Monday, April 07, 2008
Picture Perfect, by D. Anne Love
Phoebe Trask has a number of problems to deal with: a mother who leaves to pursue a career, a pushy woman who moves in next door and is making the moves on Dad, protesters disrupting the July 4th parade, an assault on her Dad, a boyfriend with family troubles of his own, and so on it goes. Every day brings a new challenge and by the time one issue has been resolved, two more have appeared.
And that lack of a central plot is basically what sends this novel plummeting to the bottom of my ratings. In place of a story, we have an endless set of subplots, which might make the story realistic (life is not a novel) but does not make for an interesting read. The book, in sum, has no purpose (no lesson learned, no major obstacle overcome, no major change witnessed). And it also does not help that every issue is resolved easily. We build up a conflict but rather than allow it to climax, Love simply resolves it in a sentence or two and we're off to the next subplot. By the time we got to the death and dying subplot (yes, I realize that that is probably a spoiler), I was rolling my eyes and ready to just give up. So, let me save you the trouble and tell you to just give this book a pass.