Monday, April 23, 2012

Best Romance Novel: Perfect by Judith McNaught

Four years ago, my Mum asked me over the phone if I wanted anything. She procured a mysterious book called Perfect by Judith McNaught. Mysterious because both of us had no clue what kind of book she bought for me. If she knew what is entailed, she'd probably be a little wary or appalled although there's really nothing appalling or offensive about any of McNaught's novel; it's your stereotypical mild contemporary romance though I wouldn't lump McNaught with the stereotypical author. Besides, my parents trust me enough to never meddle with my choices. :P

The story itself is surreal but wait and see! Zachary Benedict is at the height of invincibility albeit a terrible childhood: he's a well-loved Academy award winner, he has wealth, charms and devastatingly good looks.. until he was wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. Then, we have Julie Mathison who's someone we can probably call the perfect 22-year old woman with a sketchy past as an orphan; a kind and lovely teacher who owed her transformation  to her foster family. Zach threatens to destroy her perfect life when he escaped from prison, met and abducted Julie, forcing her to drive him away. Thus, begins a very hazardous journey to love, trust, forgiveness and redemption.

At its core, it's irrefutably about two person. And you're inclined to think: oh brother, what the fuck, this is going to be about them and their crappy, unbelievable rendezvous together. I understand, what are the chances that you'll be attracted to your abductor and vice versa? (well, Zach is a movie star so that changes things a bit haha?) You'll prove yourself wrong when you read it because what I liked was that it's not just about the connection between both of them. This isn't a fluffy read.

An easy and pleasuring read would obsessively hover over its protagonists and sure, that'd be nice, you know. But, McNaught challenges that by telling us: no, it's not just about them. The story is about other characters too and their relationship with Zach and Julie. It's about making peace with their past and their almost lost future. All of which I thought was nicely played.

Perfect was perhaps my first actual romance novel. Prior to Perfect, most of the romance stories I've read were not wholly romance stories as romance is the sub-plot in lieu it being the actual plot like Perfect. I stayed up late at night with the table lamp reading this years ago; wanting to know their fate and at the same time, not wanting to finish it. Those were good memories.

I don't read these romance novels anymore (I probably will if I want something light) but if you ask me for a romance recommendation, this will definitely be my pick and you'll be impressed -- I lent it to my friend Elizabeth and she loved it and a couple of my friends as well. I've read it a couple of times and well, each time's still pretty darn perfect. You'll never forget your firsts after all. (no sexual innuendo intended, not really) ★★★★★

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