Perfect on Paper (The (Mis)Adventures of Waverly Bryson Book 1),
by Maria Murnane
Publication: Lake Union Publishing; January 26, 2010
About the book:
Anything can look perfect on paper. When her fiancé calls off their wedding at the last minute, Waverly Bryson wonders if her life will ever turn out the way she thought it would…or should. Her high-powered job in sports PR? Not so perfect. Her relationship with her dad? Far from it. Her perfect marriage? Enough said. To keep sane, Waverly makes a habit of jotting down “Honey Notes,” her own brand of self-deprecating wisdom and a pipe dream for a line of greeting cards.
As Waverly stumbles back into the dating scene (no stalkers or jean shorts, please), her personal and professional lives threaten to collide. Perfect on Paper reminds us that everyone has a bad date (or twelve) and that everyone eventually needs a best friend to tell them, “Honey, you are not alone.”
I cannot believe that I have not read this earlier, but it was such a joy from the first to the last page. Perfect on Paper tells the story of Waverly and her best friends Andie and McKenna. After her fiance calls off their wedding, Waverly starts writing funny “honey-notes” to poke fun at her own life or when inspired by others. She’s got a great job doing Sports PR but isn’t passionate about it. Her relationship with her Dad is complicated and her dating life is one hilarious disaster after another.
Waverly is one of the funniest characters I’ve ever read about. The banter between her and her friends about their dating lives had me laughing out loud multiple times, including one story of a gassy date that had me bent over dying with tears streaming down my face! I love it when books make me really laugh, and this novel provoked such a response several times. I even told the author yesterday before reading that I was in the mood for something happy and uplifting – and Perfect on Paper definitely met those marks. Maria Murnane takes pieces of all of our lives and weaves them into fantastic stories that remind us that we are not alone and that there are plenty of others that have bad dates, get dumped, screw up at work, are clumsy and so on. There is a moment with Waverly eating and choking on a Milky Way which made me feel quite a kinship with her! There were some events here and there that I found a bit too fantastical and too perfect, however, this novel was meant to depict a normal, everyday woman with loads of issues whose life starts to turn around.
Waverly, her friends, and co-workers were very believable and relatable characters, but I must say that Waverly’s love interest Jake is still quite a mystery to me. The author described his physical features and his job, but otherwise, I don’t feel like I really got to know him. Their conversations consisted of Waverly either spewing all sorts of information about her life, or being tongue-tied due to nervousness, but Jake just never really said much.
I have seen other reviews that are critical of the dialogue in the novel, claiming that it is too immature, too many “I saids” or “she saids,” but I completely disagree. Why you ask? Waverly and her friends had been friends for many, many years. Although they were technically grown-ups, they had a very easy, fun relationship that was very blunt and straight-forward. Call it immature or what you like, but several times during their dialogue I could easily see myself and friends having similar conversations and just being funny. This wasn’t written as serious literary fiction, but light-hearted, women’s fiction that is hilarious.
Overall, I found this to be a wonderful read that was just what the doctor ordered. It’s funny, crazy, fast-paced, and just a good time! I hope to read more of Waverly’s (mis)adventures in the future!
Special thanks to the author for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!