Tuesday, August 6, 2013

REVIEW: PICTURING PERFECT BY MELISSA BROWN

Life may not turn out like we planned, but sometimes that’s what makes it perfect…
Hadley Foster has always been a planner. But, since the age of nineteen, things haven’t exactly gone according to plan… not at all. And the changes continue to mount when a trip to Europe with her best friend starts a domino effect in all aspects of her life. Suddenly, the future she had envisioned for herself seems unlikely to happen. It’s time to make a new plan… or accept the dominoes as they fall.

Jason Kelly has a great life. He’s a successful self-published writer who’s living his dreams. But, something is missing. Hadley Foster. Letting her slip through his fingers is one of his biggest regrets. Over time, he had to accept the idea of being without his first love as he watched her fall in love with someone else.

When circumstances bring Jason and Hadley back into one another’s lives, they’re forced to deal with their past, their present and the possibility of a future together.

**Note from the author: You do not need to read either Bouquet Toss or Champagne Toast to follow this story. It is a stand-alone book that connects to Champagne Toast. **

Paperback, 370 pages - Published June 11th, 2013
Received from Author/AToMR Tours in exchange for honest review.

Where to find Picturing Perfect:

Where to find Melissa Brown:


This book is the perfect cure for a bad book hangover and I should know because I was suffering a very bad one before I picked up this book. Within pages of reading my nerves, that were shot from a previous read, were soothed and I found that I was enjoying the story of Hadley and Jason.

Picturing Perfect had me a little bit apprehensive when I realized in the blurb that Melissa also wrote a title I had read called Bouquet Toss. It brings on the nerves because if you have or even have not read that book, let me tell you, it is a heart wrecker on an epic scale. But I am a trooper and dove right in with both feet....and it was nothing like that at all. This one is sweet, and loving and a beautifully written love story. 

Honestly, I knew the premise of the book and I was anticipating some seriously angsty times while reading and instead what I experienced was reading about two of the nicest characters I've run into in a long time. Hadley, when forced to accept her life was not going to go as planned, took the opportunities and events that occurred and handled them with grace. She wasn't a perfect person but she was so genuine and big hearted and I just loved how open she was to the new things that came her way. And Jason, my sweet, geeky Jason, endeared me to him from the start. His flirtatious smiles, the way he always knew just how to take care of Hadley, and even his willingness to aggressively seek what he wanted with Hadley was such a turn on. I loved reading about their past and present and their secret desires for the future.

The cover definitely gives a lot away even if the blurb doesn't, so yes I had an idea of what was to happen as well. I had to double check whose name is mentioned in the blurb because I wasn't quite sure how we would get from point a to point b once things got started....so I was surprised. It takes off in a good pace, and I always love that about a good book. Smooth pace, good writing, good ideas and not predictable during a predictable trope...pick this one up people! 

Of course this novel wasn't all sunshine and daisies...Tucker and his family provided some frustrating moments. Not only his lack of enthusiasm for ANY of Hadley's choices, but his inability to provide timely and proactive communication about anything made me want to smack him with my Kindle...repeatedly. Another source of concern was Hadley's mom. She was still struggling to cope with the death of her husband and there was always a tinge of concern about how she would handle all of the changes coming her way.

Yes, the vast majority of the drama came from these two places. On both accounts it was sad to see people more wrapped up in themselves, albeit for vastly different reasons...but there is nothing I hate worse than a man who doesn't step up and take care of his responsibilities. It takes two to tango, and fictional or not...I am not a fan of Tucker Montgomery. Hadley's mother was a different source. It is hard when a parent is lost and the remaining parent has to grieve but still live for their children if they have any...so that was heartbreaking to see but very realistic I thought.

The underlying question about whether Jason and Hadley could have a relationship and sustain it through the birth of a child provided the greatest source of tension and rightfully so. Neither Hadley nor Jason wanted to hurt or confuse the new baby in any way and so by the end they have a huge decision to make about how to or if to move forward in their current state.

They are the most mature young 20-somethings I've read in a long, long time. Obviously age does not mean maturity or an ability to be self-sustaining and giving, but I loved that Hadley put herself and her baby first in all scenarios...even when the conversation or outcome was tough. But...like you said, and I will say again here...Jason is the best guy ever....and that I have read in a while. I wish they could've gotten their wires uncrossed earlier in life, but obviously fate had other plans.

I really enjoyed this novel and now would like to read her others...and maybe even see one for Auden? Haha, we are so much alike that I was immediately looking for that too as soon as I was done. Poor Auden has some finding of herself to do as well and is making some major changes to do that...so I don't think we're done with her until the lady tells us 100% for sure..since obviously my information gathering adventure was unsuccessful today! 

Shelley: 4 Stars
Courtney: 4 Stars

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