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Almost Perfect

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  8,461 ratings  ·  814 reviews
You only hurt the ones you love.

Logan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her pare
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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Brian Sage is a transwoman. I didn't write the synopsis, and newer versions of the book say she is 'biologically male.' Actually, I think the book is better…moreSage is a transwoman. I didn't write the synopsis, and newer versions of the book say she is 'biologically male.' Actually, I think the book is better if you learn to like Sage as a person first, rather than a gender. I recommend people read ALMOST PERFECT without reading the synopsis. Thanks for your question.(less)
Brian I'm afraid that book will probably never be written. But as the author, here's what I can definitely say. Sage spends the rest of her life as a woman.…moreI'm afraid that book will probably never be written. But as the author, here's what I can definitely say. Sage spends the rest of her life as a woman. And Sage eventually moves back to Missouri and rekindles her friendship with Logan after a few years. And it's very likely that Sage no longer hides the fact that she is a transgender woman. The question is, do Sage and Logan give romance another chance?(less)

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  8,461 ratings  ·  814 reviews

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John Egbert
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Jesus. I'm serious, he'd get a kick out of this one.
Recommended to John by: Cory
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was... Almost Perfect. (pun intended) It took me a while to get into this book. I actually almost stopped reading it. Logan just wasn't an appealing character... he was sort of boring actually and I struggled with the novel as a result. However, I can admit by the end of the novel Logan really grew on me, and the authenticity of his voice came shining though.

The writing was, well... I felt like someone decided to throw a few SAT words in there just for fun. I hate when people use 'big'
Most of us, I suspect, have "met somebody" who would be just perfect, except...

I look back on some of my "almost perfects," and I cringe at what a douchebag I was.

Logan has just broken up with Brenda, and he's not optimistic about his prospects. He's a senior in a tiny high school (50 seniors). I went to a similar school: my class was 44, and it was hard to date girls I'd known since age nine.

One day, Sage walks into biology homeroom. Sage is tall, quirky, has a great laugh, and most of all, is
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"As I walked towards Bio, I found myself thinking about Sage. I couldn't remember ever meeting a chick that strange. Ever after an hour of class, I knew that weird girl wasn't like anyone in Boyer. Too colorful, too outspoken, too wild." -- narrator Logan Witherspoon, page 27

After thoroughly enjoying author Brian Katcher's debut Playing With Matches (thank you again for the 'head's up' on that wonderful book, GR friend Rebecca M) earlier this month I eagerly sought out more of his work at the li
Feb 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: aaaaangst, ya, quiltbag
ETA, four years later: this book still makes me angry and upset, more so because it won the Stonewall. And I find that I never, ever, ever want to recommend it ton anyone.

Ok. Mixed feelings on this one.

I don't think this has ever been done before! The plot was new, powerful, and very compelling to read... unfortunately also made me feel sick. As a queer reader, the tension between identifying with Logan (fairly likeable, pretty well-developed, sheltered, first-person narrator) and identifying
Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great book! There are a lot of great reviews for it, but I'll add my own for my friends. This book is great, but difficult to read. It's about a college senior whose girlfriend of 3 years broke up with him. While he's still quite vulnerable, he meets Sage. In a small town, having a new student is exciting. She's tall and quirky, and he thinks quite pretty. They become friends, but she keeps telling him that they can ONLY ever be friends. She isn't allowed to date, and that's all they will ever b ...more
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was ok


Hmmm. 2.5 stars. This is the story of how straight, male, small-town Logan falls for new girl Sage, then shuns her when he finds out she was born a boy, then slowly patches up their friendship and eventually their romance.


Boyer: I haven't grown up or lived in a small town, but I've always wondered how people get "stuck," both physically and in their intolerant mindsets, and I feel like the description of Boyer was
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was a fast read, but it was difficult. Though it was realistic, it was hard to read all about the main character's process working through his transphobia, and the whole thing reeked of tragi-trans. Also, there were infuriating moments of racism thrown in. I'd say this isn't a book for trans teens, but may help non-trans people empathize and somewhat better understand some of the dangers and emotional struggles facing mainstream trans people, and may illuminate and hopefully combat some of ...more
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
A 3.5 star book, rounded up.

The blurb lays out the plot of Almost Perfect neatly: Logan is falling madly for Sage, and then he discovers that she was born a he. So this is much more about Logan's struggle to understand and accept Sage as she is than it is about Sage herself.

Logan is, honestly, a bit of a jerk on more than one occassion, to Sage and to other people in his life. And it is completely, entirely realistic. This does not make Logan's narration easy or even pleasant to read at times,
Jun 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
a book written by a man from the perspective of a man who has feelings for a trans woman. man is transmisogynistic and "sees the light". I'd rather read a book about a trans woman, not how a cis male perceives her. Sage is like this transgender manic pixie dream girl who helps the narrator see the error in his thinking. This book is on many reading lists for books about trans women and it shouldn't be, this is a book about a cis male who has a short lived relationship with a trans woman and is p ...more
I absolutely love this book. It's about teenagers dealing with not so teenage problems. These kids have had to deal with situations no teenager should have to deal with. Everyone has an opinion on the subject, including myself but I am not going to discuss that opinion now. Do we really know what we would do or how we would handle things? Until you have been there, how do you know.

I recommend this book to anyone with kids because it could apply to many situations.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-5-stars


This book dealt with topics that I honestly have never thought to read about before, or I just didn't have a chance to.

This book is about a boy named Logan who has just suffered a break-up with his three-year relationship with his girlfriend, Brenda, who cheated on him. He thinks that his luck with girls is basically nothing now...

Until he meets Sage, the new girl in his science class.

He immediately befriends her, but being a teenage boy, he obviously wants their friendship to b
OmG, this book was so frustrating to me! Half the time I didn't know whether I wanted to race through the pages to find out what happened or throw it across the room.

Logan is a small-town teenage boy who just broke up with his girlfriend of a few years after finding out she cheated on him. He's so not over her ... until the new girl walks into his biology classroom. She's tall, with curly red hair, freckles, and braces. She wears weird, standout clothes. And Logan is completely taken with her.

Dec 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful, powerful, emotional read. It grabs you by the heart and gets into your head like few books I have ever read. It’s the first book in a very long time where I not only had no idea how it was going to end, but was sincerely concerned with how the situation would resolve itself.

I could write an essay about this book, what it meant to me, and how I feel about it. I loved it and I hated it. I was afraid to read another chapter, and I never wanted it to end. My head wants me to wra
Jamie Fahlgren
Sep 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
DNF @ Page 17.

I just can't get into this. I tried. Maybe one day I will try again. I have way too many books to read.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book, I did. I just didn't.

Let me start off by saying that I am glad there are books out there for teenagers that even attempt to tackle the concept of being transgender. I'm goddamn thrilled. So, really, the rest of this review is nitpicky stuff. The rest of this review is genuinely for a time in the future when books with transgender characters and themes are so mainstream and common that it is no longer necessary to celebrate them as the sole outlets for such themes, or
A.M. Leibowitz
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, ya, trans, mf, gender, 3-star
When I read this, I loved it but I struggled with some aspects of it. Four years later, I still have conflicted feelings.

It's not from the perspective of the trans girl. So in that sense, I think it works. I've been on both sides of this equation--the person coming out and the person someone else comes out to--which is why I feel conflicted. At the time I read it, it was among the few that was even willing to talk about the complicated feelings of the partner. It's still taboo to talk about it,
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I made the mistake of picking up this book for light reading. There was no dust jacket, but on the back of the hardcover, which had the above cover actually printed on it, there were critic reviews, and one recommended it for lovers of John Green books. There was no summary, so I thought maybe it was a cute love story that doesn't work out.

So as I was reading, I was thinking, "Eh, this is okay." That's the kind of response I wanted, anyway. I wanted a White tea book, and the mysteriousness of Sa
I love this story. I think it's a big eye-opener. It's not really a HEA but more of a cautionary tale. Logan and Sage could have had a very beautiful relationship, but Logan let too many things block him along the way. He begins as someone closed-minded and slowly see his mistakes. Often the journey is one step forward and two steps back. Maybe someone will read this and be more open to things they don't understand. I'm a big supporter of everyone's rights, but, as far as I know, I've never had ...more
Rachel León
This novel is tough to rate. On one hand, it's a powerful story about a boy falling for a transgender female. On the other, some aspects weren't handled poorly and some were difficult to read. I considered stopping a couple of times, but the fact the novel won the Stonewall award kept me reading. Overall, I'm glad I finished because though flawed, it's an interesting story that illustrates some of the struggles transgender youth face.
Heartbreaking, transphobic story of a cis male who falls for a trans female classmate.

Quality of writing: 3/5
Pace: 4/5
Plot development: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Enjoyability: 3/5

Time to complete: around 7 hours.

Score: 3.2 Stars out of 5


I don’t think that I would be as upset with this book as I am if the author had changed one simple line when Sage tells Logan her secret. ”I am a boy.”

Sage is the only good thing about this book, if it weren’t for her I would toss my rating rubric out completely
Joell Smith-Borne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: queer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I found this to be an extremely interesting book. I wanted to give it a 4.5 star rating because I really did like it, but the character of Logan did become a little whiny toward the end. It also was not a "can't put it down" book - for me; there may be others to whom it makes a more personal connection.

I liked the way the relationships were handled and the way the central topic was handled. I felt that Logan reacted in a realistic way, as did the boy who reacts violently toward the end. (It is u
Beth G.
Edit (12/7/11): I've given this a second read (this time in audiobook format), and I liked it more the second time around.

Original Review:

I knew I shouldn't stare, but I couldn't look away. Girls this strange didn't exist in Boyer. They lived in Columbia or Kansas City or places like that.

High school senior Logan Witherspoon has known all of his classmates since kindergarten. In a town the size of Boyer, MO, everyone knows everyone. So, it's a surprise when a new girl, Sage, joins his biology cl
Kylie Luebbering
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I adored reading this incredible novel, it is a fantastic book with a fascinating tale of highschool romance. It's about a young man who falls head over heels for the "perfect" girl. Sage seems to be just that, and appears to have it all, but there is something she'd like to change, her true gender. Sage is a male-born transgender, who keeps her secret in fear of people's reactions.
Author Brian Katcher had never been known to be involved with LGBT novels. He is recorded in an interview as being
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a good book. I know that because I wanted to smack the main character upside his self-centered, very true-to-life, homophobic, teenaged boy head. In spite of Logan being the protagonist, I did a little mental cheer when another character told him, "This isn't about you!

Because it wasn't. It's not even about Sage. I think it's about society, perceptions, and the horrible experiences of so very many LGBTQ people. Sad but true, Sage actually kind of lucked out. Her parents weren't happy w
Aug 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm usually desperate to read any lgbt book I can get my hands on, and when I found a book with a trans* character I was really excited! By the end of the book however, I was simply angry and disappointed.

Logan (the narrator) is a regular boy in a small town. Sage (the love interest) is a new student at Logan's school. Logan finds her attractive and wants to date her. Sage likes Logan too but warns him that she's not what he's looking for. Logan pursuits her none the less. And when Sage is revea
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Almost Perfect by...: Favorite character? 3 15 Jan 19, 2015 05:51PM  
NHRHS period 6 En...: Almost Perfect 4 5 Jun 02, 2014 04:39PM  
Wild Things: YA G...: Almost Perfect - Brian Katcher 2 45 Feb 10, 2013 09:55PM  

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“Everyone has that one line they swear they'll never cross, the one thing they say they'll never do. Not something serious like I'll never kill anyone or I'll never invade Russia in the winter. Usually, it's something less earth-shattering.
I'll never cheat on her.
I'll never work at a job I hate.
I'll never give up on my dreams.
We draw the line. Maybe we even believe it. That's why it's so hard when we break that promise we make to ourselves.
Sage Hendricks was my line.”
“Sage would survive. I'd survive. We were better off apart. Painful and quick, just like ripping off a Band-Aid. Well, more like gouging a piece of shrapnel out of my stomach, pouring a bottle of gin into the wound, lighting it on fire, and sewing my guts up with a dirty bootlace. But the concept was the same.” 9 likes
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