Monday, 12 May 2014

Review: Picture Perfect by Alessandra Thomas

Title: Picture Perfect
Author: Alessandra Thomas
Author Info: Website|Facebook|Twitter
Genre: New Adult
Series: Picturing Perfect #1
Source: Purchased by me
Publication Date: 26th March 2013

Tell Me About It
Fashion design major Cat Mitchell has a closet full of gorgeous clothes - and not a single thing fits. After two years of runway modelling for easy cash, an accident shattered her lower leg bone and her self-esteem in just one swift fall. Ten months of no exercise, prescription steroids, comfort eating and yoga pants meant returning to campus as a size twelve instead of her former size two.

When her gorgeous long-time friend with benefits sees her for the first time after her accident and snubs her in front of all her friends, Cat’s self-image hits rock bottom. Her sorority sisters all insist that she looks gorgeous, but all Cat sees is the roll of her stomach when she sits down, or the dimpling at the back of her thighs that wasn't there last year. Cat’s therapist prescribes something radical to stop the downward spiral - nude modeling for a nearby college's human form drawing classes.

When Cat faces her fears and bares it all for the class, she realizes that she's posing naked in front the most gorgeous, buffest guy she's ever seen in her life. He asks her out after the class, and after one steamy night together, Cat's absolutely smitten.

Nate’s pretty close to perfect – he takes Cat rock climbing when he discovers that it makes her feel strong and becomes a great chef after he learns that the perfect pesto sauce makes her swoon. Cat starts to feel like her old self again - confident and beautiful - as long as Nate's around. Even when he discourages her from entering the Real Woman Project, a design competition for plus-sized apparel, she reasons that he's just trying to prevent old body image wounds from splitting wide open again.

But when Cat goes home with Nate for Thanksgiving, she discovers something shocking from his recent past that proves that he hasn’t always been so encouraging of women of all shapes and sizes. Cat has no idea what to think, but she does know one thing - this might destroy their relationship before it's even had a chance to get off the ground.

Before Cat can figure out whether the real Nate is the sensitive, adoring guy she fell in love with, or an undercover asshole, she'll have to finally feel comfortable in her own skin - even if it means leaving him forever.
My Thoughts
I have had these books on my wish list for a while, so when I saw Picture Perfect was free on amazon I knew it was a sign telling me I HAD to get it, and with one click I had it ready and waiting, and it didn't really have to wait that long as I dropped everything to read this.
Within two chapters of Picture Perfect my heart was breaking for Cat, going from someone who thinks she has it all, boyfriend, great friends, fantastic body, and a modelling job, to someone who's boyfriend isn't interested, friends who don't act as friendly, and a body she doesn't think of as amazing.

I struggle with my own body image, I have done sine I was in senior school and someone made one little comment to me, from then on I only ever saw myself as fat. Looking back at photos I can't believe how skinny I really was, not stick thin skinny, just normal skinny for my age, but that comment devastated me, and even to this day I refuse to wear clothes that are too tight, I don't wear skirts or dresses in case they show off my fat parts. It's demoralising and ridiculous how much that comment affected me, and seeing how Cat struggles with new new body size was something I could easily relate to and empathise with. She is full of self doubt and it is clearly portrayed in the pages. We see her struggling ever day to try to live in this new body and make the most of it. While she has a great friend in Joey, who is so supportive and caring towards Cat, it doesn't help Cat think differently. Joey quickly steps in to help her friend in need, and takes her to speak to someone. But these meeting only help Cat slightly and it takes something drastic for Cat to really see the truth. Cat is a character I can see myself in, and this it what makes her unique for me, it's very rare that I can find a character that appeals to me on a deeper level, someone who I can easily relate to (minus the modelling part, obviously).

I love how supportive Joey is towards Cat and how she tries to make her see sense in the reality of the situation, and not the reality Cat sees. She is what a best friend ought to be like.
Nate.....what can I say about him. I love the connection they have from the past, and how he fumbles his words when he speaks to Cat. I love how he is persistent in showing his feelings towards Cat, and almost makes her see herself in a new light. I do have some issues with how much she actually relied on him to make herself feel better and more confident, and while the relationship isn't necessary a bad one, I do think Cat should have taken a step back to really evaluate herself and use Nathan less as a crutch, and more as a person.

Picture perfect was a great read and a real eye opening one too. I ended up staying up till 2.30am to finish this book, and it was definitely worth the lack of sleep. Seeing how Cat tried to overcome her self doubt and self confidence issues was a slow process. Yes there were times when she seemed to find her strength again, but a lot of it did revolve around Nate, and I know he is being supportive and encouraging for her, he just needed to take a step back. However when a secret from the past comes back to haunt them, Cat is shocked and hurt, and THIS is the force that drives her, it makes her SEE what an amazing person she really is, what she is really capable of and basically kicks her up the butt and makes her do something about her confidence, or lack of.  What Cat creates from this shocking past sounded absolutely amazing and I would have loved to have seen some of her creations, the only question I have after finishing Picture Perfect is did she win? :)

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