Review: The Perfects by Rachel Van Dyken


Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Van Dyken Enterprises (October 11, 2022)

From Everything was perfect.
Until it wasn't.

Until my family took on a foster girl and placed her across the hall from me. A charity case to look good and a person who should have never existed in my world.
I kissed her to get her to stop talking, and then I kissed her again because I liked the taste of her words—I liked her.
It was our secret until we got caught—that night changed everything.

We became strangers living in the same house, seeing the same ghosts of our past mistakes, but I can't stop thinking about us, about those forbidden moments.
I pretend to hate her, I tell her I'll never forgive her, and then Quinn, my ex-best friend, steps into the picture. I can't tell if he actually likes her or if he has a death wish and just likes pissing me off, but what do I say? Stay away from my step-sister?
She's mine?
I've already had her?
Saying that to him would expose what we were and ruin everything.
We're all three of us living multiple lies, and eventually, I know our ivory tower of perfection is going to come crashing down.

He knows my secrets.
I know his.
And now she knows both.

She wants.
He wants.
But I always—always get what I want.

And what I want is the girl, no matter what it may cost me.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

There were moments when I loved this book. There were moments when I hated this book. And there were moments when this book put forth some thought-provoking statements that left me sitting there and staring at them for a minute while I tried to process just how easily this author was able to slip inside my head.

What I loved about this book; the banter (when it was playful) between Ambrose, Mary-Belle, and even on occasion, Quinn. There were moments when I found myself laughing out loud (much to the confusion of random strangers as I read most of this book while waiting for my mother to be done with her appointment). I could relate with Mary-Belle's love for Mountain Dew on a spiritual level, and I loved the bits of bromance we got between the guys (Quinn humming the Darth Vader theme is one of my personal favorites). 

What I didn't like about this book; the instalove that happens between Ambrose and Mary-Belle. I get it; sometimes, when you meet someone for the first time, there is an instant attraction. And even though I found it to be in very bad taste that they had sex literally the morning after she moves in, she was dealing with the trauma of having just lost her foster mother, and it was like he didn't stop to consider that she was a human being as well. That she might feel obligated to let him do whatever he wanted so that she could keep the peace (in her head, she justified it by saying she wanted it, but still, I felt there needed to be a conversation about this before it happened, especially when later she did admit to feeling as though it was best to just get it over with). 

And finally, what I absolutely hated about this book; the irrational way that Ambrose actually blamed Mary-Belle for something that I can't say because it is a major spoiler alert. Let's just say that she had nothing to do with what happened, and even though the truth of what happened was revealed early on, he was quick to jump to it having been a cover up. He refuses to ask her, she refuses to talk about it, and round and round they go with him saying some unpardonably rude things to her (the main one that sticks out in my mind is when he berates her in a way he knows will cut deep telling her that she looks like the trash bag she brought to his house her first day there). And yet she still loves him? Still does whatever she can to protect him? No thanks, I would have left him to suffer alone. 

But as I said above, there were a couple of times when I felt like one of the characters said something profound that I could relate to on a personal level. One of my favorite quotes from this book was one that reads, "Love? It isn't perfect, which is the biggest temptation of all." Another one of my favorites was when Quinn tells Mary-Belle, "You always can. It's not if you can, it's if you will." 

All things considered, I can certainly see where this book will appeal to a wide variety of readers. I would recommend it to fans of bully romances and those who don't mind the instalove tropes. I would read more from this author. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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