2013 #Review Recap – Picturing Perfect series, by @AuthorAless

2013 Recap

The Final Post of the Year

Today is the last day of 2013, and with that, comes the last recapped review of the year. I saved one of my favorite books for the end. I’m bringing back my review for Picture Perfect by Alessandra Thomas and as an added bonus, also my review of Subject to Change.

In the first half of the year, I was randomly introduced to Alessandra Thomas and her book picture Perfect, on Twitter by none other than…Tiffany King. She was doing a giveaway for a book/author I’d never heard of, but knowing King and the authors she tries helping out, I had a good feeling about Thomas. I ended up winning a copy of PP, reading it, and loving it.

Later in the year, Subject to Change came out (a stand alone in the same series, so it can be read on its own). Yet another great book from Thomas. You can look in the reviews below to see why I enjoyed the books so much. But if you want it simply put, especially in PP, Alessandra wrote a book that I think I’ve been waiting for. Picture Perfect was an NA novel with some great substance, and I haven’t found that often enough this year. There’s a great story in her writing, great characters…she’s just an author to not pass up.

Being that this is the last post of 2013 (unless I can write up a review some time today), I should close this out with a small preview of what you’ll see in 2014. Alessandra Thomas has a 3rd book out there. I just haven’t read it…yet. Drop Everything Now is near the top of my TBR for 2014, so look out for that soon(ish) or grab a copy for yourself now and beat me to it 😉

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Picture Perfect

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Title: Picture Perfect (Picturing Perfect #1)
Author: Alessandra Thomas
Rating: 5/5 Stars

(This book contains sex and adult language.)

Fashion design major Cat Mitchell has a closet full of gorgeous clothes – and not a single thing fits. After two years of runway modeling 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…” (read the full description over on Goodreads)

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Something about this book caught my attention early on. With just the blurb along, I had a feeling that this book would be different than most of what I’ve been seeing lately. I wasn’t mistaken.

Picture Perfect is about a young woman coping with a life-changing event. She gained weight after an accident and the way she lives and views herself in life is altered drastically. While this is also a romance, there’s much more to the novel. Some of the concepts brought up range from being comfortable in your own skin, acknowledging what an actual ideal weight is, and more important than some other things, people can change in a variety of ways.

When I started this book, while I was excited, I had a slight worry that I wouldn’t be able to get into it because of a whiny main character. Cat was not whiny, big plus. I’ve read a few books in the past that have gotten annoying to continue reading due to a main character always whining about an issue like weight, that that type of voice has me putting down the book and moving along. As I said, Cat isn’t like that. She’s troubled, and she doesn’t have great self-esteem, but she’s not a whiner. At the heart of it, Cat is a strong woman who just needs a little push and a reason to find herself in this low point.

Nate’s also a great character. Really, most of the characters encountered in this book were great. Again, I wasn’t disappointed with Nate’s character. I’ve gotten a little jaded with seeing the stereotypical troubled, slightly abusive bad-boy love interest, that the female character melts into a puddle for. Nate’s refreshing. He’s a nice guy. I’m not saying he’s perfect, no character should be perfect, but he’s a little something different than most “book boyfriends” that I’ve run across.

Oh, and did I mention that there are a few sexy scenes? Well, there are. While some readers might be turned off from having “semi-graphic” (by that I really just mean that it’s described with a very mild erotic flavor, not that it’s creepy or over the top) sex scenes, I feel that it was a great tool to show Cat’s development over the course of the novel. I won’t get into specifics, but I’ll just say that through sex, one can explore the body and find comfort in one way or another.

So, yes, I enjoyed this novel. It was what I was expecting and more, to be honest. There’s a second novel coming out soon, which stars Cat’s roommate, Joey, who I didn’t really mention in here, but she’s fun and I’m looking forward to reading her story.

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You can grab a copy of Picture Perfect for FREE from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

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Subject to Change

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Title: Subject to Change (Picturing Perfect #2)
Author: Alessandra Thomas
Rating: 4/5 Stars

“Joey made her dad a deathbed promise that she would become a doctor, and dedicate herself to fighting the very cancer that took his life. There’s just one problem -three years into her pre-med classes, she’s struggling to stay on top of the curve, let alone prove she’s dazzling enough to earn a spot in an Ivy League medical school. In a Hail Mary move, she throws a basic Business 101 class into her semester schedule, banking on a perfect score to boost her GPA.

That is, until she’s paired for a final project with Hawk, the bartending, motorbike-riding, gorgeously bedheaded loser who falls asleep in class and communicates in one-word sentences.

Hawk does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, which sets Joey on edge – in every possible way…” (read the full description on Goodreads)

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I first met Joey’s character in Alessandra Thomas’ debut, Picture Perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed that book, and getting the chance to read another book relating to those characters…well, I just had to read it. While Subject to Change is in the Picturing Perfectseries, as is Picture Perfect, I liked that readers don’t necessarily have to read book one before reading this one. Though, I do suggest reading both just because they were great.

In Subject to Change we get to see another side of Joey and see what she’s going through in college and life. She’s a determined pre-med student striving to fulfill  a promise made to her deceased father. I respected this goal because while struggling through her workload and lack of understanding of some course work, she selflessly pushed on for her father. This is one of the driving forces in her character.

Like all great romances, in walks a guy to stir things up. I liked Hawk’s character as well. He was a great catalyst to Joey really finding herself. While is a bit of an asshole, he seemed to have enough good reasons for his attitude. It somehow worked for me.

While I enjoyed the story overall, I liked the characters, the plot, we get a little view of the city again (I liked that about Picture Perfect), I feel that a few spots were lacking and changed some of the feel of the story. I could have used a little more focus on Joey doing rounds, or a few more details into the project that Joey and Hawk were working on for class, though I do understand why it was a little vague to a point. I think aspects like this could have strengthened a few elements in the plot, as well as the decisions characters made.

I can’t leave the review off on a (very slight) negative note, can I? No, I won’t. It was a great book either way. Alessandra has made her way into my favorite author’s list through her second success (in my eyes at least). I’m looking forward to reading many more books from her,  for as long as she keeps writing them.

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Subject to Change can be purchased from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

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About the Author:

Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since that’s sadly untrue, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and girls falling in love and really living life for the first time.

When she’s not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other.

Picture Perfect is Aless’s first New Adult novel. She had so much fun writing it that it definitely won’t be her last.

Find out more:

 

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