Title: Perfect Ten
Author: L. Philips
Published by: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 6th June 2017
Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary
“Apparently Dungeons and Dragons is just as good as Grindr. Who knew?”
*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an uncorrected proof in exchange for an honest review*
After being single for two years, seventeen year old Sam is lonely and well, desperate. Desperate enough to perform a love spell with the help of his Wiccan best friend Meg, to try and bring Sam’s perfect guy into his life. Despite being incredibly skeptical of Meg’s religion, Sam can’t help but later admit that something must’ve worked as not only does one guy show up, but three- Gus, the French foreign exchange student; Travis, the college dropout and lead guitarist of the band Liquid, and Jamie, the sophomore art prodigy. And then there’s Landon, Sam’s ex and also best friend along with Meg, and the long buried feelings from their relationship two years earlier are nearing the surface again.
This was entirely a guilty pleasure sort of read. For a contemporary (even with a hint of magical realism), it wasn’t very practical and the characters weren’t explored as much as they could have been. Also, a book’s setting is pretty important to me and it took me until almost page 200 to learn where the story was set. It’s stated early on that Sam is in Athens so at first I thought Greece but then realized he had to be in the US so I thought Georgia but nope, it’s Ohio. It’s not a big deal, but I would have liked that to have been clarified earlier on.
The best things about this book were the friendship between Sam, Landon and Meg, as it felt real and was very relatable, and also that there was never anything to do with coming out or dealing with LGBT+ discrimination. There aren’t enough books that explore the life of an LGBT+ teenager who knows who they are and surround themselves entirely with accepting people. I know that’s not always the norm in real life but it’s just really nice to read a book with an LGBT+ character who is comfortable with themselves.
It’s a quick and enjoyable enough read but if you’re looking for something with more depth, this book isn’t for you. Then again, I read an uncorrected proof and so a lot of things could have been changed that I don’t know about so it’s worth looking into. Perfect Ten did explore some important topics but just not to the amount that I was hoping for.
Overall, it was a fun read and I saw a couple friends of mine in the characters, something that I don’t usually notice. Perfect Ten (in its uncorrected version, at least), is lighthearted and explores high school friendships and relationships pretty well. It’s a good book to read when you’re in need of something with a lot of fluff and a dash of heartache.