Picture Perfect by Alessandra Thomas
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Source: For blog tour
Description from Goodreads:
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.
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.
(This book contains sex and adult language.)
When I first started this book, I was wary. From the description, I was worried that Cat's body issues would make her a totally annoying character, and that she'd bore me to death with whining. And if I thought that, WHY did I keep reading? Because I was looking forward to Nate. And, ahahah, he was worth it. But he wasn't the only thing I ended up liking about this book. Actually, there are a lot of things I LOVE about this book.
I love how Alessandra Thomas took on the topic of body issues and formed a beautiful, relatable story that isn't over the top, and doesn't fall flat. I do admit that at the beginning of this book, I was somewhat bored and saying "When will Nate get heeeeeeeere?" But then once Nate got there, the story exploded into something beautiful that I truly enjoyed reading--even when Nate wasn't around. I liked Cat and my attention was held by what she went through.
Cat: At first, I thought she was a little whiny, to be honest. But then as I learned more about her, I came to understand where she was coming from. And, goodness gracious, I don't think there is a girl on this earth that hasn't been in her position. No, I don't mean the leg issues, I mean the part where Cat just CAN'T see herself as beautiful because of how much she weighs. Cat was just a downright relatable character, and she had spunk. I liked it. I also liked to watch her character grow and become more comfortable. If I were to meet this girl in real life, I'd give her a high-five. Seriously.
Nate: First and foremost, I don't think he's an a$$hole. I think he was just going through his OWN issues ina horrible manner. And you know what? He fixed it up. He's the sweetest guy EVER now. I kid you not, he truly is. I did a character interview with him for the blog tour ;) So, yeah. Nate? Is my boy. I heart him and I support him. Mistakes happen, but we just have to learn from them and move on and I commend Nate for doing that.
Wow, was that a long rant of me defending Nate or what? He was seriously awesome in the character interview...maybe that adds to my feelings of adoration for him just a wee bit.
Plot. A relatable contemporary New Adult story that DIDN'T feel like anyone was talking from their soapbox. Yay! Alessandra did a great job with forming this story--from the issues, to the actually, you know, PLOT. I was somewhat shocked when the truth came out. Just saying...
Nate! And Cat. THESE TWO. They are great for each other. They work through BOTH of their issues together. It made me smile to watch that. Nate...aww, he had me from day one. Cat and Nate together? I don't think there could be anything better for these two characters, in every sense of everything. Emotions, issues, EVERYTHING. They are quite the pair.
The ending. I suggest you do not worry. I told you Nate was the sweetest guy ever, right?
Overall, Picture Perfect is a relatable story that approaches the topic of body image issues with a stunning gracefulness that kept me turning the pages. Once this book sucks you in, you are IN. I'm really looking forward to what Alessandra writes next! This girl has SKILL.