Perfect’s Overrated by Johnelle Rae

Perfect’s Overrated by Johnelle Rae
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (138 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

If image is everything, does what’s real even matter?

By senior year, wannabe chef Sutton “Mac” MacNabb should have learned how to read. Instead, school’s turned him into an expert on bad grades and girls. Mac’s impression of a guy who’s happy to be going nowhere in life is almost as flawless as his recipe for soufflé.
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Merci Danielson has it all: beauty, brains, personality, and parents who are accomplished French chefs. But underneath Merci’s carefully-crafted public persona lies a disability, and self-doubt, that no one would ever suspect.

When school and a connection to cooking force Merci into Mac’s classes, his kitchen, and his life, the two seemingly polar opposites attract on a level much more real than either of their reputations.

Everyone has secrets.

The character development of Mac and Merci was incredibly well done. Both protagonists felt three dimensional to me. I cheered for them when they found success, shook my head when they made mistakes, and crossed my fingers when they struggled with things they didn’t understand the first time around. It was easy to become emotionally invested in them. Merci was a genuine sweetheart, and Mac’s hilariously snarky attitude soon revealed a kinder side to him that I desperately wished he’d feel safe enough to share with the world more often.

There were some awesome plot twists in this book. Some of them caught me by total surprise, and even the ones I had inklings about ahead of time were still a great deal of fun to see play out. I appreciated the way the author played around with the audience’s expectations of what would happen next, especially when it came to the assumptions some of us made about what the characters would or wouldn’t do. It only made their journeys even more interesting as the plot showed us what actually happened and which parts of their lives they tried to keep hidden from other people.

One of the other things I deeply enjoyed about this tale had to do with how the romance was handled. Mac and Merci were given plenty of time to get to know each other and to grow as human beings before the slightest hint of romance showed up in the storyline. That was the perfect way to handle a budding relationship between two people who didn’t appear to have much in common or like each other much at all in the beginning.

I can’t recommend Perfect’s Overrated highly enough. It was lovely!


  1. This is such an interesting and different premise to bring these two together. Great review!

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