Rachel Thompson's Reviews > Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect by Julie Ortolon
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's review
Dec 16, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-romance

I downloaded this for free for my Sony e-reader. Other reviewers have said this is considered a Christian fiction, but I would heavily disagree. After checking out Sony's online store, the two follow-up books are listed as contemporary romance, but I guess for those that don't like graphic sex scenes, be aware this book has plenty of that.

After one of Maddy's college friends releases a book, How to Have a Perfect Life, Maddy, Amy, and Christine reach an agreement to go out into the world and best their biggest fears. This book tackles Maddy, a passionate artist who's had to put her art on the backburner after her husband was diagnosed with cancer. But now her husband has been dead for a year and it's time for her to put herself out there. The perfect opportunity comes along when the mother of her high school boyfriend invites her to work at a summer camp in Sante Fe. Unfortunately, she'll be working for the same high school boyfriend, the one whose heart she broke when she wouldn't make a commitment to him, choosing her art instead.

To say the plot is a bit contrived is an understatement. I found it strange that this woman would contact Maddy out of the blue with a job offer when she hasn't spoken to her in years. Maddy would have expected her to hold a grudge after the terrible things she did to the woman's son, but apparently that's all ancient history to everyone but Joe, who makes it clear from the first minute he sees her that he doesn't want her there. There's a bunch of talking about their feelings -- a few parts had me rolling my eyes, because seriously, I don't know anyone who talks like these people do.

This book would fall easily into the chicklit category if a man wasn't so clearly the main attraction, and I generally don't like chicklit. It annoys me with all the talk of clothing and men. Well, this one features both. Even Joe takes a few moments to notice every detail of whatever Maddy's wearing -- how many men really do that?

Maddy was a bit of an annoying character for me as she always wanted to talk through her feelings with Joe instead of just leaving him alone when he was upset. She was pushy and obnoxious in that respect and yet had this strange idea that she shouldn't be successful because then people might hate her. She's had a fear of success for most of her life because her mother was the same way. This whole aspect of her character didn't make any sense to me, but it was a good way to introduce a major conflict to the story.

Other than that, I would have preferred to see a bit more interaction with the campers since the story takes place at a summer camp. Most of the action takes place after the campers have bedded down or in Sante Fe, as well as the month or so before and after the camp shuts down. Still, I did enjoy this book and might look into the other two books in the series. It was a fun, enjoyable read, although it could have been so much better if it was written as more of a romance and less of a chicklit.

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