Perfect Couple (Jennifer Echols)

Perfect Couple is the second novel in the Superlatives series by Jennifer Echols.
Finished on: 10.8.2022
[Here’s my review of the first novel in the series.]

Yearbook photographer and introvert Harper can’t believe it when the voting results for the senior year superlatives come in and she won “Perfect Couple That Never Was” with star quarterback Brody. Who would ever think to pair the two of them together when they couldn’t be any more different? But once the thought is out there, Harper can’t help but consider Brody. This is only made more awkward by the fact that they are both dating other people. Well, more or less. Harper’s boyfriend Kennedy is constantly picking fights with her, and Brody likes to keep things casual. But as the two of them try to figure out what exactly their class had been thinking and how to take the obligatory photo for the yearbook, they discover that people may have been onto something with them.

Perfect Couple was a superquick read (half a day of being out sick from work and I was done), and a very sweet one. I think I might have been a tad more in love with Biggest Flirts, the first novel in the series, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the hell out of this one.

The book cover showing a girl holding up a camera for a selfie with a guy who stands behind her.

Harper is very different from Tia, protagonist of Biggest Flirts, and since I very much loved Tia, this is a bit of a drawback for me. But I liked that Tia and Harper (and Kaye) get to be so different and still be friends. Harper is much calmer and shy, more preoccupied with what people think of her and how she looks. It was a little disappointing that she gives herself a make-over in the course of the book to appeal to Brody more, particularly because she has such a strong sense of style and has worked on her look so much. That was one of the things that didn’t work out so well for me.

What did work, though, was the way Echols contrasts Brody’s and Kennedy’s treatment of Harper. Kennedy is a particular kind of toxic, and it was nice to see how Harper starts to recognize the toxicity that she has taken for “Kennedy just being who he is, what can you do but take it” so far. That Brody treats her so differently makes her realize just how bad things with Kennedy are – and how good they could be. Granted, it is also an excuse for the narrative to make her cheating seem not as bad, but it’s an excuse that really worked for me. Plus, things are messy sometimes, even with “good girls”.

I also really liked, again, how Echols deals with sexuality here, in a very frank way that allows her (female) protagonists to explore without judgement and to also set clear boundaries of how far to take things. Plus, safe sex is a matter of course.

And as a small bonus, there was a really cute subplot about a gay couple. Speaking of subplots, thought, to me it felt a little like this novel was already more interested in Sawyer and Kaye, the protagonist of the next novel, than in Harper and Brody. And that is a bit of a pity.

Still, there is definitely more to love than hate about the book. A lot more, if you ask me. I had a really good time with it.

Summarizing: very sweet.

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