Gonzales’ first novel, Only Mostly Devastated, established her as a YA rainbow romance queen, and Perfect on Paper certainly upholds that title. It follows Darcy Phillips, a high schooler in California who runs an anonymous relationship advice business out of a locker at her school. People write agony aunt-style letters, put them into the locker with cash and an email address, and she collects them and replies to the letters, anonymously giving advice on dating and relationships to her peers. She also happens to be secretly in love with her best friend Brooke.

But then Alexander Brougham, snooty popular senior with an odd accent, catches her in the act of emptying the locker, and before she knows it he’s blackmailed her into helping him untangle what went wrong with his ex-girlfriend, and instead of working on her relationship with Brooke she’s spending all her time helping Brougham.

There are a lot of lovely moments in this book – it hits all the right beats for a queer joy YA romance novel, as well as instructing readers – only somewhat subtly – on how to conduct healthy relationships, communicate well, understand attachment and personality styles, and the markers of toxic and unhappy relationships, both romantic and platonic. And there is, of course, lots of lovely queer romance, plus discussions around identity, sexual orientation, and moral obligations when it comes to anonymously giving advice to people you know. Highly recommended reading for most ages, but particularly high schoolers and young adults.

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