Picture Perfect by Alessandra Thomas
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.
By: Alessandra Thomas
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Cat Mitchell was a supermodel, she had the perfect skinny body and everyone wanted to be her. After a horrible riding accident, Cat wasn’t able to keep the same body that she was used too; instead she now had 60 more pounds to work with and a steal rod in her leg. Going back to normal life after she recovered was difficult for Cat. She no longer felt beautiful or wanted. The guy Cat thought she was sort of dating acted like she didn’t exist not to mention he had a girlfriend that he was dating the entire time he was messing around with Cat. Cat felt depressed. She missed her old body, her old life of modeling, and she didn’t know how to continue in her circumstances. Joey, Cat’s roommate and friend suggested that she go see a therapist.
Cat’s visit with a therapist did her a lot of good. The therapist put her in touch with a professor of an art class for Cat to model for a nude modeling class. Cat didn’t survive the entire class because she thought one of the guy’s was making fun of her body because it has cellulite. This one modeling class slowly began to change everything for Cat. Cat begins to learn to be comfortable in her skin and be okay with the body that she has. She may not be a size 1 anymore but she is definitely still beautiful.
I really liked Cat’s story. I felt bad that she had to deal with the issue of shattering the bone in her leg but having to adjust after gaining weight with her surgery and physical therapy. A lot of women can relate to Cat in the sense that they don’t feel like they are beautiful because they are overweight or because they are a size 12 instead of a size 1. It is amazing to me that in the society that we live in today, a plus size model is considered to be someone who wears a size 10 or more when in reality that is the size of a normal woman. When I think of plus size, I think of someone who is generally in the size 20s or more. I don’t want that to sound rude, I just think that society has an obscure way of looking at women.
I don’t want to get to personal in my own life for this review, however I could relate to Cat’s feelings about her body. There have been plenty of times that I felt like I was fat and definitely not beautiful and I am smaller than a size 12. Society and people in general have a way of making you feel like you aren’t good enough or beautiful enough unless you have this tiny waist and no hips. Unfortunately no matter how small my waist may be, I would never be able to get rid of these hips. I know that it is hard sometimes to feel beautiful in my own skin when the world makes you feel anything but normal. I think Cat’s story was amazing and it shows that you don’t have to be skinny to feel or be beautiful and I completely agree.
This book was amazing. The plot was really good. Thomas was able to get her point across and was able to make this story relatable. The character development was great. That is a lie, the character development was fantastic. I loved Cat before I finished the first chapter. This novel had some great swoon worthy parts. There are a lot of ups and downs in the college world and I think Thomas was able to portray the ups and downs and the insecurities perfectly. Cat had to learn to love herself and her body, I couldn’t think of a better topic or journey to read about.
Alessandra Thomas is an amazing author. Her writing is great, I was blown away. This is her debut novel and I already want to read her next book installment. Alessandra Thomas has a new fan. To kick start a career with a novel like “Picture Perfect” is great. I think “Picture Perfect” has a lot to offer for readers. Not only is this a great New Adult Contemporary novel but it has a great message for readers. Alessandra Thomas, I wish you the very best in your career, I am looking forward to your next novel, I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with. Hopefully I will get to be a chance on that tour too.
I give “Picture Perfect” five out of five bookshelves.
Hi Ali! Thank you so much for having me over today to talk about my debut novel, PICTURE PERFECT!
Ali: What was the concept and inspiration for PICTURE PERFECT?
Aless: The concept for Picture Perfect came quite easily. I know a lot of girls in college, not to mention remember the whole thing really vividly. One of the biggest day-to-day concerns was our bodies. We were going to go on a diet, we needed to work out more, we were so much smaller in high school. I wanted to address the issue of body image, but this is a book, after all. We need a stronger hook.
I decided to make Cat the perfect model – tall and lean – who had a really bad horseriding accident, shattered her leg, and gained sixty pounds during her nearly-yearlong recovery. When she returned back to school and hung out with her smaller sorority sisters and last year’s friend with benefits who now just wants to be friends, she loses all her confidence.
Her therapist prescribes nude modeling as a way to get her body confidence back again. But it’s not the modeling that does it – it’s the hot artist in the classroom, drawing every curve of her body. They hit it off, and the story of Cat getting her groove back goes from there.
As for inspiration, my friends in college were big ones, but the nude modeling part actually came from a Glamour magazine article from 2009. I remember reading it back then – an issue about how to feel comfortable with your body. At the corner of the article was a small picture, about three inches across.
After that, I had several conversations with friends of mine who are art and design majors in college. They explained to me that the rounder models were the ones everybody wanted – they were the most beautiful. Curves are an ideal shape for artists to draw, much more than the sharp lines and angles of a really slim body. And they told me the plus-sized models walked in like they were so proud of their bodies that they acted like it was no big deal to be on a big platform surrounded by the sound of scratching art pencils, stark naked.
And then it hit me – if the nude modeling helped to make those models more confident, it could probably do the same for my character.
There you have it! The concept and inspiration behind Picture Perfect!
Thanks so much, again, for having me. You are wonderful!
Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since she’s not, 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.
BLOG TOUR STOPS