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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 October 2015
Jodie's usual clear sighted insight into a difficult "issue" but I didn't engage with the characters and found the story skipped over the parts that really interested me - life on the reservation.
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on 28 March 2017
Came quickly and as described
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on 8 September 2017
What more can you say than it's a book.
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on 5 July 2010
This is only the second Jodi Picoult book, and i have to say its leaving me wanting to read more of her well written stories. The story of a woman torn between her love for her huspand, and her own insecurities, is truely hard to imagine, but Jodi makes it easy to see why and how. The lavish lifesyle and handsome huspand of such a high profile in the media, whom everyone loved, who was truely the other part of Cassie Barrett could change personalities in an instant. The way there characters has so much in common and yet so different. I was very interested in the Native American side to the story, the stories of there kind, and way of thinking, very facinating. Wonderful work of how the glitz of Hollywood and the Indian Rez can come together and make total sence. Love, Fear, Hope, Belief, Trust, Need, and protection all words strongly suggested throughout this novel and i can totally relate how these feeling come about. Love this book and couldnt put it down.
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on 7 June 2014
I have been reading Picoult for some years now and have always looked forward to her new works. However, the last two or three have been rather disappointing to be honest. I read this to the end and, as always, her research is faultless and her writing flawless, but I found myself wishing it would just get on with it. I miss the stories that had the gripping courtroom battle at the conclusion and have found the most recent books rather dull by comparison.
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on 13 August 1999
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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on 4 August 2017
And that's being kind. I usually love Jodi Picoult but didn't find this very gripping or as well written as her other books, sorry but not one to recommend.
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on 14 July 2013
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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on 2 July 2013
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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on 19 March 2008
"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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