An Otherwise Perfect Plan: A Novel of Mystery, Love, and Chocolate that Defies Description

A quirky sixteen-year-old girl embarks on an unpredictable and often hilarious journey to find the father she's never known and unravel the mystery of her mom's utter silence on the subject.

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 receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get back the life she’d given up when she’d dropped out of college due Gwen’s unplanned birth, Gwen is beyond ecstatic… up until her mom announces that she has to reject the offer, because they can’t afford to take advantage of it.

Gwen cannot, will not, let this happen, no matter the cost. She intercepts the rejection letter her mom was mailing, then ropes Peter ia Hail Mary of a scheme to find her father, undeterred by knowing utterly nothing about him, not even his name! The only thing she has to go on is a strip of photographs of him and her mom, taken in a photo booth somewhere in Las Vegas the weekend of her conception.

And while she receives surprising help from unexpected allies, before she knows it, her white lies, scheming, and emotional roller coaster start to make a mess of everything, and it quickly becomes a race to find her dad before her mom catches on, her head explodes, or it all spirals completely out of control.

A Charming, Inventive YA Novel About Discovering Who You Really Are

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.

Get ready to be swept away by Gwen's unique voice and her extraordinary journey.

Ken Schafer has written a must-read for anyone seeking a heartwarming and humorous tale of self-discovery.
Midwest Book Review Verdict: MUST READ

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Must Read Razor-sharp, equal-parts poignant, funny and perfect

Gwen Pendergrass, the novel’s protagonist, [..a] precocious 16-year-old girl who doesn’t have much, except her books and a vivid imagination which she uses to draw people and situations in her head — pictures that at times, don’t come close to an iota of actuality, but you have to give her props for her brilliance. When she's tasked with a life-changing assignment to pen an essay about the father she never knew, the story takes on a life of its own — a story within a story — as her inquisitive and Einstein-like sleuthing takes her on a brave quest to find him.
Lianna Albrizio, Reedsy Discovery

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This story is funny, clever, and even poignant

...subtly hilarious, with a compelling plot. In other words, you can't put the book down.
Peggy Lang, Author, Independent Writing and Editing Professional

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ A Fiercely Intelligent, Introspective, And Laugh Out Loud Funny Coming-Of-Age Story.

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 captures the teen protagonist’s cynical yet hopeful view of her world.
Tara Lewis - Book Sirens Review / Former Director, Global Marketing Disney Worldwide Publishing

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Just Wow...

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.
Sandi Hansen, Seven-Year Veteran Multi-Site Book Reviewer

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