Thursday, September 16, 2010

Perfect Match: Picoult attacks the topic of childhood sexual abuse

Perfect MatchPerfect Match by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It amazes me to see how many goodreads reviewers post information about the plot without marking it as a spoiler.

I'm struggling between 2 and 3 stars, but I've settled on 3 stars because at no point did I ever think about not reading on to the ending. Perfect Match was not my favorite Jodi Picoult book. It's about the assistant-DA mom of a 5-year-old boy who gets sexually assaulted, and she decides to take justice into her own hands. She knows what usually happens to sexual abuse victims, and she doesn't want to drag her son through the trauma of a trial...which will probably result in the perp going free.

Here's what bugged me about the book:

--Shifting points of view--The speaker kept shifting, and at times it was a bit jarring. Also, some of Nathaniel's thoughts seemed a bit too sophisticated for a 5-year-old.

--A verbal tic--Picoult uses the word "lip" way too many times, referring to the edge of something, such as "the lip of the bathtub." The first time, okay, but after five or six times, it is way overdone.

--Few of the characters were likable or sympathetic. Picoult excels at drawing complex, multidimensional characters, but I wasn't sure who I was rooting for. Perhaps this is the point. But I didn't really have a strong opinion about how I wanted the case to go. That's surely not a very good thing for a reader to feel.

--Weak logic. How could Nina think that a prison sentence would somehow be less traumatic or life-changing than to have her son sit in the witness box and testify against his accuser? And the conclusion seems to support what Nina did...although as much as I can understand and relate to Nina's motive, the fact is that she killed a man who turned out to be innocent.

However. In spite of these weaknesses, Picoult always knows how to write an incredibly well-researched, compelling story with twists and turns. I enjoy the moral and ethical dilemmas and the complex relationships. So three stars in the end...

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment