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Perfect on Paper

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In Perfect on Paper: a bisexual girl who gives anonymous love advice to her classmates is hired by the hot guy to help him get his ex back.

Her advice, spot on. Her love life, way off.

Darcy Phillips:
• Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes―for a fee.
• Uses her power for good. Most of the time.
• Really cannot stand Alexander Brougham.
• Has maybe not the best judgement when it comes to her best friend, Brooke…who is in love with someone else.
• Does not appreciate being blackmailed.

However, when Brougham catches her in the act of collecting letters from locker 89―out of which she’s been running her questionably legal, anonymous relationship advice service―that’s exactly what happens. In exchange for keeping her secret, Darcy begrudgingly agrees to become his personal dating coach―at a generous hourly rate, at least. The goal? To help him win his ex-girlfriend back.

Darcy has a good reason to keep her identity secret. If word gets out that she’s behind the locker, some things she's not proud of will come to light, and there’s a good chance Brooke will never speak to her again.

Okay, so all she has to do is help an entitled, bratty, (annoyingly hot) guy win over a girl who’s already fallen for him once? What could go wrong?

304 pages, Hardcover

First published March 9, 2021

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About the author

Sophie Gonzales

8 books2,512 followers
Sophie Gonzales writes young adult queer contemporary fiction with memorable characters, biting wit and endless heart.

She is the author of THE LAW OF INERTIA, ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED and PERFECT ON PAPER. IF THIS GETS (co-written with Cale Dietrich) is forthcoming in Fall 2021 from Wednesday Books / Macmillan.

When she isn’t writing, Sophie can be found ice skating, performing in musical theatre, and practicing the piano. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia where she works as a psychologist.

She is represented by Molly Ker Hawn of The Bent Agency.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,700 reviews
Profile Image for Sophie Gonzales.
Author 8 books2,512 followers
Want to read
July 19, 2022
This book is a subtweet.

I'm kidding (mostly!), but Perfect on Paper was born of some very confused, conflicting feelings. At the time of writing, I was working on a sapphic rom-com, which I was intending to be my next book (watch this space in the future!!), when something happened.

I've been writing bisexual characters for many years, but I'd always written them dating someone who shared their gender. Then, in OMD I wrote a bi character whose story culminated in a romance with someone of a different gender, and I suddenly received push back. I started hearing that I'd done something wrong, and I won't list the specific things said here, because they're just hurtful, but the reasons given boiled down to this: "a bi person who is in a relationship with a different gender is not correct queer rep".

At first, as is normal when we hear we've done something wrong, I felt awful, and doubted myself. But when I thought on it further, I didn't feel guilty anymore. Honestly, I felt angry. Because biphobia is still so ingrained in the community that people not only feel its acceptable to call a bi person less (or not) queer if they choose to date one person over another at a point in time, but that it was so ingrained within me that I hesitated. That I believed, for a moment, I might have done something wrong.

So, because I'm me, I did it again but bigger.

Perfect on Paper is a rom-com. It's light (mostly) it's funny (well, *my* funny, which means a lot of deadpan and self-deprecating humour, if you're into that), it's romantic. Its main pairing is m/f. And it's unapologetically, intensely, queer. All of those things are true at once.

It is about a lot of things. It's about relationships, romantic and platonic. It's about the things we project onto other people to create a narrative that feels safe. It's about being part of the queer community, and feeling like you've lost your place in it because of who you've fallen for. It's about Disneyland (for a chapter). It's about biphobia. It's about love.

I want to make it clear: this book has sapphic romance within it, but it is not a sapphic romance book. I don't want anyone going into this hoping to see representation that isn't there. I know how that feels. HOWEVER, I also want people to know the representation that *is* there.

This is, at its core, a very queer story. This story is for everyone, but, most especially, it is for my bi--and my pan--readers. You are queer, because you are, and who you fall for or date or kiss does not alter that. No one else can change you.

I know that the community has its prejudices, but I also know the boundless capacity for love and support that it has. The strength that it has. I hope that this ownvoices book is seen for what it is, and that the fear in the pit of my stomach that it will be pushed out for not being quite queer enough will turn out to be just that. Only fear.

Love to all of you!!!!
Profile Image for anna (½ of readsrainbow).
567 reviews1,756 followers
August 21, 2021
rep: bi girl mc, trans sc, Vietnamese-American lesbian sc, bi sc, gay sc, pan nonbinary sc
tw: biphobia, internalised biphobia, toxic parents, drugs, alcohol, vomiting

If you’ve read Only Mostly Devastated, you probably more or less know what to expect here: teens who are allowed to make questionable choices & mistakes, and to learn from them; great dynamics between characters, be it friends, family or romantic partners; and of course great writing.

Perfect on Paper offers all that, and more.

Let’s start with the writing. Gonzales’ style is very clean, which is to say: it’s not purple prose, it’s not clunky, it doesn’t feel like it’s unpolished. It’s clean. It’s also fresh, and really does make you believe the characters are teens. And funny. Probably helps that my sense of humour clearly aligns with the author’s, but the point stands.

The fact that the writing is so good, also translates into all the characters being well developed, superbly fleshed out. Which is possibly my favourite part of the book. Because I don’t just mean that yeah, it’s very easy to feel like you know all those people you’re reading about & like they’re real people. I mean that they are people, they do things they regret later, they keep secrets they know they shouldn’t, they hurt others. None of them are perfect, least of all Darcy. And that’s beautiful, frankly, since in real life no one is perfect either.

Darcy is an amazing main character. She’s kind of messy, in love with her best friend, and thinks she’s smarter than everyone else (at least a little bit). She doesn’t end the story like that, though. When I say all those characters grow and learn, I’m dead serious.

Darcy has all the answers. She knows how to solve everyone else’s love problems. She reads one letter, and she’s already an expert about any given situation. And like with everything, there are a lot of sides to look at this from. Yes, the advice she anonymously gives people is usually spot on. No, she can’t really know a person’s full story from a few facts they decided to put in a note - but the narrative calls her out on this. Yes, it’s made clear that it’s easier to figure out what to do when you’re not emotionally invested & that’s one of the reasons why Darcy is so successful. No, she can’t really take her own advice.

When it comes to her own love life, Darcy reads too much into things or just doesn’t notice stuff, all depending on the outcome she’s hoping for. None of that smart assessment of situation she displays when telling others what to do. Very little logic, a lot of wishful thinking. Which, honestly, makes perfect sense.

Darcy is also bisexual, and to be honest, that’s where the book truly gets to shine. You can clearly tell it’s an ownvoices story, with all the care taken to portray bisexuality. Not only in the very clear way of how the plot unfolds: Darcy is in love with a girl and then later falls for a boy (that’s not a spoiler, right? y’all must have been expecting that). There are also discussions, internal monologues about what bisexuality actually is and how biphobia comes into play. I don’t think I’ve ever read a YA book with bi rep this good.

And yes, the Boy. Brougham is just… so sweet. Basically always willing to help, to spend time with someone, make them feel better. But even more importantly, Brougham puts a lot of weight on other people’s feelings, opinions, boundaries. In a phrase, he respects people. If Darcy tells him she doesn’t enjoy something, he’ll stop. A revolutionary concept, yes, I know.

That’s just to show you, though, what an important part relationships play in Perfect on Paper. Obviously the romantic ones, given the whole premise of the book. Even with those, Gonzales took some turns you might not be expecting; some happy endings that don’t look like them from the start. But different kinds of relationships aren’t downplayed at all. Darcy and her sister are a major point in the story. Parents are actually visible here, and while they’re not always perfect, the narrative actually talks about that.

Perfect on Paper is a perfectly wholesome story about imperfect people. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you yearn. It might even make you learn something. Most of all, it will make you feel loved.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,472 reviews19.2k followers
July 14, 2021
This was SO. GOOD. The queer, Sex Education vibes in this were immaculate and I can easily say that Sophie Gonzales has become a new favorite YA author for me and I will absolutely read anything she publishes in the future. I loved the messiness of the romance in this and how authentically teenage all of the hijinks in this felt. This was just so fun!!! Definitely recommend if you're looking for a new YA contemporary to dive into this summer

CW: biphobia
Profile Image for Alex.andthebooks.
241 reviews1,677 followers
February 24, 2022
Uwielbiam, gdy bohaterowie rozmawiają. Gdy próbują rozwiązywać swoje problemy racjonalnie, nie poprzez dramaty.
Postać Darcy ma swoje wady i tak mnie tym ujmuje! Może nie każdy się z nią polubi, to zrozumiałe, ale ja takie bohaterki uwielbiam.

Kocham wciąż tak samo
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
610 reviews476 followers
September 7, 2021
If I'm being honest, I don't even know where to start my review for Perfect on paper, so I'll just say...
This book was everything!

I have only read 4 ya books this year, and this novel reminded me how much I enjoy this genre, and how I happen to miss it, so in some way it can be said it inspired me to go more often for books from that genre.

Perfect on Paper has amazing cast of characters, with great lgbtq+ representation.
Our main character Darcy is bisexsual, her best friend is lesbian, her sister is in transition, and they are also members of lgbtq+ group in their high school, that so many wonderful charaters are part of.

Now when we covered them, I want to sress out how joyful, fun and entertaining the plot is. I can't remember when was the last time I enjoyed a book so much.
This novel has only 304 pages, but I read it for days, because I wanted to spend as much time with it as possible.
However, I am sure it could be devoured in one-two sittings only.

When Perfect on Paper came out a month ago, I feel it was talked about, but in my opinion it deserves bigger promotion because it really stands out and has potential to become one of today's ya classics.
I would also like to see it on screens one day, hopefully soon.

So if you want my advice, do yourself a favour and give this book a chance.
I am sure many people will enjoy it, take something out of it and understand why it deserves the hype.
I highly, highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,124 reviews39.1k followers
May 14, 2021
Hands down! What a great mash up of Simon vs Homo sapiens agenda, Leah on the Offbeat meets Netflix’s Sex Education series, To All the boys I loved before is fresh baked from the oven with amazing LGBTQ representation!

Bisexual heroine, straight hero and gay, lesbian, trans supporting characters present us wide spectrum of sexual identity exploration of the young adults, challenges they face and learn to love true selves are well told by reflecting different perspectives honestly and realistically.

Darcy Philips is school’s secret relationship consultant, yes, she’s different from Otis Milburn character from Sex Education :She doesn’t only help her friends with her objective opinions to solve their sexual problems with partners, she also help them to face their emotional problems gently.

Of course she keeps her identity secret, collecting the letters from a secret locker, answering the questions via a pen name. She’s bisexual and she has second thoughts to date with opposite gender because she is afraid of being perceived as less queer by her inner circle! See, firstly she needs to fight against the wrong thought patterns to have a fulfilled, satisfying relationship.

But unfortunately the most disturbing guy who pisses her off all the time finds out her secret. Yes, the one and only Alexander Brougham knows who she is and in exchange of his silence, he demands free relationship consultation from her to earn back his old girlfriend.

It seems like easy peasy task for Darcy but what if the guy she thinks a real douchebag slowly starts to attract her attention more than she thinks and there is still risk that her best friend Brooke can learn her true identity which may end their whole relationship. Yes, when it comes to hearts, there will be always unexpected, surprising complications.

Do you want to know what will happen next? Go on, but the book, devour the pages and find out!

I mostly enjoyed this sweet, thought provoking, meaningful story. The first half of the book was a little slow for me and I wish the story may have been told in lesser pages which would have been helpful with the pacing but it was still enjoyable, entertaining, lovely.

I’m rounding up 3.5 stars to 4 brave, complex, smart stars!

Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Wednesday Books for sharing this impressive ARC with me in exchange my honest review.
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,038 reviews47.5k followers
September 2, 2021
so so many people said this was the best book they're read all year, and i believe them. but 20% into the audiobook i just... can't bring myself to care. i think me & YA contemporaries are not so slowly parting ways.
Profile Image for jenny✨.
563 reviews779 followers
March 10, 2021
03/09/2021: HAPPY PUB DAY! 💙💜💖

Now THIS is the kind of teen rom-com fluff I could get behind! 🥺

I’ve been struggling lately to find quirky, lighthearted romances that I enjoy, but Perfect on Paper hit just the right notes.

The premise is oh-so-tropey and oh-so-good: Darcy Phillips is a high school junior, bisexual, member of the Queer & Questioning Club, daughter of the school’s science teacher. She’s also the person behind Locker 89, a mysteriously abandoned locker where everyone knows you can drop $10 and a letter seeking relationship advice, and bam! You get an e-mail back from an anonymous relationship guru, love and satisfaction guaranteed. No one knows who she is, and that’s how she likes it.

Until the day Alexander Brougham discovers her identity. (Picture Bill Skårsgard but Australian, aloof, and on the swim team.)

And, to her horror and outrage, proceeds to blackmail her.

If Darcy will help him get his ex-girlfriend back, he won’t tell the school she’s Locker 89. Sounds simple enough—until their antagonistic, strictly business relationship starts to become something more.

Except Darcy’s been crushing HARD on her best friend, Brooke Nguyen, for ages. She likes Brooke. Not Brougham… Right?

I'm not kidding—someone make this film adaptation stat!!!


Perfect on Paper wasn’t, well, perfect. (I’m so eloquent, aren’t I?)

I mean, were certain moments cheesy? You bet.

Was it overly didactic sometimes? For sure. The messages in this book are not subtle whatsoever, and they occasionally even verge on instructional. It felt at times like this novel was contorting itself to be perfectly inoffensive. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! It just felt a little conspicuous.

(And I’m not simply talking about the advice that Darcy dispenses as a relationship guru. Though, for the record, I actually really liked reading Darcy’s responses to the students who sought her relationship advice—her words were optimistic, usually nuanced, but still firm and grounded in reality. I don’t personally buy into every psychological theory on love & relationships (my psych degree cured me of that gullibility) but I did appreciate Darcy’s advice. I felt like I could use her words in my own life, too.)


This novel touches on fatphobia and body positivity (via Darcy’s plus-size mum). It has scenes depicting characters being responsible drivers after a night of drinking, partners asking for consent (explicit and implicit), friends taking care of friends who’ve taken one too many weed gummies, and Darcy standing up to biphobia from her parents and her queer/straight friends and herself.

This novel models boundary-setting. It affirms the heart-rending pain of friendship breakups, and how hard it is to accept we’ve fucked up, that we’ve hurt someone we love. And then it goes on to show that even in spite of this, we can own up to our mistakes.

And of course: this novel, to my utter delight, represents a brilliant array of queer characters. There’s Ainsley, Darcy’s sister; she’s trans and a popular YouTuber with a knack for fashion, thrifting, sewing, and bugging/loving the heck out of Darcy. There’s Brooke, who’s Vietnamese and lesbian, and Finn, who’s Korean, gay, and convinced Chad/Ryan from HSM are the biggest conspiracy to ever exist. There are several other members of the Q&Q Club: Alexei’s pan and nonbinary, Lily’s ace, Raina’s bi like Darc.

In fact, that was the best part about Perfect on Paper: it embraces queer characters in all roles and spaces. These are queer folk who are loving and petty and funny and hurtful and kind, all of it at once.

It felt so goddamn real.

And that’s what I loved best about Darcy, too: Sophie Gonzales was NOT afraid to write all of Darcy’s imperfections, her selfish and petty and straight up mean moments. This book toes the line between being a little too preachy and being just the right amount of instructive—and it’s Darcy who really keeps the balance firmly on the side of authentic and believable and fun.

Here is a protagonist who is neither perfect on paper nor in practice; she fucks up, several times, and each time you can’t help but root for her.

Bottom line: Was this book perfect? Not at all. But it DID make me genuinely laugh. Its protagonist was flawed and all the realer for it. The love interest, despite being a rich straight white dude, was fucking adorable. And the REP WAS GREAT. Like I said: Perfect on Paper hit just the right notes.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
Author 4 books237 followers
February 22, 2022
"You are queer, because you are, and who you fall for or date or kiss does not alter that. No one else can change you." - Sophie Gonzales

This. 👏🏻 Book. 👏🏻

Dynamic and diverse, Perfect on Paper is the YA romance I've been waiting for. The representation in this book is praiseworthy, with lovable characters and a fresh-voiced heroine who is flawed but self-aware.

A unique plot with a Dear Abby vibe, Perfect on Paper is about a girl named Darcy who uses an unclaimed locker and a secret alias to give advice to her classmates. (Her classmates write her letters about their relationship problems, leave their letters in the locker, and she replies via email with advice.) But when she is caught emptying the locker by the senior class heartthrob, he convinces her to help him win his ex-girlfriend back, and suddenly she's spending more and more time with a boy she never expected to be interested in.

There's some high school drama here that feels very...well...high school, but I still can't give this book anything less than 5 stars. I wish I had this book available to me when I was growing up. I wish I went to a school with a Q&Q (Queer and Questioning) Club. I wish I knew the extent of biphobia before reading this, but I'm grateful for this story and for all it has taught me.

TW: biphobia, internalized biphobia, toxic parents, drugs, alcohol

Thank you Wednesday Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Not My High.
220 reviews572 followers
July 16, 2022

No i co tu dużo mówić? CZYTAJCIE.

Przez PoP się plyyyynie - wczoraj w nocy przeczytałem 200 stron, a dzisiaj w kilka chwil skończyłem.

• Wspaniali, wyraziści bohaterowie
• Niebanalna fabuła
• Poruszone ważne problemy społeczne (bifobia, rozwód rodziców, życie w przemocowym domu)

Queer reprezentacja:
- główna bohaterka jest bi
- należy do Queer Klubu
- jest zakochana w swojej przyjaciółce
- jej siostra jest trans
- wieeeele wlw
- jest też reprezentacja osoby niebinarnej ze świetnym tłumaczeniem

Więcej pewnie napiszę na IG, jednak... To jest genialne.

TW ❗trudne relacje rodzinne (wątek mocno poboczny)
Profile Image for literarylesbian.
226 reviews2,402 followers
June 12, 2021
This book instantly became one of my new favorite young adult contemporaries, it was absolutely amazing. Perfect on Paper follows Darcy Phillips, a high schooler who also happens to run an anonymous relationship advice business out of a vacant locker. Despite the advice she gives to others, Darcy's love life is less than desirable, she's hopelessly in love with her best-friend Brooke. Darcy's life is turned upside down when Alexander Brougham discovers her in the act of opening the vacant locker. Does she help him get his ex back? Or let the whole school find out that she's the one who's been giving out advice?

I completely adored our main character Darcy, and she was extremely relatable. She was a very flawed and imperfect character, but that's what made me love her even more. This book also had amazing representation, the main character was bisexual and many of the side characters were also LGBTQ+, but it didn't come off as tokenization in the slightest. These side characters were very complex, and had their own unique personalities separate from their identities. Many bisexual reviewers have raved on how Darcy's bisexuality was written, and I suggest you listen to their opinions over mine-- though I agree completely.

This book does have a love triangle, which I usually despise. But honestly? This book pulled it off. I honestly forgot it was a love triangle while reading, despite me not knowing who I was supposed to be rooting for until about halfway. I recommend this book to everyone, even the devout love triangle haters, trust me, you'll love it.
Profile Image for Melindam.
611 reviews263 followers
February 7, 2023
4,5 stars

Me and the young-adult genre have had an ambivalent and stormy relationship. And I totally acknowledge the "it's not you, it's me" factor.


In the majority of cases I did not like the books I tried, but from time to time I found novels that started talking to me on so many levels and I ended up cherishing them.


This was the case with The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back and Red, White & Royal Blue.

And this has been certainly the case with Perfect on Paper.

The cover blurb prompted me to check out GR opinions for this book and after reading the great reviews by Jennifer and Sherwood Smith, I just went and purchased it on Audible and I loved it!

The MC Darcy was such a fantastic, flawed, but nice, strong and amazingly courageous person! I also loved Brougham and the diverse, supporting characters: Darcy's mum, her sister Ainsley, the members of the Q & Q Club.

The author managed to create a book with an interesting and challenging plot and some very valid moral questions about confidentiality, discretion, love, support and trust. She also successfully lead her characters through the complicated issues of how people can screw up despite the best of intentions, then face the music afterwards and grow in the process.

The romance was incredibly sweet in the best of sense and the friendships and the sisterly relationship were a joy (and sometimes sorrow) to read about.
Profile Image for jules.
106 reviews147 followers
September 1, 2021
*4.25 stars!

[stands on stage and yells loudly into megaphone] THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE AMAZING BI REPRESENTATION
Profile Image for Nash (all too unwell).
315 reviews814 followers
September 27, 2021
A community within a community within a community. No questions asked. No proof needed. No valid form of identification required. We just belonged because we belonged.”

⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars

At this point, y'all should know I would even read shit if it was queer romance.

Perfect on paper is one of those books where everything is done right and your heart hurts when it's done! The bisexual rep is to die for. I loved that aspect soo much. It's so relatable and everything about this book was true!


Darcy Philips runs a secret service. She provides relationship advice to those who have problems. With foolproof advice and refund, if it doesn't work, her business flourishes. But no one knows who is behind the Locker...
Her love advice is PERFECT but her own love life is not.
Darcy has been in love with her best friend for a long time but never had the courage to tell her. And now it may be too late

Enter Alexander Brougham.
When he finds out that Darcy is the one behind the Locker, he asks her help to get back with his ex-girlfriend. She's reluctant but he is the only one who knows the truth about the locker. And hence she decided to help him because there is something via the locker that
she did that affected someone she loves

All she has to do is put up with annoying and irritating Brougham and help him get his ex gf back. How hard can it be?
extremely hard bcz turns out he is a cinnamon roll


The writing was fun! It wasn't something I adored, but it was good!

I love how the story was crafted. And as I said before the rep was so good!
In most books, I read the bi girl always ends up with a girl. This is the first one I've read that the girl ends up with a boy.
Darcy's dad has no idea about this. he refers to his daughter as 'being' lesbian when she likes a girl and being straight when she likes a boy. This is so common IRL and everyone needs to know that being bi doesn't work that way.
She talks about biphobia, the prejudices about queer community and I loved that!!!


Lets talk about ze characters


Darcy is such an interesting character. I loved her arc and everything about her. She is shy but brave. She genuinely wants to help people but she messes up everything. She's fun and quirky and this is one of the books where quirky ain't irritating!!
Loved her


He is the kinda person who looks like they can kill you but is actually a cinnamon roll. Can I have a Brougham pleasee
I ADOREE him. He's so cute sweet and I love him soo much 🥺🥰


I have mixed feelings. I like her a bit, but most of the time she was annoying. Now that I think about it, yeah I dont like her

Ainsley is so cute omg. I LOVE HERRRRRRRR

Me to all of them :


So yeah, that's it


Peaace out🤞
Profile Image for human.
640 reviews951 followers
August 24, 2021
Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

(actual rating: 4.5/5)

I'm someone who absolutely hates love triangles, in any shape or form. Usually, this is because the person that the mc will end up with is quite obvious from the very beginning, and the only reason that there even is a love triangle is for the added drama. This book has broken my streak of hating on love triangles just because they exist, which is definitely something I didn't see coming.

'Perfect on Paper' follows Darcy Philips, a bisexual teen with a secret: she's the one running locker 89, an anonymous dating advice service for her fellow classmates. However, when Alexander Brougham discovers her secret, he has a proposal: Darcy helps him win back his ex-girlfriend, and he keeps her secret (along with generous pay, of course). The only problem? Darcy can't stand Brougham, and is in love with her best friend, Brooke, who she hasn't exactly been honest with.

Part of the reason that I love this book is because, as mentioned earlier, the love triangle isn't there to create more needless drama in the book, but rather, to explore Darcy's bisexuality and all that it entails. This book itself is so, so, so important because of the way that it tackles bi erasure - it acknowledges that bi's don't need to have been involved with both people the same gender as them or not to be considered bisexual, they're queer enough on their own. I absolutely loved reading about Darcy's experience with the way other people reacted to her bisexuality, and the way others stood up for her as well.

The romance is absolutely adorable, I cannot even. Brougham and Darcy have such good chemistry, and the love triangle never felt like it was impeding the progress of the romance, but rather that it helped it along.

The characters, but Darcy specifically, were awesome. I loved how she was able to grow as a person over the course of the story - she wasn't some picture perfect book character, but rather, a realistic teenager who made mistakes but also learned and grew from them, which really is an attestation to Sophie Gonzales' writing.

The plot was admittedly a bit all over the place, but in a good way? It's a bit hard to explain, but it often felt like two-steps-forward-one-step-back with Darcy and her love triangle. And while this made for some entertaining relationship dynamics, it could be a bit hard to follow at times.

Overall, I really, really, really enjoyed this book, and I would definitely recommend it to all the YA romance fans out there. It was a little different than the books that I usually read, but I certainly don't regret picking this one up.


somewhat unrelated bi meme section because why not:

Profile Image for Steph.
500 reviews257 followers
April 27, 2021
oh my goodness, what a wholesome read!!

it's a fluffy YA romcom, so perfect on paper is often predictable and cheesy. but it's such a sweet and easy book; the dialogue feels very real; and there's a diverse array of lgbt+ representation.

i snagged perfect on paper because of one element of the premise that's absolutely irresistible: our bi protagonist runs an anonymous relationship advice service for her fellow high school students.

like our protagonist, darcy, i love relationship shit. browsing r/relationshipadvice is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. it's fascinating and entertaining, and i like to think that analyzing complicated relationship dilemmas can help me to function better in my own relationships.

and the advice angle in this story is really fun. most chapters begin with an anonymous letter requesting relationship advice, followed by darcy's response. this breaks up the story nicely, and makes it hard to put the book down! and hey, readers might learn something, too.

one of the most important components of any relationship is COMMUNICATION, so ironically this is something that darcy struggles with. for much of the book, she is unable to tell either of her potential love interests how she feels.

we've got fun romance tropes, miscommunications, messy emotions, and lots of other good stuff. this is also a super validating book for bi readers. i really appreciate the frank discussions of biphobia. and even though our characters all feel very real and make plenty of mistakes, there's such an overwhelmingly positive vibe here.

if you want some light and easy, warm and fuzzy entertainment with solid lgbt+ representation, this is your book!!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for theresa.
285 reviews4,287 followers
March 7, 2021
Perfect on Paper is a heartwarming, feel good rom com that I’d recommend to contemporary lovers everywhere! With a perfect balance of lighthearted high school fun and nuanced exploration of important themes, Sophie Gonzales has created an utterly spectacular story.

I adored so much about this novel, in particular the writing style – it was quick and easy to read and gripped me from the first page. It also effortlessly conveyed the humour and emotions of the characters and carried the story perfectly. I loved the characters and their relationships with each other, especially Darcy’s bond with her sister. The novel also explored some more complicated relationships, such as the one between Darcy and her best friend which I really enjoyed reading about and felt was done so well. I really loved the relationship that develops between Darcy and Brougham, I felt that they just worked so well together and I was really rooting for them.

What really stood out to me was the discussion around bisexuality and, in particular, biphobia. I felt that these themes were handled with a lot of nuance and sensitivity and I loved how they played into the story and into Darcy’s internal conflict. There is an incredibly powerful scene where she discusses biphobia that I adored and I would recommend the book based on that alone. Darcy’s character development, both as she deals with internalised biphobia and not always knowing all the answers, was such a joy to read and made her easy to relate to and sympathise with and I absolutely loved her journey in this book.

Overall, I really just loved this one. Perfect on Paper is unapologetically queer and provides bisexual representation that’s going to mean the world to so many readers. It is the absolute perfect feel good read to curl up with if you’re feeling down or struggling to pick up a book, full of lovable characters you won’t be able to help rooting for and high school hijinks.

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*eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*
Profile Image for solanne.
195 reviews460 followers
July 7, 2021
shoutout to Sophie Gonzales for once again making me want to cry !!


Listen, I am absolutely head over heels in love with this book. As in, to the point that this is genuinely one of my favourite reads of the year. Even just thinking about it makes me want to grin like a complete idiot.

Perfect On Paper follows Darcy, the unassuming bisexual sophmore running locker 89, a mysterious slot that offers anonymous relationship advice to all those seeking help in the shape of a letter. Her business has been running smoothly for years — that is, until Brougham, captain of the swim team, catches her in the act of retrieving said letters. Helping Brougham win back his ex in exchange for silence shouldn’t be so hard; especially given Darcy’s own feelings for her oblivious best friend, Brooke. Or, it wouldn’t be until her deal with Brougham begins to evolve into something more than just a tentative friendship. There’s no possible way this could get messy… right?

I'm not the first to say it and I definitely won’t be the last: the characters are messy as hell. And I don’t mean that as in their characterization was poorly executed because that’s absolutely not the case. I mean it as in they screw up… on multiple occasions. But I think that their imperfections are necessary; Sophie Gonzolas writes some of the most tangible characters I’ve ever encountered, especially in young adult literature. They feel like actual people. In the end, you really can’t help but root all of them. It’s one hell of a talent.

Starting with Darcy, the girl who owns my entire heart. I adore how Gonzales wasn't afraid to paint her humanity in all its tangled colours. Darcy makes her fair share of selfish and petty decisions, but she’s also funny and compassionate and so very real. And, god, do I ever love her for all her screwups.

Cue Brougham, love of my life. I can’t believe I’m about to say this but... it seems I’ve fallen for a rich white dude?? Who even am I. Seriously though, the boy is such a sweetheart and is always so damn respectful I just,,,, adore him. I also really appreciated how much emphasis he put on other’s levels of comfort and how boundary-affirming he was!! Don’t get me wrong, Brougham was also most definitely an awkward disaster, but frankly, his blunders only made him more lovable.

And oh my goodness the slow burn. There’s nothing quite like two characters reluctantly falling for each other but refusing to admit it. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this book had some of THE most tender scenes I’ve ever read. I’ve never felt so touch starved. And when the two began to recognize their feelings for one another? Absolutely decimated me. I was not okay. Truly, the romantic relationships as well as the complex friendships and familial dynamics were all so brilliantly nuanced. The familial stuff alone was enough to make me cry.

But even characters and relationships aside, this book is just really well written. Perfect On Paper is witty and sharp with so much good banter. The humour was excellent, with lines of dialogue that had me straight up laughing. I think I spit out my tea at one point. Also, to put it simply, I adored the premise?? I mean is it cheesy? For sure. But it was so well executed that I can’t bring myself to care in the least. Not only that, but Darcy’s responses to the relationship queries she received were so articulate and thoughtful that I found myself to be genuinely interested in what she had to say.

Also!! The queer rep was fantastic!! Not only does Perfect On Paper have a wonderfully diverse cast of characters, but it also included some really great commentary centering around biphobia and bi erasure. The whole thing just made my heart super happy.

More than anything though, Perfect On Paper reminded me why I love reading. It made me laugh and it made me cry, and, above all, it made me feel safe. And I can’t thank Sophie Gonzales enough for that. Anyways, if you need me, I can always be found in some dark corner, screaming about this book.

Please do give it a try, I can’t recommend it enough. This was absolutely everything.

> 5 stars

— representation: bi MC, trans SC, Vietnamese-American lesbain SC, gay SC, bi SC, pan nonbinary SC
— content warnings: biphobia (both external and internalized), underage drinking and use of substances, emotionally toxic parents
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.4k followers
March 12, 2021
Review also published on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

A YA novel with a unique concept and a fabulous cast of characters!

Sixteen-year-old Darcy Phillips gives relationship advice to her fellow students anonymously via a locker at school that students drop letters into and she anonymously retrieves. Emailing advice from a secret email address, Darcy’s relationship advice has a high success rate and her venture has therefore become quite lucrative.

Darcy’s own love life however is kind of a shambles. Darcy, a bisexual, has been crushing on her best friend Brooke for years now, and nothing has come of it. As both are members of the schools’ Queer and Questioning Club, she keeps hoping that something will shift dramatically.

When Brougham, a senior, discovers that Darcy is the one in charge of Locker 89, he enlists her relationship advice in exchange for keeping mum about her identity.

A predictable, yet sweet YA novel, I really enjoyed this book even though it felt very YA to me and I couldn’t quite relate to what the characters were going through. This book includes a very diverse cast of characters as well as several important chapters which may help those who are questioning exactly where they fit in this world.
3.5 Stars

Thank you to Rivka Holler at St. Martin’s Press for the galley.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.
Profile Image for marta (sezon literacki).
241 reviews1,156 followers
March 10, 2022
3.5/5 ⭐️

Droga Szafko 89,

Początkowo twoja działalność budziła mój sprzeciw - no bo jak nastolatka może udzielać psychologicznych porad swoim rówieśnikom, nie mając do tego absolutnie żadnych kompetencji? O dziwo, twoje porady bardzo często okazywały się celne i dojrzałe. Do momentu aż wywiązała się z tego bardzo nieprzyjemna sytuacja. Jestem pewna, że wiesz o czym mówię - nie powinnaś wykorzystywać swojej pozycji do własnych celów. To było naprawdę paskudne z twojej strony. Na szczęście wyciągnęłaś z tego lekcję i naprawiłaś swoje błędy. I oby tak zostało! Ostatecznie, wyniknęła z tego całkiem przyjemna historia, która pozwoliła mi choć na chwilę oczyścić głowę.

Profile Image for Christy.
3,753 reviews31.9k followers
March 21, 2021
4 stars

I had so much fun reading this book! It was exactly the kind of YA book I love. It was fun, emotional, had loveable characters, and was incredibly diverse. Darcy was our main character and I thought she was fantastic. I loved the letter answering/advice giving aspect of the story so much. I wasn't sure who the love interest would be at first. She has a massive crush on her best friend, Brooke, but there is also this guy, Alexander... I absolutely love who she ended up with and how this one turned out. This is one of those books that would make a fantastic film!

Audio book source: Audible (purchased)
Story Rating: 4 stars
Narrators: Berrie Kreinik
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Contemporary/Romance (YA)
Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
Profile Image for tappkalina.
642 reviews391 followers
May 2, 2022
So... I dnf'd it halfway through, because nothing really happened and I didn't like where the story was going, but then I wasn't in a mood for another book, so I was like, might as well finish this one.

And I'm happy I did. I guess. I listened to it on 2x speed and was still quite bored, but I really liked the end, and the relationship was my kind of sweet.
Profile Image for clea.
349 reviews379 followers
May 22, 2022
“you’re queer!” “even if i’m with a straight guy?” “YES. fuck yes. always.” BI/PAN RIGHTS THATS SO TRUE !!!!!!!!

at first i honestly have a bone to pick with darcy going Psychology facts™ about the attachment styles and stuff but apparently, the author is an actual psychologist ! ^___^ i loved reading darcy’s email responses but it’s true that she shouldn’t just randomly suggest that “hey maybe your attachment style is this” or “i guess in your partner’s case they have this attachment style” because it’s just as bad as webMD.

i loved how this book discussed about pronouns and why it is important to use correct ones AND the internalized biphobia. yes, it is Not just in our heads !! i swear when i saw this book’s blurb, instantly, i knew that this is a Must read. there’s just so little books with queer/LGBT themes that represent bi/pan people and it sucks. because when a book is with the said theme, people will instantly think “oh it’s m/m” “oh it’s sapphic!” and that stings because how about us bi and pan people, you know?!?!?! (like that is actually one of the main reasons why biphobia exists.) IS IT BAD TO HAVE A QUEER (bi/pan) CHARACTER END UP WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX? :-(

i guess my most favorite character was brougham. legit one of the best ya dudes written out there. sure his first scenes were off but he got better, yeah? but im not going to explain this shit anymore HES JUST THE BEST CHARACTER IN THIS BOOK FOR ME THATS ALL.

lastly i love the way darcy had described brougham like how that hottest shit all accounts were false n shit Like she didnt find him handsome at all lmaooo its good to read a book where love interests arent describe as all MOST HANDSOME DUDE IVE EVER SEEN MOST GORGEOUS GIRL IVE EVER LAID MY EYES ON. theyre just them. and then they will be that most gorgeous person once mc finally caught feelings for them

anyways go read this if you have time.
Profile Image for Tijana.
309 reviews148 followers
November 3, 2020
Thank you St Martin Press for sending Perfect on Paper ARC my way. It was everything I ever needed!

Disclaimer: overall, this story deserves a solid 4-star-rating, but I can't rate less than 5 stars a book with such a wonderful representation.

"It’s when bisexuals start to believe the biphobia they’re surrounded by. We’re told that our sexuality isn’t real, or that we’re straight if we’re with another gender, and that our feelings don’t count if we’ve never dated a certain gender, that kind of crap. Then we hear it so many times we doubt ourselves.”

Every aspect of this book was remarkable. Slightly flawed, yet absolutely likable bisexual MC; two adorable love interests: MC's sweetheart best friend and seems-stuck-up-but-actually-funny-and-down-to-earth guy; realistic family dinamics; all my beautiful supporting queer characters.
Every page was filling me with warm, fuzzy feelings!

There better be a whole lot of hype surrounding this book!
Profile Image for ksiazkowyelf.
92 reviews134 followers
May 23, 2022

Urocza historia, przyjemnie napisana i wciągnęłam ją w niecałe 3 dni 💪😋

Od początku pokochałam bohaterów i wiele razy udało im się mnie rozśmieszyć. Bardzo ciekawy pomysł na książkę, podczas czytania zdecydowanie się nie nudziłam i w momencie kiedy akcja pomiędzy bohaterami zaczęła się bardziej rozwijać już nie mogłam wytrzymać i chciałam się dowiedzieć co z nimi dalej wyjdzie
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