Perfect Ten by L. Philips

Perfect Ten

L. Philips

A YA misadventure with a sweet dollop of magical realism, Perfect Ten is a delectable coming-of-age romcom with just a touch of magic.

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A gay coming-of-age romantic comedyperfect for fans of Love, Simon!
It’s been two years since Sam broke up with the only other eligible gay guy in his high school, so to say he’s been going through a romantic drought is the understatement of the decade. When Meg, his ex-Catholic-turned-Wiccan best friend, suggests performing a love spell, Sam is just desperate enough to try. He crafts a list of ten traits he wants in a boyfriend and burns it in a cemetery at midnight on Friday the thirteenth.
Enter three seemingly perfect guys, all in pursuit of Sam. There’s Gus, the suave French exchange student; Jamie, the sweet and shy artist; and Travis, the guitar-playing tattooed enigma. Even Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Landon, might want another chance.
But does a Perfect Ten even exist? Find out in this delectable coming-of-age romcom with just a touch of magic.

Advance Galley Reviews

I tried a few times to get into this book and could just never make it very far, the characters felt too silly.

I just couldn't read this, although I tried.

I enjoyed this for the most part, but it felt a little long by the end. The characters were much the same as those in any other YA romance, just that it wasn't a hetero couple this time.

I had a hard time connecting with this book and the characters. After numerous attempts of "forcing" myself to read the book, I decided the book wasn't for me.

This book was a bit of a surprise, and not always a good one. When I first requested it I did not anticipate a homosexual couple as the love interest. That being said, I enjoyed that aspect of the story and found it refreshing. I also like the overarching story of a boy seeking a perfect match by making a list of 10 qualities he desired and then performing a Wicca ceremony with his best friends. That is a cute story line and made me nostalgic for the movie Practical Magic. What I did not like were the specific characters. I found myself wanting to kick the main character repeatedly for being such a jerk. His actions throughout the book were upsetting and he simply was not painted well enough to make up for them. What I mean by this is that I have read novels about criminals and found them more endearing than the main character of Perfect Ten, simply because they were painted in a better light by the author. Overall this book was a nice read but could be improved by greater depth within the characters.

I requested the book because I'm an outspoken advocate for diversity in literature, and a rom-com with a dash of magical realism featuring a gay main character really spoke to me. However, the writing felt very lackluster, and I absolutely could not stand the main character - he was extremely shallow, and pretentious, which became glaringly obvious in the very first chapter where he remarked numerous times on another person's appearance, style choices, and how the only thing someone had going for him was that he was "tall and thin," as if those are the benchmarks of beauty. Meg and Landon were both flat characters. Although the synopsis and the general theme of the book was intriguing, I was severely disappointed by the book.

This book hardly caught my attention. The characters were not very engaging and just didn't interest me in the slightest. That being said the plot was interesting and unique. This story follows best friends Sam, Meg, and Landon and their love life after Sam casts a love spell to find the perfect guy.

Rating: 3 stars This was a good read, but it didn’t really blow me away or anything. I thought the concept of performing a love spell and then being pursued by all these guys was an interesting one, but it sort of fell flat to me. Probably because I didn’t really connect with the characters really. Sam pretty much annoyed me with how wishy-washy he was with all of these guys. Now, for what I did love with this book: Sam’s parents were wonderfully supportive about Sam’s sexual orientation. It was probably the strongest aspect of the book for me. I also enjoyed all the creativity within the book. Sam’s dad is an author, Sam is a writer, Jamie is an artist, Travis is a musician. The appreciation of the arts was something I greatly appreciated myself. After the love spell, when Gus transferred to the school out of the blue, something didn’t feel right with him. And then Sam sort of flirts with Jamie, while he’s sort of dating Gus. Then, after Gus is out of the picture, and Sam is starting to date Jamie, he also meets Travis and starts messing with him too. It just didn’t sit well with me that Sam was being so disloyal in his relationships, especially as he criticized Meg for being with her boyfriend who was awful and had cheated before. Yes, hypocrisy is something that does actually happen but it rubbed me the wrong way in this situation. So basically this was a book that felt too shallow for me. I wanted more from it. And while I’m sure that there are times when a person could maybe be pursued by multiple “gorgeous” individuals, I really had to suspend my disbelief to stick with this story.

I liked the story overall but I was seriously frustrated with the main character. He was all over the place. I guess you can argue that he is a teenager so he doesn't always think clearly but I wanted to punch him sometimes. The date in Yellow Springs was so adorable! I also loved his best friends and how supportive and understanding they were and that they were also flawed to some degree.

This is a cute concept--a lovesick teenage boy makes a list of the perfect ten traits for a future boyfriend, casts a spell, and then finds a wealth of cute boys interested in him. I should have guessed from the number of possible perfect tens that Sam would have to be a little fickle, and sometimes shallow, and even possibly hurt some people. But I didn't like Sam much, regardless, for some of the choices he made, and I set the book aside after reading about 15%, and read several other books before I got back to it. It's still cute, and I was willing to forgive him for being a little reckless and shallow, but cruel is a little harder to like. So, cute enough--but only if you can let some bad choices on the part of the protagonist go.

This started off okay for me. The writing is good, the beginning had a good hook, and so it was promising and exhibited good readability. I really enjoyed the friendships and how they related to and supported each other. What I didn't enjoy so much was the pursuit of the "Perfect Ten". The magic twist was slightly reminiscent of Practical Magic, wherein one of the MCs casts a true love spell with a seemingly impossible combination of traits, thus ensuring that she would never have to feel the pain of love... only to find that exact person many years later. In Practical Magic, it worked well because she was using the spell as a means to reject love, only to find her perfect mate. Here, Sam puts together the ten traits to find the perfect boyfriend, the spell is cast and suddenly he is pursued by three new love interests plus his former boyfriend. It doesn't seem as thoughtful, it doesn't seem as heart felt, but that's what drives the story forward. Don't get me wrong. Overall this is a cute story, and I did finish it. It unfortunately just wasn't for me... it was just okay, as it had a lot of romantic contemporaries to live up to... the magic twist was okay, but it's been done before, and done well.

This book is interesting in the sense that Sam, the main character makes a list of the ten things he is looking for in a boyfriend and his best friend Meg, who is a Wiccan performs a spell so that Sam will meet his "perfect 10." After the spell, things get complicated in the most interesting way. While I am not a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and I can't speak about the rep, I really did enjoy the fact that there were male/male romances. Despite the fact that some things got complicated, I loved the friendship between Sam, Landon, and Meg. It was also nice to see that two exes, Sam and Landon still remained best friends after they ended their relationship. While this book really wasn't for me, there were still things that I did like.

I should have until the pub date to read this, I thought, but it won't let me open my copy on Adobe Digital Editions... what happened?

i would love to write an in depth review for you guys, but for some reason, my download disappeared and now I can't finish the book. Thought I had until June 5th to finish it, but apparently not? What I read was cute though.

I dislike DNFing books, but this one felt just so bad to me that I couldn't finish it. It was really hard to get into this book because the main character was such a whiny jerk that I couldn't stand. Since the story was told from his perspective, in the first person, it made the experience all the worse. Sam, the main character, was more than a little pretentious, especially with regards to his relationship with Meg and Landon. This became evident really early on in the book when Sam and Meg were talking about their relationships (Meg/Michael, Sam/Landon). Though Michael wasn't a good person to be with and Landon had bad qualities from Meg's perspective, Sam had his nose in the air about himself and Landon, saying that they were much different than Meg and Michael, that even though there were similarities they didn't apply to Landon. Also, we know he doesn't like Michael because of his relationship with Meg, but saying he needs to dress decently and that won't make him a schmuck? That pretty much pushes him firmly onto the pretensions a-hole side of the line. And every time he disparaged something in town, like the selection of coffee shops, I wanted to slap him. He was also shallow, despite protesting that he wasn't. While I respect that you can not be into someone, saying you're not shallow and then going over all the qualities of someone being physically unattractive, sounds pretty shallow to me. He doesn't know this person and is insinuating their intelligence based on their appearance, which is bull. There was another time in the Donkey, his "favorite" coffee shop, where he judged a boy that helped him with Latin homework and graded this boy and his boyfriend, instantly judging their relationship based on physical features. THAT'S shallow, Sam. Let's not even get started on all the times he made fun of Meg and her religion. While I questioned her methods and her grasp on Wicca, he made fun of it constantly, calling it voodoo and mocking it with Landon. If she's trying to help him and not hurting anyone, why did he have to be such a disrespectful ass? The plot had potential, which is the only thing about this book that made me sad that I couldn't enjoy it. I don't mind the magical realism genre, when it's written well. It was inevitable that I'd stumble upon a bad example, though, so I suppose finding it and getting past it is a good move.

Thank you, Penguin for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy. This started out great. Then the author introduced new characters and it became the same cliche young adult novel. I think I am growing out of young adult contemporaries. It's just not my thing. I did appreciate that the main character was an honest guy. I liked his growth in this novel.

What I read of this book was decent. I honestly never got to finish it before it "expired". It seemed like a good read for teens. It boarder a bit on ridiculous which the new guy basically being perfect and being instantly into the main character. When I'm able to get a copy, I hope to finish it. It seemed promising at least.

It's been two long, lonely years since Sam Raines broke up with his boyfriend Landon, the only other single gay guy at school. The loneliness is the only excuse Sam has for agreeing to his former-Catholic-turned-Wiccan friend Meg's crazy scheme to magic Sam up a new boyfriend using a list of traits his "perfect ten" should have. When a steady stream of guys who seemingly fit the list start appearing in Sam's life, he starts to wonder if it really is because of the list and if any of these guys are truly right for him. After seeing lots of negative reviews on Goodreads, I was a little hesitant about this one, but I ended up enjoying it! Most of the negative comments were about the characters being immature and a situation that was potentially cheating, but neither one really deterred me from liking the story. Sure, the characters were a tad bit immature, and Meg in particular wasn't very likable, but I kind of liked that about them. They felt like real teenagers, not idealized teenagers so often seen in YA novels. And while there was a situation that could be seen as cheating, it wasn't glorified or just brushed under the rug. There were consequences and the characters learned from their mistakes. All in all, Perfect Ten was a fun, cute read and I really appreciated that it was a novel with a gay teen protagonist and the author didn't feel like she needed to have Sam struggle with his sexuality or be bullied to have the necessary drama for the plot, it could just be about Sam finding love.

Clichéd, predictable, boring. Almost wish I hadn't bothered finishing this one. I suppose it is nice to read flawed characters as they try to evolve, but this just wasn't well done.

I got nervous when I went to read this because I saw a bunch of not great reviews on Goodreads. I am so glad I still gave it a go because I thought it was cute and a really addicting read. Sam has been single for two years since breaking up with boyfriend, Landon, the only other eligible gay guy at his school. In a desperate attempt to get out of his dry spell Sam lets his Wiccan best friend Meg perform a love spell to find someone with the ten traits he wants in a boyfriend. When three guys seems to come into Sam's life shortly after he wonders if it was really the spell or if will ever find his "perfect ten". What was super refreshing for me was that this was a book about a gay teen and that was it. It was him coming out or dealing with bullies - just a gay teen guy looking for a boyfriend. I don't think I have actually read a YA book like that and I liked it a lot. Sam, Landon (the ex) and Meg were really good friends and I loved their little group dynamic. There was some tension between Sam and Landon as they are exes but I think it was handled well. I love the touch of magic in the story with the love spell. I am always a sucker for a little of the unexplained. I will say that I had a favorite guy in Sam's life and hoped he would end up with him. And he did :) I think he did learn and grow with each experience he had with the other guys though. At that age that is all you can hope really. There were times when Sam had some overlapping with the guys but it wasn't cheating per se but it wasn't super honest with the guys. I wasn't super bothered because of his age and finally exploring his options. I think he learned from it by the end which is always a good thing. Overall I thought the book lived up to the cuteness of that cover. It was quick, cute and a story I really enjoyed.

I was given an e-ARC of this by the lovely people at First to Read. Sadly I'm giving up on this one. I've tried since I got it, but I just can't get more than 40 pages into it. This one just wasn't for me. I really hoped to have a cute read, but the main character was just so shallow and the writing didn't click. I know you have to read to see the character development, and I love a shallow to depth character arc, I just couldn't with this one. I'd liked to say if I was younger I would have liked this, but no. I do agree with the person that said if the characters were aged up to college and the context could be a bit more mature, then maybe it would have been more intriguing

This book is a cover buy. It's so dang cute you bring it home, open it up and start reading and think what did I do? YA books are great because they have a ting of syrup in them. This one did not. Meg is not nice. I'm glad to see more books explore LGBT story lines.

A Penguin First to Read ARC e-book in exchange for an honest review. Cover love! The cover got my attention and the synopsis made me think it would be a cute quick read. I liked the witty banter that the narrator had with the reader, and there were a few scenes that seemed genuine and caught my attention. Overall though, the characters were just whiny dramatic kids. The initial romance was too quick to start and too quick to fizzle out. Maybe I just don’t remember what it was like to be a teenager that’s love struck or maybe that type of behavior just is not real and totally an over dramatic stereotype, but you do get caught up in it even if you want to punch some of the characters. I really wanted to love it but it was just a strong like. It was a quick easy read and entertaining. Maybe it would have been better if the characters were college aged and the author could add more maturity into the character development and less vapid behavior.

I gave up on this one less than halfway through. It was a cute premise, but nothing drew me in about any of the characters. (Meg was particularly annoying.) Nice idea, but really not for me unfortunately.

I received an e-ARC of this book from Penguin's First to Read. A light, fluffy contemporary book is exactly what I need in between all of the fantasy books I read. This was a 3.5 star read for me. The only reason it did not rate higher was because I really, really disliked the character, Meg. She seemed so immature, even for a high school student. I also didn't like that she was basically pushing her beliefs on her friends. I am very open-minded when it comes to religion and beliefs, but I don't think it is ever right to push your own beliefs onto other people. It really irks me when I see or hear of people doing that. Anyway, I loved the MC, Sam. I really enjoyed seeing him date these completely different characters! I was totally rooting for the bad boy, but let's be real, we all know how that would have ended up. :) I like the way the story ended, though. I was happy with the results of Sam's search for love and also self-love. Overall, it was the cute, fluffy read I needed!

I got an electronic ARC of “Perfect 10” through First to Read. The cover caught my eye and the promise of a hint of magic. Initially, the voice didn’t pull me in. Something about seemed flat, though I can’t quite pin point what it was. I’m not sure where, exactly, but somewhere along the line, that changed. I had to finish the book before I went to sleep. The romantic and sexual tension, the teenage drama, and the strong friendships made this book magical more so than the hint of actual magic. This may not have been the most thought provoking as the last book I read, but it certainly made me feel something, more so than the books that make me think. That feeling, and my inability to put it down, make worth five stars.

First off, the cover of this book is to-die-for so cudos to that! Thank you to Penguin Random House for providing me with an egalley in exchange for review. I was really looking forward to loving this book. Everything about it seemed lovely. I feel like Perfect Ten had a lot of potential. But, unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book. It was stereotypical and the characters were one-dimensional.

I wrote a full review of this book here: I really wanted to like this book, but that was not the destiny the Goddess selected for me. I loved the gay representation, but that was about it. I found the characters really one-dimensional and annoying; Sam especially was intolerable. I definitely feel like I got more than enough makeout scenes, but not enough time actually learning about characters like Gus, Travis, Meg - even Landon. The plot also tended to be repetitive to the point of being excessive, which may be an occupational hazard of there being ~4 love interests. I also thought the friendships were super unrealistic, even unhealthy, and was uncomfortable with there being some amount of slut shaming. The cover of this is totally adorable, and I'm so glad this can be added to the ranks of YA books with LGBT+ rep...but it just wasn't for me. I gave it 1.25/5 stars.

This synopsis of The Perfect Ten sounded adorable, and I was excited to start reading. However, I felt the actual book left a lot to be desired. The characteristics Sam bases his "relationship spell" upon are incredibly shallow. In fact, most of the characters come across that way. Overall, I found myself struggling to finish the book. Characterization was very one-dimensional and I didn't find them to be all that likable. Sadly, this will not be a book that I recommend to friends or fellow readers.

I was super excited about this book when I first heard about it and I could not wait to read it. I also really love the cover, I think it is really cute. With that being said the story left a lot to be desired. All the characters were annoying and seemed very shallow. Then the romance part of it was dull too. All the guys that Sam was with I felt like I ever really got to know any of them and I could care less who he ended up with at the end. I was very disappointed in this book.

I want to start off by saying that I tend to like contemporary novels in general including ones that follow LGBT romances. I tend to enjoy coming of age stories and reading about first loves. Going into this book I wasn't sure what I'd think. To be honest, the cover threw me off a little. I feel like, even after reading the book, I don't really understand the cover and it does nothing to entice me into reading it. I probably would not have picked up this book based on the cover although I have a tendency to buy books because of their covers. All of that being said though, I'm really glad I was able to get a copy of this book and read it because I really ended up liking the story. It took me a little bit to get into the story because I had a hard time accepting the "love spell" aspect of it but I feel like the author was able to make me forget about that completely. It really made me think twice about some of my first dates/experiences with love and some of the stupid things I've done regarding dating as a teenager. I feel like the character experiences and feels things many of us have while growing up and learning what you want in a partner. I feel like the story had good character development. In the end, I felt like the story was surprisingly deep and made me sit back and think about situations I had gone through growing up and stupid relationships I had and look at them in a totally different way. I may even go so far as to say I don't regret some of the dumb things I may have done in my past regarding relationships because of the perspective in which I now see them after reading this book. I feel like for the most part it was written well and I had a lot of fun reading it. All in all I gave this book a 3.75/5. You can watch my review here: and I haul the book in this video here:

I thought it was a cute romance but a little stereotypical. I think it would be cute for anyone look for a quick and fun romance read.

If you had your choice of ten qualities that comprised your significant other, what would you pick? In L. Philips's Perfect Ten, Sam makes a list of the ten qualities he'd like in a boyfriend, but do they live up to his expectations in reality? Sam has had a romantic dry spell for the two years after breaking up with his then-boyfriend and now-friend Landon. His other friend Meg, convinced her Wiccan knowledge can help bring ideal guys to Sam, asks him to come up with a list of ten desired qualities for a spell. Once the spell has been cast, it not only rains, but pours. It seems as if there are loads of guys, previously undiscovered, to potentially fit the Perfect Ten, which leaves Sam juggling his attraction to and feelings for them as he sorts out who best fits his list and who he wants to be with. The premise of this story was quite intriguing, but it was difficult to believe that the characters were supposed to be real because they seemed so exaggerated in their qualities to the point of merely being constructed characters and not actual people, not to mention that some of the actions they were taking were rather unrealistic. There was a moment in the narrative that I was worried would be how the story ended as it was horribly clichéd, but fortunately it didn't stick to that particular route and deviated to a mildly different, more rewarding one. But in putting these aspects aside, this is a fairly entertaining, yet standard, story of not realizing what you have and actually want until you've lost it, with added teenage drama and some enjoyable witty banter for additional flair. Overall, I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

I honestly wasn't impressed at all. I couldn't even stomach to finish it. It was one big gay stereotype from page one and I almost found it offensive. I expected better.


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