Things Are Not Always What They Seem
My roommate lent me a book by Jodi Picoult a few days ago. She's a big fan of Jodi Picoult, and since I trust my roommate's taste, I was eager to plunge head first into the novel she lent me - Picture Perfect. From what I've heard and read, many of Picoult's books deal with main characters who, while easy to become emotionally involved with, have flaws that not only make their personalities stronger, but make their stories all the more excellent. Picture Perfect is no different.
When Hollywood's golden boy Alex Rivers marries UCLA anthropologist Cassie Barrett, their relationship appears to be, well, picture perfect. They meet on a movie set in Tanzania, where Cassie is hired to be Alex's technical advisor on the field of Los Angeles. Correction: She is living in one of Alex's several homes. She becomes a part of a lifestyle she never imagined entering before, and she begins to believe that, perhaps, everything is perfect in her life after all. However, when dark secrets are revealed, and the newly-wed aura fades away, Cassie realizes her marriage and Alex may not be what they seem.
Both Cassie and Alex are troubled souls, which is what makes Picture Perfect all the more intriguing. They each have their secrets, and they each had difficult childhoods, by which they can either learn and grow or be destroyed. What's more, this novel deals with the slightly taboo subject of domestic violence and abuse. While I am certainly vehemently against domestic abuse, and I would kick the ass of any man who tried to hit me (Excuse my blunt language, but it only seemed appropriate.), Picture Perfect sheds a different light on the subject, helping you better understand the nature and chemistry of a couple involved in such a violent situation. However, the scenes of domestic abuse chilled me to the bone and remained with me for hours after I had finished reading. In fact, this entire story stays with you long after you have finished the book. I completed Picture Perfect several days ago, but I am still reminded by the characters and their stories every now and then.
Picoult is a strong writer, and her character development is perhaps her best talent. While Picture Perfect is the first book of hers I have read, it most certainly will not be the last.