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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A romantic drama that stays with you
Jodi Picoult has created characters so multi-dimensional that, days after finishing the book, I still find myself thinking about the characters and the story. Enough background is given on each character that even Alex, the abusive husband, seems sympathetic and it was easier to understand how Cassie could choose to stay in an abusive marriage. I found myself hoping...
Published on 13 Aug 1999

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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK book
"To the outside world, they seemed to have it all. Cassie Barrett, a renowned anthropologist, and Alex Rivers, one of Hollywood's hottest actors, met on the set of a motion picture in Africa. They shared childhood tales, toasted the future, and declared their love in a fairy-tale wedding. But when they returned to California, something altered the picture or their perfect...
Published on 19 Mar 2008 by Kate S-B


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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK book, 19 Mar 2008
This review is from: Picture Perfect (Paperback)
"To the outside world, they seemed to have it all. Cassie Barrett, a renowned anthropologist, and Alex Rivers, one of Hollywood's hottest actors, met on the set of a motion picture in Africa. They shared childhood tales, toasted the future, and declared their love in a fairy-tale wedding. But when they returned to California, something altered the picture or their perfect marriage. A frightening pattern took shape - a cycle of hurt, denial and promises, thinly veiled by glamour. Torn between fear and something that resembled love, Cassie wrestled with questions she never dreamed she would face: How could she leave? Then again, how could she stay?"

The sypnosis doesn't really give you a clue about the book.

It opens with Cassie, injured and found in a graveyard. She doesn't remeber who she is. The book to start with is about how she rediscovers herself. Then rediscovers the secrets of her homelife.

I have only read 2 Picoult books now, and while this book was ok, I did think of shutting it and moving on about half way through. I'm glad i stuck with it though. There were many times i wanted to scream at the main character of cassie, tell her not to do this, or do do that. But the good thing about this book, it is not predictable, so she ended up doing the things I didn't want her to.

It took a frustratingly long time for Cassie to see the light, but I can appreciate that in situations like this, it's not as simple as walking away.

The characters were well detailed, and you got under the skin of them all, understanding the reasoning behind what happens in this story.

I would give this book a 7 out of 10.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A romantic drama that stays with you, 13 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Jodi Picoult has created characters so multi-dimensional that, days after finishing the book, I still find myself thinking about the characters and the story. Enough background is given on each character that even Alex, the abusive husband, seems sympathetic and it was easier to understand how Cassie could choose to stay in an abusive marriage. I found myself hoping the relationship would work out and I couldn't wait to see how the book would end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rather boring, 2 July 2013
This review is from: Picture Perfect (Paperback)
If I'm brutally honest I found this book very boring. It has a strong beginning that drew me in but it wasn't long before I found myself lost in endless dialogue and characters I didn't feel any empathy with. It wasn't the subject matter that was the problem since I feel very strongly about the issue of abusive marriage, rather it was the one dimensional characters and waffly plot that could have easily been condensed to make a stronger and sharper read. I kept expecting a twist at the end that didn't happen. It might have worked better if more had been made of the amnesia aspect of the plot but that soon sank into oblivion and there was no real mystery to any of it. I wouldn't recommend this book although I've read other books by this author that I've enjoyed immensely so I'd suggest checking others out and writing this one off.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book but not my favourite from JP, 5 Mar 2013
By 
Miss AL Holloway (Oswestry) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Picture Perfect (Kindle Edition)
I have read and enjoyed most of Jodi Picoult's books but had not got around to this one. When I saw it offered as a Kindle deal I thought now was as good a time as any. Jodi Picoult writes characters very well and this book is no exception, the main characters Cassie, Alex and Will all seemed real to me. I enjoyed the story although I have always liked her "Courtroom Drama" books best of all.

If you are a fan and you have not read it yet you will enjoy it although personally I was hoping for a better ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A cliche' from beginning to end, 11 Aug 2011
This review is from: Picture Perfect (Hardcover)
Oh my, reading this book was like wading through treacle. I only continued because I hoped that it would improve. It was uninspired, hackneyed, dull and stereotypical. Imagine every old cliched character add them to an uninspired plot that has been done to death and you have 'Picture Perfect'. It has definitely put me off Ms Piccoult. Tried to give it zero stars which was what it was worth.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry I stayed with this book until the end, 1 Dec 2010
By 
Jodie (Warkworth, Northumberland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Picture Perfect (Hardcover)
This book started Ok but then, it went downhill. I tried very hard to stick with the story but what was it all about. Nothing IMHO, the only good part was the end, for more reasons than one. I understand the story plot that she is trying to put over, but it just doesn't work. I've read all od Jodi Picoult's books and this is just not up to her usual good read standard.
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61 of 74 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK IS LESS THAN PICTURE PERFECT..., 9 Jan 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Picture Perfect (Paperback)
This book recounts the almost fairytale like romance and marriage of anthropologist, Cassie Barrett, and silver screen star, Alex Rivers. All that glitters, however, is not gold, as Cassie will soon discover. It seems that her handsome husband has a dark side to his personality.
When Cassie undergoes some form of temporary amnesia, she makes the acquaintance of William Flying Horse, a rookie police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. He is immediately attracted to this lovely, though mysterious, woman. He treats her tenderly and, ultimately, falls in love with her. He does not reveal his feelings, however, as she is eventually claimed by her husband, who has been looking for her.
As her memory returns, Cassie recalls what was it that drove her away from Alex. Unfortunately, Alex is the product of an abusive childhood, and the psychological trauma that he sustained growing up rears its ugly head in a way that is not conducive to a happy marriage. Cassie, however, is the great enabler, as she has allowed Alex to continue with this pattern of behavior, rationalizing it to herself.
This is a formulaic story that the author tries to augment with some Native American Indian lore that is somewhat interesting but, ultimately, fails to carry the day, as it spirals into the ridiculous. All of the characters, including the Native American ones, are one dimensional and, consequently, the reader ends up caring very little about what happens to any one of them. This is a mediocre work of fiction not worth reading, unless you are an avid fan of the author.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as Picoult's others..., 21 July 1999
By A Customer
Keeping Faith, The Pact, and Harvesting the Heart are prime examples of Picoult's remarkable talent. I was enthralled by all three of those books. While Picture Perfect was a good read, it lacked the depth and beauty of the others. Still, it was enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, 18 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Picture Perfect (Kindle Edition)
my cousin had been bugging me to read it. finally did and loved it. was a nice ending but i was still upset but was hoping it would end differently. jodie picuolt does her research and always has so much detail in everything that the story involves. really liked it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Picoult's best, lacking the depth she's known for., 14 July 2013
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This review is from: Picture Perfect (Paperback)
I have read a fair number of Jodi Picoult books now and usually speak highly of them. I enjoy the depth, clarity, moral debating that Picoult is renowned for, finding her books both interesting and well developed, in regards to both the characters and plot. With this in mind I decided to work my way through the rest of the books she has written, one of which being `Picture Perfect'. I'm afraid to say this isn't one of those books that falls into the above category.

Cassie finds herself alone in a grave yard with a nasty head injury and no memories. As she tries to find help she meets Will, a soon to be cop, who is knew to town. Will takes Cassie to his home and attempts to help her piece together her life. We discover that Cassie is a well established anthropologist and is married to the LA movie star Alex Rivers. It all seems picture perfect, so Cassie returns to her life. As the memories continue to return sporadically, Cassie slow begins to realise who Alex Rivers truly is: perfect, idolised movie star to the world, troubled, abusive husband in reality. Heart-brakingly, Cassie stays with Alex, seeing his damaged parts and wishing to fix them, believing her actions could stop his abusive tirade. When Cassie's world changes for the second time, she realises she cannot let Alex's behaviour destroy it again. At first she believes this would be the key to changing Alex, that it would be picture perfect now. However, it doesn't turn out that way. In one final act of strength and bravery Cassie stands up to Alex in the public eye, showing the world exactly who he is, absolving herself of fear and blame.

This is one of Picoult's earlier novels (her second I think) so although it shares the same writing style she is renowned for in her more publicised books, it seems to lack the depth I'm used to from her. Her style of writing is easy to digest, accessible and leaves you wanting to continue reading, always a good sign from my point of view. I also enjoyed the way Picoult delivered the story line, starting with Cassie waking up with amnesia, progressing forward with both the present and flashbacks to the past, until both merge into Cassie's final decision.

On a positive note, Picoult's characters were interesting and well developed, with contrasting elements: Cassie, a successful academic, with a strong career and fierce independence, was also a submissive, inferior, self blaming individual; Alex, an adoring, handsome, sought-after public figure, was also an aggressive, angry, abusive partner. I enjoyed the way Picoult portrayed the conflicting emotions of an abused partner, explaining the difficulties, hopes and belief systems well. She explores the difficulties faced within an abusive relationship with clarity giving an understanding around the complex issues. I particularly liked that Picoult gave reasoning behind Cassie staying and investing in Alex, by delving into her past and the traumas she faced there.

However, there seemed to be scope for so much more. Given the plot, an abused wife with a larger than life husband with a reputation to match, I felt Picoult could have delved into the emotional side of it so much more. Instead, it felt as though she stuck to the superficial side of the plot. Picoult seems to skim over Cassie remembering the reason why she left Alex in the first place. In my opinion going through something as devastating as that (vague to avoid spoilers!), she would feel more than the sweeping overview Picoult gives. In reality this would have a huge impact on a person's life where as this in the book, this piece of the story just wasn't given the time it required. There were other elements I felt Picoult failed to address fully too. For example, Will fell for Cassie from the start, yet we barely explore his feelings. Cassie also had `some' feelings for Will but those aren't really explained either. The addition of Will's Native American background added an interesting element to the book but again, I found I wanted more.

With this in mind, it was disappointing that Picoult missed a few essential points. Given the plot outline, this story could have been placed with Picoult's other classics, instead I would only recommend this book if you're looking for an easy read to fill a gap.
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Picture Perfect
Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult (Hardcover - April 1995)
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