Picture (Im)Perfect by J.S. Frankel ~ Book Review by Queue

PictureTitle: Picture (Im)Perfect

Author: J.S. Frankel

Publisher: eXtasy

Cover Artist: Carmen Waters

Rating: 3.0 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 09/01/2015

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Trans*, Young Adult


Nolan Goodman, star swimmer for Portland High, meets Mia Swarva at a swim meet and thinks he’s found his perfect girlfriend. They start dating, things are going well…and then he finds out that Mia was born Mark, and his concept of what constitutes relationships not to mention sexuality goes out the window. However, Mia has that certain something about her, and Nolan does his best to understand as he genuinely cares for her. Their relationship develops after a series of stops and starts, but when Mia is inadvertently outed on a social website, she and Nolan have to run the gamut of emotions as well as deal with the inevitable reaction to her being transgender. It is only then, that Nolan learns the true meaning of commitment.

My View:

I really wanted to not just like this book but to love it. The subject is extremely important especially when it comes to how teenagers deal with. I didn’t hate Picture (Im)Perfect but I was also far from loving it.

The main characters here, Nolan and Mia, were interesting and fairly realistic. I also liked the supporting characters and thought they were original. One character felt cardboard at the beginning but by the end showed more than just one shade.

One of my complaints is that the transitions between scenes wasn’t always clear. There were times when a scene change meant a change in location but I got confused about what happened. There was also more than once where I got lost between the past and the present. At one point Nolan is thinking about his ex-girlfriend and when he ended things with her but in the present she’s leaning against his locker at school. I had to go back and forth several to figure out where I was.

Nolan and Mia are teenagers in love and while Nolan is confused when Mia first tells him she was born a boy, he comes around and swears he loves her no matter what. I loved Nolan and how he was a hero, though I was often frustrated that she still kept him at arm’s length. They choose not to have sex and I understood why, but on the other hand I think there would’ve more of a conflict in real life. I would’ve like to have seen them interact more realistically with not having sex being a challenge.

Another issue was that the book often felt preachy. There is a difference between entertainment and education but sometimes the two can be balanced. I didn’t feel that here. Characters were given dialogue that not only seemed unrealistic but was also more of an info dump.

The real conflict occurs toward the end when the truth about Mia’s past comes out. I believed how everyone behaved—MCs and supporting characters—was true to life. The ending was sweet and enjoyable. Readers should check this one out.


Picture (Im)Perfect on Goodreads
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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