DNF Review: Perfect Ten by L. Philips


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Published: 6 June 2017

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Category: LGBT/Young Adult/Contemporary

Who is Sam Raines’s Perfect Ten? 

It’s been two years since Sam broke up with the only other eligible gay guy in his high school, so to say he’s been going through a romantic drought is the understatement of the decade. But when Meg, his ex-Catholic-turned-Wiccan best friend, suggests performing a love spell, Sam is just desperate enough to try. He crafts a list of ten traits he wants in a boyfriend and burns it in a cemetery at midnight on Friday the 13th.

Enter three seemingly perfect guys, all in pursuit of Sam. There’s Gus, the suave French exchange student; Jamie, the sweet and shy artist; and Travis, the guitar-playing tattooed enigma. Even Sam’s ex-boyfriend Landon might want another chance.

But does a Perfect Ten even exist? Find out in this delectable coming-of-age romcom with just a touch of magic.

Rating: DNF

I dislike DNFing books, but this one felt just so bad to me that I couldn’t finish it.

It was really hard to get into this book because the main character was such a whiny jerk that I couldn’t stand. Since the story was told from his perspective, in the first person, it made the experience all the worse.

Sam, the main character, was more than a little pretentious, especially with regards to his relationship with Meg and Landon. This became evident really early on in the book when Sam and Meg were talking about their relationships (Meg/Michael, Sam/Landon). Though Michael wasn’t a good person to be with and Landon had bad qualities from Meg’s perspective, Sam had his nose in the air about himself and Landon, saying that they were much different than Meg and Michael, that even though there were similarities they didn’t apply to Landon.

Also, we know he doesn’t like Michael because of his relationship with Meg, but saying he needs to dress decently and that won’t make him a schmuck? That pretty much pushes him firmly onto the pretensions a-hole side of the line. And every time he disparaged something in town, like the selection of coffee shops, I wanted to slap him.

He was also shallow, despite protesting that he wasn’t. While I respect that you can not be into someone, saying you’re not shallow and then going over all the qualities of someone being physically unattractive, sounds pretty shallow to me. He doesn’t know this person and is insinuating their intelligence based on their appearance, which is bull. There was another time in the Donkey, his “favorite” coffee shop, where he judged a boy that helped him with Latin homework and graded this boy and his boyfriend, instantly judging their relationship based on physical features. THAT’S shallow, Sam.

Let’s not even get started on all the times he made fun of Meg and her religion. While I questioned her methods and her grasp on Wicca, he made fun of it constantly, calling it voodoo and mocking it with Landon. If she’s trying to help him and not hurting anyone, why did he have to be such a disrespectful ass?

The plot had potential, which is the only thing about this book that made me sad that I couldn’t enjoy it. I don’t mind the magical realism genre, when it’s written well. It was inevitable that I’d stumble upon a bad example, though, so I suppose finding it and getting past it is a good move.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via First to Read in exchange for an honest review.
All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

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