After Perfect

Maan Gabriel

After Perfect was not a book on my radar until BookSparks sent it my way. I am happy to now shout out its greatness to the world.

Quick Synopsis

Gabby is getting a divorce after 20 years of being a housewife and having the perfect life with her childhood best friend. Single at 36 and without a plan, Gabby enrolls in a MFA program where she meets her hunky, mysterious professor Colt. Is Gabby destined for another heartbreak or will her connection with Colt unbreak her?

Publisher’s Synopsis

Thirty-six-year-old Gabriella Stevens is living a quiet and content fairy tale as a devoted housewife to Simon—just as her traditional Filipino mother has always told her to do—when, after sixteen years of marriage and twenty years together, he tells he wants a divorce.

Simon has been Gabby’s everything since they were kids; without him, her world implodes. But as she navigates her way through the wreckage of the marriage she thought would last forever, she becomes determined to make a life on her own. With New York City as her backdrop, Gabby—single for the first time since she was a teenager—goes back to school, gets her first real job, and faces unfamiliar reality with determination.

Gabby’s life takes another turn when she falls in love with her mysterious but utterly beautiful creative writing professor, Colt. Being with Colt is exhilarating for her—something new, something exciting and beyond understanding. He is almost seven years her junior, and a literary genius. But he is also battling demons of his own: a tragic past that may have made him incapable of love.

Is Gabby destined for another heartbreak—or will her connection with Colt be what unbreaks her?

Book Review

After Perfect is a fantastic story about picking yourself up after your “perfect,” comfortable life falls apart. This book is a journey of self-discovery and finding comfort in being on your own.

I was skeptical of After Perfect initially. In the first couple chapters, a lot of things happened very quickly. It did not quite feel natural to me. But Maan Gabriel found her footing, and the narrative sailed smoothly from there. How is that for mixed metaphors?

While the meet cute was also a bit over the top and cliche, I otherwise found the romance to be sweet. It was complex enough to feel real but also swoon-worthy.

One thing I absolutely loved about After Perfect were the characters, especially the side characters. They were well-developed and overall delightful. This book checked the boxes for both a strong plot and great characters. Add in some beautiful friendships and a bookstore, how could this book not be great?!

After Perfect made me feel so much. It makes me happy to read about others finding their happiness, and this book did just that. It also reminded me why I fell in love with New York. This book was heartwarming in the perfect way.

Overall, After Perfect was a fantastic debut, and I will be hyping it up. If you are looking for a feel-good book with romance or one that will inspire you to examine where you are now in life and where you want to be, look no further.


Overall Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Character Development

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After Perfect


Contemporary Fiction

Publication Date
October 5, 2021


Goodreads Rating
4.11 stars

Buy Now

Note: I received a gifted copy of this book from Book Sparks as part of their 2021 Fall Reading Challenge book tour. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.

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