Picture (Im)perfect by J.S. Frankel

Picture (Im)perfect by J.S. Frankel
Picture (Im)perfect by J.S. Frankel
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (225 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

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.

How do you know when you’ve found true love?

To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I thought of Nolan at first due to a few habits he had that weren’t particularly helpful for the situations he’d soon find himself in. The person he was at the beginning of this story wasn’t the same as who he became by the end, though. While it did take me a little while to warm up to him, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked him once he began to change as a result of his experiences. It was so interesting to see it all take place.

I would have liked to know why the characters spent so little time using modern technology. The setting was contemporary, yet there were a few scenes in it that made this tale feel like it could have been set decades ago because of how rarely the events described in those sections happen these days. This was a minor bump in an otherwise excellent book, but I still was curious to know why it was written this way.

It was fascinating to see how the relationship between Nolan and Mia unfolded. The plot gave them time to get to know each other as friends first. This is something I really enjoy finding in romance novels, so I was glad to find it here. I was also intrigued by how honestly these characters talked about Mia’s gender identity given how little Nolan knew about the topic when they first met. These scenes were quite well done from both a character and a relationship development point of view.

Picture (Im)Perfect was almost impossible to put down. It’s a great choice for anyone in the mood for something romantic.


  1. Thank you very much for an honest and positive review!

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