BOOK REVIEW: The Man from Perfect by Andrea Semple

Having first discovered - and very much loved - Andrea Semple's novels back in 2004, I was excited that publishers Piatkus were re-releasing the novels this year with fantastic new covers (seriously, they're awesome). So after rediscovering much-loved book The Man From Perfect, I decided to review it for those who have yet to read.

When teacher Ella Holt finally ditches lazy, inattentive boyfriend, not so affectionately nicknamed Rob the Slob, her crazy friend and housemate Maddie tries desperately to get Ella back in the dating game. When a speed-dating event turns out to be a disaster (for Ella, anyway…), she’s about to give up. That is, until she’s sent a mysterious letter from The Perfect Agency, claiming to provide Ella with the prize of a lifetime - the man of her dreams.

It seems rather far-fetched, until Maddie reveals that she posted a love questionnaire that Ella completed some time ago – a questionnaire that was in fact a competition entry. Being Perfect’s prize winner, Ella is entitled to attend the agency for testing – testing that will lead her to her scientific love match – a real-life Mr Perfect.

The Perfect Agency is adamant that their latest project will revolutionize dating. After all, it’s science. So how can Ella refuse?

Soon she’s acquainted with James Masters, who seems far too good to be real. A handsome, romantic airline pilot, James possesses the qualities that boring Rob the Slob could never match up to. James is seemingly everything she could ever want in a boyfriend, and he’s already whisking her away on holidays, meeting her friends and being the partner every girl can dream of. It doesn’t help that the pair are turning out to be the Perfect Agency’s PR guinea-pigs, but it’s a small price to pay for happy coupledom.

However, when things are too good to be true, they usually aren’t…and Ella’s soon having doubts about the wonderful man who’s walked into her life. A man that’s slowly turning out to be not so perfect after all…

Andrea Semple was one of the first authors I read when I started getting into chick-lit. and I’ve been hoping for some time that she would write more, but at least I can now own the lovely new editions! I really liked Ella – and of course, her crazy housemate and their hilarious speed-dating experience. The only complaint about The Man From Perfect is that it’s over too soon – like previous novels The Make-Up Girl and The Ex-Factor, the short chapters and fast-paced writing mean that ‘just one more chapter!’ ends up with finishing the whole book. But other than that? It’s a great read, and if you like light, romantic comedies (Sophie Kinsella, Tracy Bloom) then The Man From Perfect is very much recommended.

Rating: 5/5

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