Meg’s never quite recovered from the betrayal and humiliation of finding her boyfriend kissing another girl during sophomore year. But two years later, she’s done her best to move on with Ash, her almost perfect boyfriend of five months, and everything seems to be going well. Until Noah shows up. Noah, the guy who never noticed her even as she crushed on him for years, who never spoke to her before, who’s suddenly paying attention to her and making it clear he’s interested in more than friendship. Choosing between the boy she’s always wanted and the boy she has isn’t going to be easy.
But... Sadly, the author was kind enough to thank an editor who thinks mid-drift is a body part. And apparently doesn’t own a dictionary. Or have access to Google. I’m sure many would say that’s not a big deal, but I have to disagree. Butchering words that have been in the English language for roughly a millennium is something I would expect from a teenager on Facebook, not someone whose job it is to know the finer points of the language.
The Verdict: Perfect for You is a surprisingly accurate look inside the angsty, emotional, confusing, second-guessing, insecure mind of a teenage girl. One moment, she’s perfectly happy with Ash, and the next, she’s paying more attention to Noah than she should. And it’s not the usual thing where she’s too naive to see Noah’s motives. Sure, at first she’s not certain that he’s really interested in her, though she does spot some clues. But then it’s pretty clear, and against her better judgement, she just can’t stay away from him.
Ash is easily the perfect boyfriend — at least as far as high school goes. But he, too, is getting some unexpected attention from a fawning freshman cheerleader, and that brings up all Meg’s old insecurities from when her previous boyfriend thought publicly cheating was a good way to break up with her. Meg’s jealously over this new girl and trouble balancing innocuous friendship with the desire for Noah’s attention with Ash’s emerging jealousy makes for a love triangle that’s probably played out in every high school in America. And despite the fact that I attended high school sometime around the end of the Neolithic age, I was sucked right back into that incredibly emotional, confounding, occasionally hysterical bubble of teenage angst.
That’s not to say it’s an entirely angsty read, though. It’s more of a teenage emotional journey with a little coming-of-age sprinkled in. If you didn’t feel like Meg at some point in high school, you certainly had at least three friends who did, so I’m pretty sure everyone can relate to her in some way. You probably dated an Ash, too, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. And Noah? He’s that one unattainable guy you still swooned over when no one was looking. Unlike a lot of young adult books that take place in those old linoleum halls, Perfect for You stays true to the high school drama that arises from virtually nothing, without throwing in any over-the-top conspiracies involving mean girls or too many scenes more appropriate for contrived TV drama than real life. For the bulk of the story, I was just as torn as Meg, thinking Ash was absolutely wonderful and still wondering if Noah could be the one. Fortunately, the end of the story plays out just as believably, somehow delivering a happily ever after that is the perfect culmination of all that teenage emotion.