Perfect on Paper: The (mis)Adventures of Waverly Bryson, by Maria Murnane
Publisher: Winks Ink
Publication Date: February 29, 2008
Format: Trade Paperback, 314 pages
Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane is a light and funny read about the year Waverly Bryson spends trying to put herself together after her fiance dumps her just two weeks before they are to be married. Ouch. In addition to that she is stuck working in a job in sports marketing when she doesn’t like sports (and has a rival after her job), and has a shaky relationship with her father who is always hitting her up for money to start up careers in telemarketing and sales (of horrendous products which no one in their right mind would buy). It’s a good thing she’s got her friends to drag her out for good times, and that she meets new people along the way to help her get her groove back.
Waverly is down to earth, funny and honest about how she feels in what’s going on with her life. I felt for her as she tried to sort out issues concerning her mother’s death and her father’s love, and how they impacted her life and her failed relationship. I loved to see her struggle with her confidence as she worked on her dream of writing little “honey” note cards geared for single women. Murnane does a great job of portraying the complexities of breakups- the stages you go through to get over them, and contributing family issues while at the same time keeping the book light and fun. The dialogue moves and seems realistic for conversation that you would have with friends, or out on the town. There is also a strong visual aspect to the novel, because I can see all of the situations as they play out. Great descriptive work.
My biggest complaint about the book is the neatness with which every situation resolves itself and the frequency of the honey notes (I like them at the heading of each chapter, but I thought to have her working on and listing more within the chapters gave me too many cutesy pithy sayings). Waverly may have had one rough break-up, but in every other respect she has the best life in the world, from meeting and befriending celebrities to always being at the right place in the right time with respect to men and career; it was the only thing that made this a bit far-fetched. I have to say that I really enjoyed one of the sub-plots with her co-workers and I loved the lesson learned there (to say something without giving anything away). All in all this is a fast and fun read, sure to have you laughing and remembering the college years and the dating days. Perfect beach or holiday read or just a fun break from heavier reading fare.
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