Two reviews

Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult

From the back cover:

To the outside world, they seemed to have it all.  Cassie Barrett, a renowned anthropologist, and Alex Rivers, one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, met on the set of a motion picture in Africa.  They shared childhood tales, toasted the future, and declared their love in a fairy-tale wedding.  But when they returned to California, something altered the picture of their perfect marriage.  A frightening pattern took shape – a cycle of hurt, denial, and promises, thinly veiled by glamour.  Torn between fear and something that resembled love, Cassie wrestled with questions she never dreamed she would face:  How could she leave?  Then again, how could she stay?

My thoughts:

This book was pretty ok.  I enjoyed the way Picoult started the novel; Cassie had amnesia for the first 100 pages from some sort of accident or event that we did not know anything about (and neither did she).  And slowly, as Cassie begins to remember the event that caused her to forget her entire past, she starts to remember.  And in the remembering, she tells us her story.  Picoult’s masterful story telling is at it again in this book; I really think she is an excellent weaver of stories and really illustrates her characters’ personalities so well that you understand them and sometimes even like the most flawed of characters.  But although I enjoyed the book and got through it very quickly, it wasn’t as good as some of her others.  There was not nearly as much suspense, not too many unanswered questions throughout, and it was definitely missing a twist, especially since I’m so used to major twists in Picoult’s books.  If you are a fan of hers, though, I would still recommend reading this one.

Rating:  85 out of 100.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

From amazon.com:

With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie’s intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance–until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?

My thoughts:

Wow did I love this book.  Seriously, I had been wanting to read it for so long, but kept putting it off because for some strange reason, I assumed I wouldn’t like it.  But really, it is such an excellent story and I LOVED the character of Charlie.  None of the other characters were really fleshed out, but Charlie (obviously he was the narrator) was so wonderful to read.  This book was incredibly sad for me too, I found myself feeling very depressed about midway through the book and continuing throughout.  But still it is such an excellent story and I will be recommending this to everyone I know.

Rating: 95 out of 100.

And Flowers for Algernon is book 2 for my TBR challenge and book 1 for the What’s In a Name challenge.

Read Alessandra’s review here.