We are the perfect girl / Ariel Kaplan.
- 2 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
- 2 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)
0 current holds with 2 total copies.
|Location||Call Number / Copy Notes||Barcode||Shelving Location||Status||Due Date|
|Fosston Public Library||Y KAP (Text)||33500013070107||New||Available||-|
|Moorhead Public Library||Y KAP (Text)||33500013070115||New||Available||-|
- ISBN: 9780525647102
- ISBN: 0525647104
- ISBN: 9780525647119
- ISBN: 0525647112
- Physical Description: 374 pages ; 22 cm
- Edition: First edition.
- Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 
In order to win over perfect Greg, beautiful Bethany goes on dates with him while bold Aphra coaches her on what to say, but their plan comes crashing down when Greg uncovers their scheme.
- Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2019 April #2
*Starred Review* For someone who has traditionally done his best work behind the scenes, Cyrano de Bergerac is having quite a moment in the spotlight.Until recently, the most notable contemporary retelling of the 1897 play, in which an unattractive but witty man woos the love of his life on behalf of his handsome but shy friend, was Roxanne, the rom-com starring Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, and a prosthetic nose. In the last few years, however, more than a few Cyrano updates have sprung up, and they're geared for teens. It's a concept that doesn't always workâin the age of catfishing, a Cyrano-style romance can be a little shaky on consent (see Netflix's Sierra Burgess Is a Loser). It works better when the story acknowledges that it's dark and stays there, as in Kat Spears' gritty Sway (2014). And it works when the narrative barely considers a romance at all.Such is the case with Kaplan's latest iteration of the Cyrano story, which is narrated by Aphra Brown, who has a smart mouth, a big nose, and a best friend she'd die for. To the casual observer, Bethany is Aphra's opposite: painfully shy where Aphra is vibrant and funny, and a stunning classic beauty where Aphra is, as some might put it, strong-featured. Bethany is head over heels for Greg D'Agostino, an admittedly great guyâAphra once had a crush on him herself. But Bethany, of course, is too shy to ever do anything about it.This succeeds where other Cyrano narratives have failed, first, because Aphra doesn't intend to start catfishing Greg; when a class project goes horribly wrong, she pretends to be an advice-giving AI, and after he lets slip a few personal details, she realizes that the person who's been signing in for a few late-night chats is Greg. He figures out that the class-project AI is a real person fast enough, but when he gets the mistaken impression that the girl behind the curtain is Bethany and asks her out IRL, Aphra, unwilling to stand in the way of Bethany's happiness and not trusting that Greg would be thrilled to know it was her and not her beautiful friend, doesn't say a word. But Bethany, still shy, struggles to connect with Greg and is desperate for Aphra's help. And Aphra's keeping too many secrets.With a rising cultural fascination with the concept of catfishing (MTV, anyone?), perhaps it's not so surprising that the Cyrano story is getting a reboot. But We Are the Perfect Girl goes beyond the average reimagining by diving thoughtfully into what makes someone catfish in the first place.This is a funny book: Aphra has a dry, approachable wit, and Kaplan nails situational comedic timing. But it's important to note here that the humor is never at Aphra's expense. Unlike Steve Martin, Aphra doesn't need a comically gigantic fake nose. Aphra is a girl, and the world is hard enough on herâand her appearanceâÂalready. Aphra and her sister, Delia, both inherited the same nose; it's considered "aristocratic" on their father, but Delia got herself a nose job the second she turned 18, and Aphra hasn't spoken to her since. Though she tries not to let it bother her, Aphra can't help but feel like her appearance is something she has to overcome and like love is something she has to earn because of it. She hides, first behind her AI and then behind Bethany's beautyâas Bethany herself hides behind Aphra's personalityâbecause she's afraid that, on her own, she won't measure up.It's a key plot point in the original Cyrano de Bergerac: when Cyrano's on his deathbed, Roxane does come to the conclusion that she loves Cyrano for his wit and panache, despite how he looks. But for Aphra, a love like that wouldn't be enough. Though it takes her a long time to admit it, she finally comes to the conclusion that she wants to be loved because of everything she is, not in spite of parts of herself, which means accepting a vulnerability that internet anonymity would never allow her.There is much to appreciate about this book: its cleverness, its humor, that it embraces and normalizes therapy, that it places familial love and friendship on a level with romantic love. But, perhaps best of all, it offers teens, especially those struggling to accept and love themselves, a picture of a girl who makes mistakes and fights to begin again. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.
Ariel Kaplan began life as an imperfect baby, matured into an imperfect child, and remains an imperfect adult, though she does occasionally make a perfect chocolate cupcake (the trick, you see, is to leave out the eggs, which interfere with the chocolate flavor). Her first two books, Grendel's Guide to Love and War and We Regret to Inform You, received five starred reviews between them and were included in best-of-the-year lists from Kirkus Reviews and Bank Street College of Education, among other honors. She lives with her family in Virginia, where she is always working on her next novel.
Visit her at aekaplan.com.
Follow her on Twitter at @ae_kaplan.
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