Hi Everyone! It’s Becky, again. I love YA retellings of classic lit and I was thrilled when I found We Are the Perfect Girl by Ariel Kaplan. The book is a modern retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac and I was surprise by how much I enjoyed it.
Title: We Are the Perfect Girl
Author: Ariel Kaplan
Note: I listened to the audiobook.
Summary: Aphra Brown is smart and brave and everyone like her. Aphra’s only problem is her nose which she thinks is too big for anyone to think she’s beautiful. Aphra is okay going through life pretending that the way she looks doesn’t effect her however everything changes when a school project about a chat app leads her to connect with her crush, Greg. Greg likes the girl he has been chatting with except he thinks it’s Aphra’s beautiful friend Bethany and Aphra has no choice but to encourage their romance.
Review: I was surprised by this book. I have to admit I didn’t love the first chapter but I was quickly won over by Aphra’s sarcasm and wit. Kaplan’s novel falls into all the classic YA traps. The main character is in love with someone she can’t have, the best friend is beautiful, and the possible love interest is a jock. However, Kaplan spins these constructs by making the beautiful best friend a math genius, the jock fluent in multiple languages and the plain main character may have a dysmorphia that is being treated by a therapist. The book feels like a regular YA book put through a smart filter and it came out just a little more clever than the average teen rom-com. Kaplan wrote characters with which a normal teen girl can relate. Aphra, her friends, and her family were a fresh take on a functional YA cast. I especially enjoyed Aphra’s perfectly normal family, her adorable little brother, her sister, Delia, and Delia’s boyfriend, Sebastian. Adding to an enjoyable cast of character was a well plotted realistic but humorous path of self discovery for Aphra that followed her journey to self acceptance. The parts of the novel come together to make a great retelling that fans of YA realistic comedies should really read.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5