Your Perfect Year was originally published under the title Dein Perfektes Jahr in German in 2016. It was wonderfully translated into English by Alison Layland in 2019.
Your Perfect Year tells the story of two people: Jonathan Grief and Hannah Marx. Without giving too much away, the book sees the two characters coming to terms with certain facets of their lives, encountering troubling times, and learning important truths about life and love. The book is presented as a romance, but it is really so much more than that. In fact, it is quite unconventional for a romance, which is perfectly fine with me because I feel that romances are rarely great. And here’s the thing: Your Perfect Year is a great book. Honestly, do not let the genre put you off this book.
To be a bit more concrete, here are a few of the aspects of this novel that I truly enjoyed: the characters are brilliant, the story is captivating, there is a bit of a mystery element, and it contains an important message. My only criticism is that I wish it were longer. I feel that the ending is a bit rushed, which is one of my pet peeves. I wish that the author had taken the time to explore the ending a bit more – I would have happily continued to read about these characters. Instead, the final chapters are more of a montage sequence and I feel that we, as readers, miss out on some crucial parts of the storyline. This ending would work well for a movie, but it does not translate to paper as well. However, I will forgive this transgression, because everything else about this book is simply brilliant. I want more. Seriously.
A man consumed by a meaningless life is going to do something he’s never considered doing before. He’s going to enjoy the day…
For hyper-particular publishing heir Jonathan Grief, the day starts like any other – with a strict morning fitness regimen that will keep his divorced, easily irritated, cynical, forty-two-year-old self in absolutely flawless physical condition. But all it takes to put a crimp in his routine is one small annoyance. Someone has left a leather-bound day planner with the handwritten title Your Perfect Year in his spot on his mountain bike at his fitness course!
Determined to discover its owner, Jonathan opens the calendar to find that someone known only as “H” has filled it in with her suggestions, tasks, and affirmative actions for each day. The more he devotes himself to locating the elusive H, the deeper Jonathan is drawn into someone else’s rich and generous narrative – and into an attitude adjustment he desperately needs.
He may have ended up with a perfect year by accident, but it seems fate has set Jonathan on a path toward healing, feeling, and maybe even loving again… if only he can meet the stranger who’s changing his life one day at a time.
Charlotte Lucas is the pseudonym of the German author Wiebke Lorenz. Lorenz lives in Hamburg, Germany. Together with her sister she has written bestsellers under the pseudonym Anne Hertz.
Your Perfect Year is a wonderful read. It is a beautiful story that is unconventional for the romance genre. I think it would especially appeal to fans of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
My rating: ★★★★★
Have you read this book? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.
Waterstones (UK): here
Amazon (US): here