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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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4 of 4 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 
A L H (Oswestry) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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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 Disappointed :o(, 11 May 2011
By 
K. Howes (Midlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Picture Perfect (Hardcover)
I have read every one of Jodi Picoult books and am always scanning to see when the next is due out. I love that all of them contain moral dilemas, you think you know what you would do in that situation and you turn the page and suddenly you don't. Not everything is black and white. However this was, in my opiniom, a Hollywood trash novel like so many others around. I was reading and thinking it must get better, then thought, is this Jodi's attempt to get into Hollywood trash market. There was no thought provoking questions at the back of the book, which said to me that there was nothing to discuss. Several times i nearly put it down unfinished but carried on thnking there must be some great twist and there wasn't. :o(

I'd give this a wide berth, I wish i had!
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent enough read but nowhere near as good as her other novels, sadly..., 8 Jun. 2011
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Picture Perfect (Paperback)
It's always difficult to know where to start when reviewing a Picoult novel, because when you get down to it they are always quite complex reads with heavy subject matters that raise ethical dilemmas for the reader- and this one is no exception.

I have to say that the summary on the back doesn't allude to too much of what really goes on, but the basic premise is that a woman wakes up injured in a cemetery in downtown Los Angeles, not remembering anything- including her own name or what she is doing there. She is rescued by Will, a cop and a stranger to the city himself, and it is only when the woman's husband claims her from the police station that she realises that she is married to the biggest movie star in the world- Alex Rivers. Cassie's life should be perfect, he is rich and handsome and she herself has a successful career- but it is only when her memories start returning that she realises that whilst to the outside world things might appear perfect, they're actually far from it...

Told in flashbacks and jumps to Cassie's present as well as her earlier life with Alex, the book is indeed well written and contains a gritty subject matter. For me though, this book doesn't quite match up to Picoult's other novels which is why I've only awarded it 3 stars. I think it was because I didn't feel the characters were as well developed as I'd hoped and some characters actions were questionable. The ending also didn't tie together in the way that I'd hoped, though it was fitting.

What got to me the most about this novel was Cassie's reluctance to accept that Alex was culpable for his actions and her sheer unwillingness to blame him for anything he had done to her, no matter how horrific. Whilst I accept that this is probably most certainly the case in abusive relationships, I found it very frustrating and a bit trite to read about if I'm honest, no matter how true to life it was. It was certainly very believable however. Cassie, as a consequence, was a character I genuinely couldn't understand. I actually felt the author was able to get into Alex's head a bit better than hers- though I didn't like him either. Will, the cop, also didn't feature in the storyline as heavily as I'd anticipated which was a shame as he was a well-drawn character.

Obviously this book is not recommended if you're looking for a light-hearted romance, but if you do want a gritty page turner that makes you think a little bit then add this to your list. I would say however that if you're a first time Picoult reader, please don't start with this one- she most certainly has written stronger novels as of late. Perhaps try `Nineteen Minutes' or `Sing you Home' instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite, but still a decent read, 27 Sept. 2010
By 
Lauren Thomas - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Picture Perfect (Paperback)
I am a big fan of Jodi Picoult, and I bought this book not realising it was a re-release from a novel first released in 1995, rather than a new book. It is becoming increasingly common for publishers to release the back-catalogues of successful authors, and while it is good to get the chance to read these old works, it does show that Picoult has honed her writing skill over time.

Picture Perfect is a novel about Cassie Barrett, a renowned anthropologist who wakes up in a churchyard, suffering from amnesia. She is taken in by Will Flying Horse, a half-Lakota Los Angeles police officer, until she is claimed by her husband, Alex Rivers, a Hollywood celebrity. She returns to her seemingly "picture perfect" Hollywood life, until she begins to have flashbacks of her previous life, focussed around Alex's repetitive violent behavior towards her. After finding a positive pregnancy kit in her wardrobe, she flees to Will who hides her on the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. After having her child, she returns to Alex in the hope that their son Connor will change his violent ways, but after another brutal beating she holds a press conference to announce her plans to divorce him.

As is usual for Picoult, you can tell that she has really done her research on anthropology, Indian reservations and violence towards women (amongst other things), and the individual scenes ring true and don't feel awkward in any way. The characters are strong, but at times I found it hard to connect with Cassie and her plight. I can see that the point Picuolt is trying to make is that all three of the main characters (Cassie, Alex and Will) had unconventional upbringings where they missed out on a normal childhood, and this has affected their lives as adults. While I thought this was interesting and well-done, the main problem with this novel is that it feels to me like Picoult had three separate ideas for a story, and decided to merge them into one. Because of this, the different strands simply didn't gel to me and it felt fragmented, which distanced me from the story on numerous occasions.

A decent book, but I wouldn't recommend it over her newer novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars When the one who keeps you together pulls you apart, 22 Nov. 2009
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Picture Perfect (Hardcover)
PICTURE PERFECT by Jodi Picoult tells the story of Cassie, an anthropologist who wakes in a cemetry not remembering how she got there, why she is there, or even who she is. Discovered by Will, a new policeman in LA, after a few days she is 'claimed' by Alex Rivers, Hollywood's biggest star. Immediately she is transported to a fairytale life of privilege. Yet, as she begins to recover memories from her past, she begins to see that her glittery life with Hollywood's leading man is not as picture perfect as outsiders would believe.

Picoult's books seem to have the ability to make you either love them or making you fairly impartial to them. This one, for me fell in the latter category. Although the book is well written in parts - the way that she is able to exoplain to the reader how unsettling it must be to awaken, hurt and without any recollection of why your are hurt or even who you are is great. So too is the way that she is able to paint a picture of Cassie having to rediscover Alex and their life together. As another reviewer has said, the fact that both characters are able to have their perspective explained is also quite unique. However, there were times when I found myself skipping through pages just to get closer to the ending. The secret of Cassie's life is easy to see, even from the beginning, but you feel compelled to carry on to see how she will react to the knowledge of it once she has regained her memory.

Not one of her best books but I am sure true fans of hers will eat it up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A massive disappointment from a usually good author, 12 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Picture Perfect (Paperback)
I have read several books by the same author; I really loved some of them, I thought others could be better, but this was by far the worst that I ever came across. After 200 pages I couldn't bear to waste anymore time reading it. I admit I did go online to look for the ending, as I saw still a little curious about the story...But I could not possibly stomach another 300 or so pages.
An example? In the opening chapter the protagonist Cassie is found wounded, unconscious and with amnesia in a cemetery, wearing " a bomber jacket she doesn't remember buying". When her husband finally shows up at the police station to collect her a fews days later, do you think the police will try to shed some light on what happened to his wife, on who might have hurt her and tried to kill her, simply by asking him to identify the jacket..? Nada! There is no inquiry whatsoever into what migth have happened to her. In the following days she does not care, her husband does not care, the police don't seem to care either.
That is a very very poor beginnning in my opinion. As for the rest, I personally cannot believe that someone would not want to know what happened to her. I mean, if you do not find that out, how can you know who to trust? Anyone could have done that to her, a stranger or someone very close to her... I just cannot believe that everyone, police included, would just sit on their asses, especially since she's the wife of a world famous actor.
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Picture Perfect
Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult (Paperback - 12 Sept. 2013)
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