The Problem with Perfect is very enjoyable. I requested this ARC when I saw it was recommended to fans of Casey McQuiston and Boyfriend Material – since I’d say I fall squarely in that demographic – and I do think the comparison holds up. For the most part.
Beau and Ethan were both very sweet characters. Beau is reserved at first, but his personality quickly shines through. He is unfailingly kind in every situation, puts others first, is always willing to help, and stands up for his beliefs. It’s easy to see how much work he’s put into himself, and when he tells stories about his past, it’s clear he’s aware of the changes he needed to make and worked hard to make them happen. Ethan is a bit more of a work in progress. He seems pretty sure of what he wants in life while also being aware that it’s unlikely to make him happy. And while many of his doubts sit below the surface, being around Beau and his unfailing honesty starts to force him to confront a lot of brutal truths. I love his relationship with Clams and how quick he is to drop everything to help him when necessary, but it just makes you wish he would take care of himself in a similar manner.
Unfortunately, Chase was a little too evil. Very one dimensional, he’s selfish and does whatever he wants whenever he wants to. He flaunts his ignorance, has no desire to improve himself or help those around him, and is so gullible he’ll fly to Saudi Arabia without even being aware of where he’s going. It seems crazy that he and Beau would ever be able to heal their relationship, let alone that they could have ever been close or even friendly. I found it hard to believe that he could have committed to this show or fake relationship for as long as he supposedly has without messing everything up.
While I enjoyed The Problem with Perfect and really responded to Ethan and Beau, I do think there was a lack of depth. The first half to three quarters feel pretty fleshed out, but the last quarter flies by. When we need details to support the formation of a possible relationship and to determine a future or consider a different career path, things just start happening, and we’re moving from event to event with almost no background information or motivation. I just felt let down in the end.