Picture Perfect

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Product Description

To the outside world, they seem 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 return to California, something alters the picture of their perfect marriage. A frightening pattern is taking shape-a cycle of hurt, denial, and promises, thinly veiled by glamour. Torn between fear and something that resembles love, Cassie wrestles with questions she never dreamed she would face: How can she leave? Then again, how can she stay?

Customer Reviews:

  • The book that will not end
    I loved the first half or 2/3 of this book but then it seemed as if it would never end. The same scenario over and over. Too bad, as it was off to such a good start....more info
  • Picture Perfect
    I really enjoyed this book. This book is written to keep your interest. It keeps you hoping for a happy ending, but still satisfies you despite the not so happy ending....more info
  • Cassieys Not So Picture Perfect Life
    Cassie Rivers, suffering from amnesia, is found by Will, an officer new to the Los Angeles police force, and he befriends her while she tries to discover who she is. She finds that she is a successful archeologist and starts to uncover clues to her background. When Cassie's husband finally shows up to pick her up at the police station, she is surprised to discover that she is married to one of the most successful, handsome actors in Hollywood. Will feels that something is amiss with their relationship and is reluctant to let her go.

    As Cassie gradually reacquaints herself with her beautiful homes and life of luxury, the history of her relationship to Alex is retold through flashbacks. He has serious emotional problems and lashes out at her in violent beatings, which have become more and more frequent. In spite of his violence, he is totally dependent on her since he feels she is the only woman who can every truly understand him. And she does understand him, but her compassion traps her in this dangerous marriage.

    Finally, for fear of losing the unborn child she is carrying, which Alex doesn't know about yet, she runs away from him to the only person she can trust, Will. Will takes her to stay with his grandparents on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. She leads a placid and peaceful life among these simple people while waiting for the baby to be born. Will has fallen in love with her, but she continues to love Alex in spite of what he has done.

    She returns to Alex a month after the baby is born, since he has promised to undergo psychological counseling for his emotional and physical abuse. All seems fine for a while, but Alex reverts to his old patterns, and Cassie is terrified that he will hurt the baby also. Cassie takes the only way out of this hopeless situation. She exposes Alex to the public, since she knows it's the only way she can spoil his love and dependence on her.

    Although it dealt with a difficult and frightening subject, the book was rich with detail and emotion as it described the African grasslands where Cassie and Alex met, the austere Indian reservation and the glamorous lifestyle that Cassie and Alex had enjoyed. Another fine effort by Jodi Picoult....more info

  • heart breaking
    This is an amazing story. Picoult is an amazing author - more than that, and amazing story teller. She draws you into the story and you feel like you're in that world. I could not put the book down, and was choked up for at least the last quarter of the book.
    Relateable in so many ways.
    Makes you want to run to the person you love and hold on tight....more info
  • A Jodi Picoult Fan
    I have really enjoyed all of Jodi Picoult's books so far. However, this one didn't keep my interest. It was okay, but not great....more info
  • What a great writer
    I picked this up to see what all the fuss was about Jodi Picoult. The story gripped me from the first page. I couldn't put it down and when I had to, I couldn't stop thinking about the characters and what was happening. I usually read two or three books at a time, but dropped everything else to finish this. A very good story, a very good read. ...more info
  • Less than her best
    There is WAY TOO MUCH going on in this story..Hollywood glamour, Indian mythology, Anthropology, Domestic violence...rates down with romance novels. This is definately not the author's best. I am thinking of giving up on it. A BIG disappointment! ...more info
  • Good, but not as good as Picoult's others...
    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....more info
  • Picoult does it again
    I first read The Pact by Picoult and became addicted to her work. Picture Perfect is another fine piece of work by this author. The only problem I could find with her book was the ugly cover (I think she needs to find a new publisher). Her words kept me glued to the page and I highly reccomend her work to any readers....more info
  • Painful
    This book was nothing but painful to try and get through. Though I sometimes enjoy Jodi Picoult's writing, Picture Perfect was extremely far fetched and simply unbelievable. I spent a lot of time rolling my eyes, shaking my head, thinking...come on, give me a break. I stopped the torture about 60% of the way through, giving up the hope that I had indeed wasted 10.46.
    Pretentious, unbelievable, boring, pathetic story line...save yourself the money and the torture..pass this Jodi Picoult novel by....more info
  • Jodi Picoult has quickly become one of my favorite authors.
    I originally picked up this book on the Bargain Books rack and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had found a great author. I was very taken with the characters in this book and found myself thinking about them even after I had stopped reading for the day. I couldn't wait to finish it. I highly recommend it and look forward to reading another one of hers...more info
  • 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 the relationship would work out and I couldn't wait to see how the book would end....more info
  • Picture Perfect
    Jodi Picoult definitely didn't disappoint me with this book. I love the way an abusive relationship was portrayed... it shows that it's not her fault that she stayed with him, and that you can still love someone who hurts you. But it also shows that things aren't always what they seem, and that things that are "Picture Perfect" can also have problems. Cassie's marriage to Alex is full of love, but also full of hate. But the hate isn't directed towards each other.

    I don't know why, but I loved this book. Not as much as My Sister's Keeper or The Pact, but definitely more than The Tenth Circle....more info
  • Best Jodi Picoult Novel
    This is the seventh novel I have read by Jodi Picoult. I really enjoy all her books but this is definitely my favourite. The characters are such enchanting from Cassie Barrett to Will Flying Horse and even Alex Rivers. This novel does not get as much publicity as the others but I recommend it to everyone and anyone. Read it you will not be disappointed. Also, if you missed reading Tino Georgiou's masterpiece--The Fates, go and read it. It's so addictive.
    ...more info
  • Good Summer Read
    My husband bought this book for me and I have to say it is not a book I would normally pick up. I also have to say...I loved it! It was a very entertaining story with several plot twists along the way. I enjoyed the writing style and would highly recommend this book for taking on a relaxing trip this summer....more info
  • Always 5 stars for Jodi Picoult!
    A truly wonderful book. I find myself engrossed in the lives of her characters! A must read... just make sure you have plenty of time. You won't want to put it down!...more info
  • Once again Jodi captures my interest
    I normally don't read tales of spousal abuse because it hits too close to home. However, reading this book really made me realize that I am not the only one experiencing the same stuff as Cassie is undergoing. If I was in Cassie's shoes, I would have done the one thing right ~~ to protect something so precious. It also helps to know that I am not the only one who was fooled by appearances. Not everything that glitters turn out to be gold. Picoult dives right into the scenery and the characters have more life than you would think. It's not as poignant as her later books, but I really enjoyed this one. I couldn't stop turning the pages even though I figure that if Cassie goes back to Alex, it wouldn't stop. Picoult also gives her usual twist at the ending ~~ this time leaving it open for the imagination. Once again, I am not disappointed with Picoult's talent. Too bad all authors aren't as talented and brillant as she is....more info
  • Great
    The book came when it was supposed to and it was in the condition that was mentioned on the website....more info
  • Early Picoult different than the Picoult of 2007
    It's refreshing to go back and read a Jodi Picoult novel that is one of her first. There isn't a looming courtroom drama unfolding in this book. There isn't depressing jailhouse/prison scenes that make me think that I would die if I ever ended up in prison. This book instead investigates a relationship between a man and a woman, and what happens when love becomes demanding and possessive. I wish Picoult would go back to writing more like this, and she almost did in The Tenth Circle: A Novel. I guess I'm just so tired of constantly seeing moral dilemmas played out in courtrooms. I would like to see her attack these subjects without someone having to constantly commit a crime and do the time. If you want something else of her's to read that doesn't involve courtroom drama, read Harvesting the Heart: A Novel....more info
  • Perfect Match
    Not the best book Jody Piccoult has written but still a good read. Gets a little confusing at times......more info
  • Dissapointed
    I have read all but 2 of Picoult's books, all of which I have enjoyed immensely. Picture Perfect, however, in my opinion, was the least enjoyable. I felt that the plot was dull and Picoult lacked the twists and turns she usually employs. I also felt that it was very unrealistic in many ways. Just my opinion. All in all, an ok book, and I love all of her others....more info
  • Best Jodi Picoult Novel
    This is the seventh novel I have read by Jodi Picoult. I really enjoy all her books but this is definitely my favourite. The characters are such enchanting from Cassie Barrett to Will Flying Horse and even Alex Rivers. This novel does not get as much publicity as the others but I recommend it to everyone and anyone. Read it you will not be disappointed. Also, if you missed reading Tino Georgiou's masterpiece--The Fates, go and read it. It's so addictive.
    ...more info
  • Should Be Listed As A Romance Novel
    Terribly disappointing. I am a Jodi Picoult fan, but this was a waste of time. I am chalking it up to the fact that it is one of her early works. It reads like a romance novel - nothing more. ...more info
  • Pathetic
    I found myself not liking Cassie at all. Every time Alex hurt her, she said it was "her fault". For a woman who was so smart and independent before she met Alex, she surely must have taken a Stupid Pill after the wedding....more info
  • Disappointing, yet couldn't put it down.
    I think Jodi Picoult is one of the best modern fiction writers with deeply emotional language that makes and immediate connection with the reader. Picture Perfect is no exception. However, I found this book much more of the romance genre than I would have liked. I felt that the book lacked substance and tried to incorporate far too many concepts. That being said, Picoult's writing captured me from the first chapter and I quickly devoured the book. Reminds me of a powdered sugar donut... so tempting and satisyfing on the surface, but while you are eating it your body tells you a steak and salad would have been a better choice. But there's nothing wrong with a powdered sugar donut every once in a while......more info
  • Plain Truth was better, but still a wonderful story from Jodi

    I have read Jodi Picoult's "Plain Truth" and several of her other novels and I thought Picture Perfect was a wonderful story, but I didn't think the writing was a good as the book Plain Truth. There are numerous excellent reviews that detail the story so I won't add more print. However, I thought the story moved along at a brisk pace and overall it was a wonderful story. I'm not losing faith in Jodi; I'll still purchase her next novel, with a view towards that Picture Perfect being a temporary setback in her storytelling abilities.

    ...more info
  • Liked it But DIDNT Love it
    I am a HUGE Jodi Picoult fan, who has happily worked my way through everything she has written. My Sisters Keeper is especially dear to me. Picture Perfect was for me interesting though the subject matter made me uncomfortable I pushed through and read what turned out to be a very believable portrayal of the cycle of domestic violence. It is accurate in the thoughts and ideas that inspire someone to stay in a relationship that isn't healthy, in more ways than one, and I found myself equally disgusted with Alex as I was understanding of his characters flaws. He was someone whose first person account would have aided in the understanding of women everywhere, of the thought process of the person who abuses. Though at points I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at some points that were simply to unbelievable, I walked away understanding the point of view of many women I have heard of and pitied instead of applauding for there strength....more info
  • Seriously, save me from this book
    I am a Jodie Picoult fan yet am finding this book an arduous literary sleeping pill. Seriously, I am in the 4th quadrant of the book and Cassie is now going to the indian reservation with the cop. Arghhh, someone please email me and tell me what happens so I don't have to read the rest of this book! ...more info
  • Pretty as a Picture or so it seems.
    Now let's take a look at the real world. Wonderfully written as all of Picoult's books are; this one has a lot of heart, and a whole lot of selfless love or so Cassie thinks. Is her behavior selfless or foolish?

    Alex Rivers is a mega star in Hollywood and Cassie is the most unlikely of people to grace his arm at a premiere among the Hollywood golden set. She is an anthropologist with her head in the books and her mind on the next dig, happy to be in a bush jacket and jeans as she unearths her latest treasure. Two worlds collide in more ways than one when Alex and Cassie meet and marry.

    A study in abuse that will touch your heart, and leave you cheering for both sides because of the love the author so eloquently makes you feel for both characters. Ahhhh but just how much can one person take, and is there a way out, is the question that has to be answered. This book had me guessing till the last 25 pages. Picoult has a new book coming out in May titled PERFECT MATCH. I'll be first in line for that one too. This author has never disappointed me. Kelsana 4/29/02...more info

  • Painful subject - sensitive approach
    Jodi Picoult does a wonderful job of allowing the reader to see that a person CAN love the one who abuses them. Love the sinner, hate the sin. This is a great book to recommend to anyone going through abuse - as well as for the family and friends of abuse victims. This story forgives the victim for feeling the way she feels - as it SHOULD, and provides a level of understanding to people who have not experienced abuse. It also shows that it is possible to love and still walk away. ...more info
  • 2 Thumbs Up!
    A lot of people didn't like it, but I thought it was a very interesting book. Sure it's a bit predictable, but the journey and Jodi's writing are what make it worth the read!...more info
  • A good fan gets around to all the books...
    Being a Jodi Picoult fan (as in, I devour her books one after another), I bought this book at a used bookstore in my town. After sitting on the shelf for awhile, I thought I'd add it to my summer reading list. I love her writing, but I really think it's developed throughout the years. I have not read all of her books, but can definitely see an improvement and difference between this one and, say, My Sister's Keeper.

    Just like all her books, this one kept my attention. I like how it wandered back and forth between the past and present. I didn't quite understand Will's role in the book, as he seems to be forgotten throughout the whole second part ("1989-1993"). I wasn't sure if he would have a police role or more of a savior role, and it turned out to be the latter.

    It is obvious that she did her research on the celebrity lifestyle and also on anthropology. I like how she gives her women characters highly-esteemed occupations. Even if the book wasn't her best, I am still encouraged by Cassie's profession as a professor of anthropology.

    It was still a good read and I don't regret spending a few hours in all reading it. But now I will be on to bigger and better things from this beautiful and talented author... The Tenth Circle....more info
  • Mildly Entertaining, Completely Unrealistic
    This book was readable and somewhat compelling in that I wanted to know what would happen next. However, the narrative was ridiculous in its depiction of the character's lives. A UCLA professor who seems to have all kinds of free time for attending events with her famous movie star husband? It reinforces the stereotype of college professors having an easy job that doesn't require any more time than giving lectures (with apparently no preparation), going on sabbatical whenever they feel like it, and traveling to exotic places to do research. That was just one of the silly descriptions in this very silly book. I had to work to suspend my disbelief long enough to finish it. It was like watching a soap opera - a guilty pleasure....more info
  • Thought provoking yet entertaining
    Typical Picoult in that the story is believable and makes you think of people you know. This would make a great movie. ...more info
  • What Goes on Behind Closed Doors...
    Jodi Picoult has given me even more cause to pass the word about her writing talent. Picture Perfect is yet another pageturner complete with emotional roller coaster. She has absolute power over me with her sympathetic, realistic, and sometimes enraging characters.

    In Picture Perfect, anthropologist Cassie Barnett falls in love with princely movie star, Alex Rivers. They quickly marry, and Cassies believes she has found eternal happiness. Until the first time he lays his hands on her in anger. And then the second time and the third time....

    And yet she stays!! I was half wanting to throttle Cassie myself! But don't worry. Jodi delivers a shocking ending that left me smiling for days.

    Also recommended are Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen and The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner....more info

  • Very disappointing....
    Jodi Picoult came highly recommended to me from a book editor friend and so I ran to the store to pick up "Picture Perfect". What a waste! The writing was very choppy and non-sensical at times. In addition, I found it very difficult to believe any of the characters. The ending was quick, lame and overall anti-climatic. It left me feeling like, "I wasted all this time reading this for what?". I'm not sure about the other Jodi Picoult books, but this one makes me not even want to waste any time reading the others....more info
  • Entertaining and thought provoking...
    This is my third Jodi Picoult book, the first was "Plain Truth" which I found completely amazing and engrossing. It's difficult for me to explain exactly why I love this author so much - because it's sometimes an inner battle to even read her stories, because the topics are often painful or disturbing. But that's what makes her so good - and although I am admittedly an "escapist" reader who usually reads just for entertainment - reading this was still pure pleasure. A few other reviewers complained about implausibility in this story; I enjoyed the presentation of characters who were very diverse and accomplished, yet still flawed in such basic ways. I also enjoyed the method she uses in this story, the piecing together of the character's past in flashbacks. Good imagery, interesting characters, a great ending. Definitely worth reading, in my opinion....more info
  • My favorite Picoult book!
    What a great story! Very powerful. The complexity of an abusive relationship is captured in this book. ...more info