Review Detail

Young Adult Indie 144
Tension, Romance, or Both?
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0
'Perfectly Misunderstood' by Robin Daniels tells the story of Jayden and Mike, two high school students who seem to be polar opposites. While Jayden works hard, she finds herself struggling in Spanish and needing the help of a tutor. When she gets paired with Mike, she can't help but feel that her teacher must be playing a cruel joke on her. Mike is the epitome of what seems to be a dumb jock. He doesn't speak in proper English and acts “too cool for school”. She can't imagine what her teacher is thinking.

As time goes on, though, Jayden is surprised by how smart Mike really is and how he is giving off a presence that isn't really him. At the same time, Mike sees Jayden as annoying and more trouble than she's worth, but somehow they start to grow on each other.

The way they are bothered by each other ends up, somewhat predictably, leading to romantic tension, but the lead-up to this is well-written and creates interesting dynamics between them. It is nice to see Mike's worry about how he'll be perceived if he's found out to not be as dumb as he comes across. There is a vulnerability there that comes to a head when his secret is unraveled. Similarly, Jayden's best friend is always trying to make her realize how her words can sting, especially when it comes to Mike, and her realization that everything isn't always about her grows as the story goes on.

Robin Daniels has a variety of other books that are surely worth checking out after reading 'Perfectly Misunderstood'.
Good Points
The way they are bothered by each other ends up, somewhat predictably, leading to romantic tension, but the lead-up to this is well-written and creates interesting dynamics between the two main characters, Jayden and Mike.
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