The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist | Sophie Gonzales


Coming March 26, 2024 from St. Martin’s Publishing Group; 304 pages

About the Author: “Sophie Gonzales was born and raised in Whyalla, South Australia, where the Outback Meets the Sea. She loves punk music, frilly pink skirts, and juxtapositions. Sophie has been writing since the age of five, when her mother decided to help her type out one of the stories she had come up with in the bathtub. They ran into artistic differences when five-year-old Sophie insisted that everybody die in the end, while her mother wanted the characters to simply go out for a milkshake. Since then, Sophie has been completing her novels without a transcriptionist” (Bio from the author’s website).

Find Sophie Gonzales on the following platforms:

“Sometimes, you really just need to say scary truths out loud to someone you trust.”

Sixteen-year-old Ivy is nervous but excited about staying home alone for the first time while her parents attend a five-day business trip. She figures that some breathing room from her hovering parents will be refreshing. Plus, she always has school, watching her favorite fantasy TV show, Hot, Magical, and Deady (H-MAD), with her best friend Henry, and her stand-off with ex-BFF Mack to keep her busy. However, a terrible storm hits on her first night alone. She seeks comfort in writing romance H-MAD fanfiction about her favorite character, Weston Razorbrook, only to have him come to life the next morning. Weston is blindly in love with Ivy and completely ignorant of the ways of the world. Ivy is forced to recruit Henry and Mack’s help to figure out what to do with Weston before her parents get home, but along the way, old emotions and unrequited love are stirred up.

Middle school me would have died to read The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist and to have my favorite book character come to life. I enjoyed Gonzales’ use of an alternating past and present timeline to show readers why Ivy and Mack went from being inseparable to enemies. Similarly, seeing the pair forced to rekindle their relationship after Weston comes to life was entertaining. Nevertheless, I felt Ivy and Mack’s love story focused on the enemy aspect of their relationship at the expense of exploring their love. Ivy’s thoughts perfectly capture how unrequited love gone wrong can feel: aching sadness and deep regret. My favorite aspect of the novel was Ivy’s dysfunctional relationship with her parents. She is scared to do anything alone because her parents are overly involved in every aspect of Ivy’s life. They inappropriately intervene in her relationships and problems, failing to encourage Ivy to believe in herself and feel capable of fighting her own battles. I think this is an important subject to discuss and be represented in books, especially those for teens, because independence and confidence are essential traits to instill in the next generation, and the hovering-parent type is becoming all too common. Exploring deep themes and unrequited love, The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist captures not only the feeling of growing apart but also the possibility of coming back together.

The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist releases on March 26, 2024.

Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Publishing Group for sending
us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and
may be subject to change upon final publication.

Emilee Ceuninck, Pine Reads Review Lead Writer & Editor