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AUTHOR INTERVIEW AND REVIEW
ABOUT THE BOOK!
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.
1. Welcome to my blog, Alessandra! First, I want to say that I really enjoyed Picture Perfect and am wondering how you got the idea and story for it?
Thank you SO MUCH!!! I’m so delighted to be here, truly.
And OMG, I’m so glad you enjoyed Picture Perfect! I actually got the idea for the story waaaay back in 2009. Glamour magazine ran a short article on how to love your body, and it was accompanied by a little picture of a nude model looking gorgeous. The incredible thing about this model wasn’t that she was plus sized – which she was – but that she was caught in a candid moment and then – get this – her body was NOT PHOTOSHOPPED. In fact, the photo shows her facing the sun, laughing, and sporting a very noticeable bunch of belly flab and some stretch marks. (The article about her is here: http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2009/08/on-the-cl-the-picture-you-cant.html) And here’s her picture:
And guess what? She’s totally gorgeous, totally comfortable, and totally proud of how she looks.
It got me wondering whether nude modeling might do a world of good for me and some of my friends who struggled with body image. I never did try it, though. ;)
When I decided to write a New Adult novel, the idea re-hit me like a Mack truck, and I was off!
2. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in writing? And why New Adult?
I’ve been dreaming up stories since I was a little kid, but only seriously got into writing when my career got a bit saggy a couple years after grad school. I didn’t have much meaningful work, and I’m the sort of girl who hates to be idle. So I thought I’d tackle the whole novel-writing thing.
I actually drafted Picture Perfect when some friends of mine who work with college students told me that their students were slowly giving up the YA they’d come to adore in high school. I had this story idea, so I thought, why not write it and see if it turns out?
3. Are you working on other projects/books? Anything you can tell us about them? :)
Right now I’m working on a story called SUBJECT TO CHANGE, which is about Cat’s best friend, Joey. She’s always followed all the rules in life, and dreamed of being a doctor. When her father’s dying wish is that she become a doctor, and creates a trust fund for her premed tuition, that’s the only path she can take. But then, it becomes increasingly clear to her that she’s just not cut out for premed. What’s worse is that the Professor for the business gen-ed she has to take paired her with Hawk - a tattooed, strung out loser for the huge class project. Even her easy classes won’t be easy.
When they have their first project meeting, though, Joey learns that Hawk isn’t everything he seems. He gives her a ride home in the pouring rain, and with one sexy kiss, shows her that what she always wanted may not be what she’ll always want. It turns out that Hawk’s much more that a strung out delinquent. He’s comfortable playing by his own rules, but can he teach Joey to make even one decision for herself?
(And, yes, both Cat and Nate will have cameos. I promise.)
4. How did the book title PICTURE PERFECT came about? Were there any other titles you can share with us, if any?
My good friend and fellow New Adult writer Paisley Grant came up with it. She’s awesome at titles. All I have to do is send her a blurb and she spits out like five titles and then I pick. I can’t remember the other ones now, but I loved Picture Perfect because it has a double meaning. Someone can BE “picture perfect,” or it could be a directive to someone, daring them to “picture perfect.” And that’s kind of what the story’s about. I love it.
5. And finally, what message would you want readers of PICTURE PERFECT to take away from the story?
Basically, that feeling good about yourself can’t be based on what size you are, what clothes you’re wearing, or anything like that – it all comes down to feeling comfortable in your own skin. And that other people can help you get there, but ultimately, it’s up to you.
And now here's my review of PICTURE PERFECT!
Title: Picture Perfect
Author: Alessandra Thomas
Release Date: March 26th 2013
Genres: NA, Contemp, Romance
When I read the summery for Picture Perfect, I just knew I had to read it asap. First, I'm obsessed with NA right now and second, this book is all about positive body image. Which seriously, everyone needs to read about right now. I had such high hopes for this book and it didn't disappoint a bit.
I know this may not seem like a big deal to people but I adored that the main character is a fashion design major! My childhood dream was to become a fashion designer myself and I loved reading about someone who is actually learning to be that. Oh, and I loved how the author incorporated that into the story and how fitting it was. You'll get what I mean when you read it. ;)
Nate is so going up in my book boyfriends list! WOW! He's like, my ideal guy. Even though he's amazing and nearly perfect, I love that he's got some flaws that are really realistic and true to his character. I also loved the mystery aspect of what has happened in his past and how he changed. I thought that wasn't something you'd see in a NA book before and really liked that.
Cat is one of the most likeable characters ever. She's the type of person you'd like as a friend. I honestly don't have anything bad to say about her. You just can't help feeling sorry for what she has been through but at the same time, you love reading about her journey and how she finally accepts her shape and size.
I loved the romance! Hehe. Them together was so hilarious and sweet! Definitely my fave part of the book. The sexual tension was so high!!! Romance peeps are going to love this.
I think every woman should read this, wait, actually no, I think everyone should read this book. You won't be able to get the powerful message inside this book out of your head anytime soon.