Maria Murnane,
Perfect on Paper: The (Mis) Adventures of Waverly Bryson
(BookSurge, 2008)

Two weeks before she is due to walk down the aisle and marry Mr. Perfect, Waverly Bryson gets dumped. After being in a relationship for several years with this man, she goes through the normal "just got dumped and never want to leave my house" mourning period, but with a little help from her friends, she heals, little by little and day by day. Getting on with her life means working, hanging with her two best friends and, of course, dating. In the midst of all this she writes quirky little bits of advice, inspired by her daily misadventures, which she hopes to use in a greeting card line called Honey Notes.

Waverly is not without faults, and the reader gets to see her make mistakes, get laughed at, laugh at herself, learn and grow. All the while, the author makes sure you don't want to set the book down, ever. The dates she goes on are hilariously horrifying and, unfortunately, some are hauntingly familiar. Ladies, I challenge you not to find at least one of your former dates in this book.

As intriguing and wonderful a heroine as Waverly is, this story is also enhanced by the supporting cast. It's really not just about Waverly, but about her relationships with her best girlfriends, male friends, work chums and even her father, and how each relationship shapes her in some way and how she finds and sees herself among them.

This is one of the best books I have read all year. I laughed so hard, so loud and so many times throughout this book and when I wasn't laughing, I was smiling. Waverly is easy to identify with and the friends she surrounds herself with are as unforgettable and just as loveable as she is herself.

At the beginning of each chapter in this well-told tale is a sampling of Waverly's Honey Notes. I found myself looking forward to that as much as I was looking forward to the actual story; they are witty and funny. This book is everything I love about "chick lit" and so much more; a hilariously fun escape. I am looking forward to reading more from this author; she has made a new fan!

review by
Cherise Everhard

13 September 2008

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