Friday, February 10, 2012

The Not Quite Perfect Boyfriend review

The (Not Quite) Perfect Boyfriend
by Lili Wilkinson
Allen & Unwin
January 2012

Cliques, dating, and the school social scene are the focus of this Australian import. Midge, 16, is embarrassed to be lagging behind her friend Tahni in the boyfriend department, so she invents one on the spot. Her imaginary guy is an Englishman named Ben and before she realizes what she's doing, she's created a whole backstory for him. By complete chance, a transfer student matching this description arrives at school. The real Ben agrees to play along, blackmailing Midge in exchange for homework help. Midge is lovably nerdy - each chapter opens with a dictionary definition, and she obsesses about proper grammar. Über-geek George might seem to be a better match for her, but even she can't lower her standards enough to date a live-action role-player. Her parents' possible divorce amps up the stress before everything is pleasantly resolved. This is a surprisingly lighthearted, funny book, peppered with Australian slang. Teen drinking (legal in Australia) is handled as routine. Fans of Louise Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series or Carolyn Mackler's The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things will find a lot to like in this frothy offering.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
This review first appeared in School Library Journal.


  1. Oh this cover just makes me giggle. Sounds like a light, fun read. I hadn't heard of it before. :)

  2. I enjoyed it. The characters (despite the drinking, which should make it feel college-like) seem quite young - Australians are crazy like that.

  3. This sounds pretty cute! I visited Australia right after my senior year of high school as part of a high school band exchange, and loved hearing their slang and seeing how high school differed over there. The school I went to required students to wear hats at all times when they went outdoors because of the sun danger. Also, people weren't really expected to stay in school past 16 unless they really wanted to go to college. I'm curious to see how this comes across in this book!

  4. This sounds like a lot of fun! I can totally relate to making a boyfriend up. :P I haven't had a look-alike come through yet though.



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