, things get complicated in the most interesting way. Because I am not a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and I'm not sure about the rep, I still really did enjoy the fact that there were male/male romances that did get complicated, I won't say how. I loved the friendship between Sam, Landon, and Meg, and yes their friendship was complicated, but what friendships aren't complicated in high school. It was also nice to see that two exes, Sam and Landon still remained best friends after they ended their relationship. While this book really wasn't for me, there were still things that I did like and found somewhat relatable.
Profile Image for John Finck.
9 reviews10 followers
June 7, 2017
What a great read this book was. I found Sam Raines and his friends to be that rarest of things in a YA novel: real. They are in turns funny, infuriating, charming, alarming, and pretty much everything you hope to find in good characters. Laura Philips skips the usual tropes when it comes to writing about a young, gay boy, trying to juggle friends, romance, and his future. When the story begins, you think, "okay, this is going to be a magic realism kind of thing". I don't want to give too much away, but if there is any magic in this story, it's the simple, everyday kind, magic with a lowercase "m", the kind that hides in plain sight and looks like love. Ultimately, that's what this book is about: love. It's sometimes messy, occasionally painful, often confusing, and always beautiful. I can't recommend this book enough. Laura Philips is a talented writer, and judging by this book, she's one to watch.
Profile Image for Cambear.
470 reviews1 follower
May 21, 2017
Zippy little romance about a guy's search for the perfect guy.

This is a fluffy read and some fun moments, but I didn't like the main character's contradictions, particularly as they relate towards his best female friend. He shames her into not smoking, but gets high all the time. He shames her into not losing her virginity though he did it 2 years ago. She's there to help him, but it's not reciprocated. Also, he complains how his first boyfriend was jealous and he's basically two-timing all the guys he's seeing. Yes, he can be charming (and so are parts of the book), but I also can't forget that he's unaware and selfish. It's great that the book can be sex-positive and tell a LGBT love story, I just wish I could really root for him.

Thanks to Penguin Teen for providing a copy of the book for review.
Profile Image for Anna.
161 reviews63 followers
March 11, 2019
Had potential to be fun, but (to reference Marie Kondo) it did not bring me joy. :(
Profile Image for Alexis The Nerdy Bruja.
727 reviews83 followers
December 29, 2017
2.5/5 stars. This was an okay read. I loved the ending and I really liked the Wicca aspect ( mostly because I've always been interesting in that kinda stuff). That being said the main character Sam frustrated me to no end. He was whiny and kind of a jerk. I don't think there was anything that really stood out to me in this book. Overall it was all just kind of meh for me.
1,079 reviews3 followers
April 9, 2021
I was so worried about the ending but it made me super happy. This is the delightful story you get when you take a Wiccan best friend and a lonely gay guy to a cemetery to cast a love spell. All the fun, all the feels, all the magic in the air.
Profile Image for Michael.
645 reviews
August 11, 2018
“She shouldn’t worry. It’ll rise again. Phoenixes always do.”

Perfect Ten is set up as a cute story of a boy going to extreme lengths to find love. What ends up happening is that it grabbed me by the heart, sucked me in, and had me tear up and swell with emotions at the end. Some teen rom-com, huh? I thoroughly enjoyed it so much it was a 24 hour marathon read.

Sam is a hipster, he can be shallow, selfish, and he can be selfless and a really good friend. He explores magic to help him find love-and I’ll let you decide if the magick was real or not-and ends up with more than he bargained for. It could have gone I Love Lucy or 90210, but the ship kept righting itself to be truly about growth and self discovery more like Dawson’s Creek, haha.

I liked Sam, who is deeply flawed and lucky. I thought he had complex, deep, meaningful relationships with Meg the Wiccan guru, and Landon the ex, both of whom were well fleshed out characters in their own right. I connected to Landon and his undying love for Sam. I felt for him.

My problems were how absent most parents were, and how easily and without consequences these kids ditched school and still got everything handed to them. The author was going for privileged upper class neighborhood, but barely scratched the surface of what absentee parents do to kids, other than mentioning Landon’s. They also left class and school so often it became comical. Go ahead and hang in the auditorium any old time you want. In what school?

See my spoiler for how it all turns out.

It’s well written, full of twists and problems, sounds like things teens would say and do for the most part, and is a quick, fun read. Get it and read it.
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