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Picture Perfect: The Jodi Arias Story: A Beautiful Photographer, Her Mormon Lover, and a Brutal Murder

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  499 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews

Travis Alexander was a handsome, hard-working, practicing Mormon who lived in Mesa, Arizona. His good looks and easygoing manner made him popular with everyone, especially the ladies. So when he was found with a bullet wound in the face and his throat slashed, the brutal murder sent shock waves throughout his community. Who could have done something so s
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by St. Martin's Press (first published April 30th 2013)
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Apr 24, 2015 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


I had only really heard snippets of the Jodi Arias case before I picked up this book. What I had heard, primarily through TV coverage of her trial, basically painted Jodi as a psychopathic liar. Now, after reading many facts pertaining to the murder, my feelings about her are much the same. Jodi Arias was, and is, a very disturbed individual.

I can't really say I liked this book, because how can you like something about someone's brutal murder? Despite my hesitance to
like' the accou
♥ Marlene♥
This is a case I heard my friends talk about on facebook so I wanted to read a book about it. In the end I tried 2 books but both assumed from the beginning that the reader knew everything so they were constantly referring to what had happened while i did not know and I did not like to be spoiled.

A few days ago I asked is there really no book that writes about this in a chronological order and they told me this book was quite good so I took a chance and bought it and they were right.

I love it. M
Sep 11, 2013 AvidReader47 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picture Perfect by Shanna Hogan is the best book I've read so far about the Jodi Arias case. Ms. Hogan's writing flows beautifully and her attention to detail is perfect. Loved the back stories on both Jodi and Travis as well as their relationship. The author leaves her opinion until the very end so that the reader can make their own assumption on whether or not they think Jodi is guilty. Highly recommended to anyone who has followed this case or is new to it.
Melissa Bond
Nov 03, 2013 Melissa Bond rated it really liked it
I hate having to say I really liked it for a rating, but it's simply because of how it was written. I was quite surprised of Shanna Hogan's insight into the entire case and its history. Compared to the other major book written on the case, Hogan brings much more to the table for everyone to walk away with a complete picture of Arias and Alexander as possible. I came into watching the trial much later than most, completely drawn in by the manipulation Arias was able to do being behind bars. Thoug ...more
Tanya W
Nov 21, 2014 Tanya W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, very worst narrator ever.

The narration was so bad that I was trying to figure out if it was a robot (some kind of technology so you don't have to pay a narrator at all). I looked it up, and I found plenty of negative commentary about narrator on audible, where all the reviews are based on listening to the book. By the end of the book I became a little more "used to it".

About the book, 4 stars because it offered fair and objective treatment of a really awful case... but I can't say
LA Carlson
Nov 15, 2013 LA Carlson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Perhaps one of the more disturbing true crime books I've read in some time. The warning signs were clear about Arias from the beginning and yet, the intelligent and seemingly successful Alexander ignored them because he was obsessed with having sex with her. His close friends began to question her behavior and if that isn't a sure sign something is wrong I'm not sure what is. I didn't follow the case in the news other than seeing a few headlines here and there. While the media may want us to bel ...more
This is MUCH more informative than JVM's book. Even though I watched the trial and followed the case closely, there were plenty of details in here that were news to me. I also like that the author didn't constantly insert her opinion throughout the book. She stuck to the facts. She did, however, give her thoughts on the case in the afterword. If you're going to read a book about Jodi Arias, I'd definitely recommend this one over JVM's.
Elizabeth Gilleland
Excellent book.

Ms Hogan grabs your attention immediately and never lets go. I literally spent the whole night with Travis and Jodi, unable to stop reading. Due to personal reasons, I avoided the media spectacle in late 2008-present (although you'd have to live in a cave not to have heard about Jodi Arias). Hogan has done her research; you really get to know quite a bit about the personalities, drives, desires, religious implications and motivations of the people involved. While reading this boo
Susan Becraft
Dec 16, 2015 Susan Becraft rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story about obsession and murder

I was among the millions who became obsessed by the Jodi Arias trial, having never before heard of the young woman who slaughtered her lover. Some trials are black and white, and this was no exception. I grew to despise every facet of Jodi Arias, who in my mind was nothing but a cold-blooded killer of an exemplary young man.

I began Picture Perfect, the only book I read about Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander, because I have great respect for Shanna Hogan
T.M. Carper
Apr 17, 2015 T.M. Carper rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic
One interesting part about this novel was that the first few chapters focused exlcusively on the victim, Travis Alexander, rather than his killer. The first 2/3 of the book focus on the events leading up to the fatal day in his home and the immediate aftermath. Only a small portion focused on the legal proceedings. (I suspect there will be additionial information on the legal side in future editions as the legal battle is on-going).

It's hard to tackle such a public case and Hogan does her best t
Terri Durling
I can't seem to stay away from true crime stories and this one delivered. I have had a morbid (I admit it at least) curiosity about Jodi Arias ever since I heard about her murdering her Mormon boyfriend, Travis Alexander. It's a true to life "Fatal Attraction" kind of story about two individuals who end up destroying each other. Travis isn't perfect but basically is a very well liked person who has made the most of a difficult childhood and ends up a success story. He is a positive, upbeat kind ...more
May 08, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
I read this because I had heard of the Jodi Arias trial and something about her murdering her Mormon lover and wanted to know more about it. This book nicely fit the bill. The author spends a lengthy amount of book space (one might argue too much book space) introducing the reader to Travis Alexander and his all too short life. Over the space of 150+ pages, the reader comes to know Travis and really feels for him when he realizes too late that Jodi Arias is a sociopath who is clearly off her roc ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Liltiki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Make all the fun of me you want... but I was obsessed with this trial. OBSESSED! I could write a book about it. Shanna did a really good job and this will be of interest to those that haven't heard all the gory details (is that possible?) The problem for the books that have come out just as the verdict was given (She will be sentenced to Life or Death sometime this year), doesn't add to what we trial watchers know. But Shanna did had access to many things the public did not; I really appreciated ...more
May 21, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book aboout the lives and beginnings of Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias and how their relationship turned deadly.

In depth account with factual details about the lives of Travis and Jodi. How they met and the relationship they had with each other as well as others in their lives and the circumstances that led to the night when Travis was savagely killed in his own home.

Includes some pictures and quotes from interviews and the trial which led to the verdict that Jodi spending the r
Feb 03, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Borrowed from library.

FS: "Slivers of light pierced the white wood blinds, illuminating a single window on the second floor."

LS: "But Jodi Arias will never be more than a cruel, calculating killer."

You truly don't know who you are dealing with...crazy is crazy, folks. Yes, he lead her on and he played a big part in her mental stability. I would see they would part only to get back together again. The book would say he called her and I'd shake my head. I don't know if I could ever be as
What a great true crime book that is a definite page-turner! The whole twisted tale of the romance between Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias is spellbinding. I have never, in all the true crime books I've read, come across a love story that goes as wrong as this one did. I believe Jodi was psychotic practically from the beginning. The unraveling of her is fascinating. Mental illness is alive and well in this country and a lot of them do not seek help as they feel there is nothing wrong with them. ...more
Laura Beth
Jan 09, 2016 Laura Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An exhaustive chronicle of this notorious case that only furthered my sense of pity and sorrow for Jodi Arias. While violence is never the answer to any problem, everyone has their breaking point: everyone. The reader walks away with a profound dislike for the victim, Travis "T-Dogg" Alexander, who was a con man, a sexual deviant, and a liar. This book is also a damning few hundred pages against the prejudices and ridiculous beliefs of The Church of Latter Day Saints and its adherents. Were the ...more
Dysmonia Kuiper
Jan 15, 2014 Dysmonia Kuiper rated it liked it
Shelves: the-352
This book really wasn't that bad, but because of the nature of the topic, I think it had to be written, edited, and published very quickly, and this shows. There is mention of the "corroded" artery in Travis Alexander's neck, which had me giggling until I banged my head on the coffee table (yes, I'm going to hell). That little tidbit is available on page 203, paragraph four or so. There were a couple other glaring errors: for instance, the written description of Alexander's tombstone says his pi ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Bagman rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the very bored
Yeah, I watched the trial. Yeah, I think that she was proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. No, I don't feel sorry for her. But, I did think that it would be interesting to learn more details concerning the principles involved. No, this book did not satisfy that desire.

The book provided very few, if any, facts that weren't elaborated upon during the trial. It was not written in an unbiased manner, but rather skewed toward the victim (understandable to a certain degree). This resulted in a b
Dec 28, 2013 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm surprised by all the very positive reviews of this book. To be fair, I'll bet this book is heaps better if you didn't obsessively watch the trial. As someone who watched court every single day there wasn't much new here, except for interviews and quotes from email and text exchanges between Travis and his friend Taylor. Those messages gave me more insight into Travis' feelings toward Lisa leading up to his murder. Watching the trial I didn't get that same sense of chronology the book provide ...more
Jun 06, 2015 Sae-chan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
There was no doubt in my mind that Ms Arias did the deed. The fact that the phone was switched off, there was no bank traces whatsoever during that 24+ hours, and the gas cans she borrowed from her friend. She went there to kill.

But there were also questions that left unanswered for me. Like how she could overpower Mr Alexander? And not only shot but slit his throat open, that was not something you did everyday. And what really happened with the last 3 shots of the camera, who pressed the shutte
Emma Tolliday
Aug 24, 2015 Emma Tolliday rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually first watched the film Jodi Arias: Dirty little secret which caused me to search for a book on the crime. I found this book and it really really consumed me. I managed to read it in a couple of days and thought it was written really well. Its inspired me to search for other books. The case involved obsession, denial, love, lust and manipulation. I don't deny Jodi was an unstable, compulsive liar but I am not convinced of Travis' purity and innocence. A very complex case leaving the re ...more
Apr 19, 2014 Gem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know about this story until I was watching CNN one day. I thought, who are these people? Why are they making a big deal out of this? Then I read this book, and I understood why.

No one of sound mind would kill the way Travis was killed. Regardless of him using Jodi for his sexual urges and needs, he didn't deserve a brutal death. Travis is not innocent in all this, of course. Perhaps he really pushed Jodi to her emotional and psychological limit. So now, Jodi will spend the rest of her l
Lynn Fergusson
Jul 31, 2014 Lynn Fergusson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I've followed this case since the beginning and watched the trial live so I was familiar with most of the things talked about in the book. There were a few things I didn't know that were in the book. It was good to read it in a story form with everything in chronological order and not jumping all over the place as it did when in court. I would recommend this book for all true crime readers.
Feb 04, 2014 Jk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you did not watch the trial, this book will give you a pretty good scope of what went on. It does have some information not made known in the trial.(or in other books) I did get a little irritated at how it was written - like the author was there and knew what was going on in people's minds. Some assertions were presented as fact but how that conclusion was reached is never explained. Easy to read.
I read the paperback and listened to the Audible editions.

This was the second book I read on the Jodi Arias case and I've seen the case covered on the Snapped and Deadly Sins TV shows. I didn't follow the trial during it's run.

This book has a timeline that is easy to follow and gives decent background information on both Travis and Jodi before they met and after. The trial is covered nicely, but keep in mind I didn't follow the actual trial like many others have. I also like that the author kept
Lena Jo
Apr 30, 2014 Lena Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fan of Jodi Arias, I enjoyed this book. Why did she kill her lover? Hell hath no fury... I thought the author wrote the facts in a readable book that wasn't out to get Jodi, but just tell the story as it unfolded. I would recommend this book to any one who enjoys true crime. Writer is in the caliber with Ann Rule.
Madeleine McLaughlin
Jul 14, 2015 Madeleine McLaughlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Real page turner here. Good reporting and research about the murder of Travis Alexander by Jodi Arias. Goes into the destructive relationship between the two and how they couldn't seem to really get away from each other. Tragic but insightful, if you like true crime books you must read this one.
May 15, 2015 Kimmy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because I've been following this case for years. I was turned off right away due to the excessive grammatical errors; was this book edited? I don't think the author/editor has ever heard of a comma. One of the biggest mistakes was the misspelling of the carotid artery, which was spelled corroded. Really? Aside from the ridiculous errors, I found the story to be lacking. The dates were often incorrect the story didn't follow a cohesive timeline. I still kind of enjoyed the b ...more
Valerie Carpenter parzyck
This book was excellent! Well written. It does a great job showing how the relationship unfolded and you can really see the downward spiral and complete obsession Jodi Arias had with Travis Alexander. There is no doubt the jury was right with their decision!
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