Young Adult Novels
An Otherwise Perfect Plan is a contemporary coming-of-age story narrated by a quirky teenage girl who infuses it with sarcasm, hyperbole, and wild flights of fancy as she tries to make sense of her life with a single mom working two soul-crushing jobs, dysfunctional high school teachers, and her unruly emotions with a mind of their own.
Life hasn’t been easy for Gwen Pendergrass as a free-lunch student living with her mom in a one-bedroom apartment whose tiny, Marquis de Sade-inspired kitchen seems intent on inflicting grave bodily harm.
The only thing making life palatable is her neighbor Peter, a loner like herself who goes to the same high school, and who shares her love of books, banter, and endless reflection on the absurdities of the universe.
When Gwen's Mom is offered an utterly life changing chance—one which would give her back the opportunities she'd given up when she’d dropped out of college to have Gwen—it seems like their luck has finally changed... that is until Gwen's Mom announces that she has to turn it down solely because of her parental responsibilities.
But Gwen cannot, will not, let herself once again be the obstacle to her mom's happiness. Instead, she ropes her best friend Peter into a last-ditch, Hail Mary of a scheme to help her find the father she literally knows nothing about. The perfect plan… until her white lies, scheming, and emotional roller-coaster start to make a mess of everything, quickly turning it into a race to find her dad before her mom catches on, her head explodes, or it all completely spirals out of control.
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These characters have all set up a little birdhouse in my soul and I cannot wait to sing about them from the tops of mountains (… or maybe just the top of my driveway, as it is fairly steep), but regardless -- singing and elevation will be involved… and lots of recs to friends as well.
Cheers for this glorious book!
An Otherwise Perfect Plan is a contemporary coming-of-age story that will captivate readers with its unique narrative style and relatable characters. In this book, a quirky teenage girl takes center stage, infusing the tale with sarcasm, hyperbole, and wild flights of fancy.
Get ready to be swept away by Gwen's unique voice and her extraordinary journey.
razor-sharp, equal-parts poignant, funny and perfect
In Schafer’s YA novel, a plucky teenage girl ... Gwen narrates the story in first person, and her chatty, incisive voice quickly enthralls the reader... there’s a timeless, almost cinematic quality to the characters and story structure that many readers will happily sink right into.
KIRKUS REVIEWS (Verdict: GET IT)
This story is funny, clever, and even poignant. Should I be more polysyllabic? Okay, the characters are gently iconoclastic, autodidactic, and subtly hilarious, with a compelling plot.
In other words, you can't put the book down.
This coming of age story about a teen negotiating her changing feelings for her best friend while tackling life-changing family issues is brilliantly written with a wry wit that perfectly emotes the teen protagonist’s cynical yet hopeful view of her world.
Schafer’s clever language and mastery of teen emotions will make for a wonderful cross-market read for young adults and new adults.
This is one of the best books to have ever crossed my desk; the kind of book that makes you want to read it in one sitting or read it again and again. Truly Amazing.