Well, I’ve seen You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman around twitter for a while now and had determined my interest in the book based solely on its popularity online and the fact that the cover is actually pretty fun to look at. Plus, the implications behind the title are really hard to pass up, where a person may be striving to be perfect to those around them and the slights chip in that armor of perfection is enough to send one’s world into complete chaos and basically create an identity crisis. Well, I didn’t really have much of a picture for what this book was about based on my cursory insight into the novel as purported by the online book community. I knew, basically, that it was an LGBTQ centered novel and a lot of people wanted to read it. That was about it. So now, after I’ve read the synopsis for You Asked for Perfect on Goodreads, I have to admit that I am slightly less interested in reading it. In fact, it’s really just the title and the promise of a commentary on expectations of perfection that’s keeping this book on my TBR.
Ariel Stone has failed a calculus test. With his sights set on the title of valedictorian, this is unacceptable and therefore Ariel resorts to throwing himself into his studies and basically putting everything else in his life–friends, for example–on hold until he can get a handle on this calculus thing, but he still can’t quite manage it. Enter Amir, a boy with calculus skills who can tutor Ariel in the class he’s struggling to keep his grades up in. Of course, Amir soon has the potential to become much more than a calculus tutor to Ariel.
Truthfully, if this book weren’t supporting diversity within novels, I probably wouldn’t even have it on my TBR. The stress of perfection is a plot point that pulls me in, sure, but it’s almost not enough. I’ve come to find that I really don’t care for most contemporary novels and I tend to dislike the majority that I read. I’m much more of a fantasy person and unless a contemporary novel is exceptionally well written, I’m incredibly likely to find myself quite bored reading it. I just don’t love them. So, while this book is on my TBR partially because I want it to do well and I’m a little bit curious about the portrayal of how a character deals with the extreme stress of unnecessarily high expectations for perfection, this isn’t really my favorite kind of book.
Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.
Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.
Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.
And how do you feel about this novel? Is it one that you’ve been excited to read? Is it a book you don’t think you’ll pick up? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments! And happy reading!