Book Review: Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson

Last August, I attended the MOPs Convention with a handful of gals from my local group.  While we were there, I signed up to be part of a review panel for new books published by Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing.  The deal is, I occasionally receive emails containing the title and description of a book.  It could be just about any kind of book… Christian fiction, parenting, homemaking, self-help, etc.  If it looks like something I’d like to read, I respond to the email, and a few weeks later, my book arrives.

For my first review, I read Picture Perfect: A Novel, by Janice Thompson.  The back cover says:

She’s trying to focus on her future. How can one man make everything feel so . . . fuzzy?

Hannah McDermott has a successful photography studio. She’ll soon be featured in Texas Bride magazine. And she has a celebrity client whose Galveston ceremony will be her ticket to the top spot on wedding coordinator Bella Neeley’s list of recommended photographers. But it could all come crashing down around her because of one man: archrival and photographer extraordinaire Drew Kincaid.

As the competition between Hannah and Drew heats up, Hannah is surprised to find that it’s not the only thing getting more intense. She can’t get the handsome man out of her thoughts-or even out of her line of sight-and the job of her dreams is turning into a nightmare. Will everything she’s worked for slip out of her hands? And can she see past her pride to find a picture-perfect love?

With contagious humor and a cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives you crazy bridal-business drama, sweet romance, and a satisfying dose of laughter.



If I only had one word to describe this book, I would say “delightful.”  It was a refreshing break from the stress of daily life… light-hearted, quick and easy to read.  Thompson’s writing style created vivid pictures in my mind that transported me right into the center of the action.  The characters had idiosyncrasies and insecurities just like the rest of us, which made them seem like people I’d love to get to know.

The main character, Hannah’s journey through life is one I can appreciate.  She seems to be her own worst enemy, letting her lack of self-confidence and presumptions of other people’s successes get in the way of her ability to live up to her potential.  Luckily, she has a crazy best friend (who often saves the day with delicious bits of homemade cake), a supportive (albeit “boring”) family, and new friends to bring out the best in her.

I’ve read plenty of romance novels, but never a Christian one.  This story is totally PG, which is one of the things I loved about it.  The focus is on the relationship itself, not the physical intimacy you find in mainstream books of this genre.

I correctly assumed I’d be entertained, but I was surprised to find encouragement in this story.  During a particularly trying moment for Hannah, her new friend and ally, Bella, offered some words of advice:

…you were never meant to hold all things together.  Only God can do that.
Here’s another little tidbit… There’s no storm too big to praise your way through.  You might not feel like it, but praising God in the middle of the tough times is really the best way to shift your focus and to build your faith.
You’re thinking that praising God takes energy and you don’t have a lot of it.
But if you want change, whether it’s in your personal life or your business, there’s really only one way – you have to start thanking God for it now, before you ever see a thing.  In all things, give thanks.
We really need to be praising even more during the rough times.  That’s probably why the Bible calls it a 
sacrifice of praise.

Wow!  God has a way of speaking to us in surprising ways sometimes, huh?

I giggled, shook my head, rolled my eyes, sang along, commiserated, and cheered my way through this book.  Overall, it’s a feel-good story that left me excited for the next installment, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a fun springtime read.

Disclosure: I was provided a free copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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