Picture Perfect: Book Review

I love to take pictures. I would rather be the one taking the pictures than the one that is in the photo. Whenever something important happens, my mom and dad makes me take the pictures because no matter what camera they use, their pictures turn out terrible. My sister likes to tell me that I should go and study photography but I really don’t see myself doing like that in my life. But anyway, that is one reason that I wanted to read the book Picture Perfect and because I was in the mood for a romantic fictional book.


Title: Picture Perfect

Author: Catherine Clark

Publisher: HarperTeen

Released: May 27, 2008

Pages: 352 (Paperback)

Order # 081582
Name: Emily Matthias
Phone: Call me anytime!
Date: I’d love one!
Print Quantity:
Um, a billion? I need pictures of everyone and everything. It’s the Outer Banks—everything is photogenic here. Especially Blake. And Spencer.
3 x 5
4 x 6
5 x 7
8 x 10
They’re tall. And handsome. Oh, you mean the photos?
B & W
Actually, yes, this summer would make an excellent movie.
Starting the vacation single. But maybe I’ll find Prints Charming!

Catherine Clark

About the Author: I love reading books for children, young adults, new adults and all the old people after that.

I love writing for pretty much the same audiences.

Born in Minneapolis, MN.

Writer of YA and MG novels including “How to Meet Boys,” “How NOT to Run for President,” and the upcoming “11 Things I Promised.”

What Is Photography?

Image result for photography

Photography is the science, art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film.

 To be quite honest with you all, I love looking at photography over art in a museum. Something about the fact that the photograph was taken from a real life object rather than just a panting amazes me. I would love one of those professional cameras for Christmas because all I have is a camera I have from 4 years ago, and it was a pretty cheap one.

OBX (Outer Banks Beach)

Image result for obx

The Outer Banks are barrier islands off the coast of the U.S. state of North Carolina, separating the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland. Their open-sea beaches, state parks and shipwreck diving sites make them a popular holiday destination. Roanoke Island was the site of England’s first settlement in the New World, an endeavor sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh.

 I live near OBX but it is a good 4 hour drive. I have been to this one part of OBX when I was about 6 (which was the last time I went to a beach before this summer) and we went to this part called Duck. The funniest thing about the whole thing, I can’t tell you how the sleeping arrangement went but I can tell you that on the way out to eat, my sister got sick and we had to clean her up in front of a vet clinic. Also, the fact that I got my first wood splinter on the deck while we were blowing bubbles with my cousins from Pennsylvania.  

Why I Wanted To Read This Book:

I was at one of my local public libraries, looking for some other good books to read. Recently, I haven’t been making that many trips to the library because I don’t have as much time to read as I did before and I have so many books I need to read. I went to the library with my mom because she needed to pick up some books for her class. While I was searching the shelves, I spotted this book and I decided to check it out and see what it was like.

 I didn’t know anything about this book before I started to read it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the book because I had never read anything by Catherine Clark. But I was open to trying new books and authors.


Every summer, Emily Matthias and her parents take a trip to OBX with some friends from Liden College. Since all of the adults are close in age, they all have kids that are about the same age as Emily.

  • Adam: The hot, athletic, big brother of the group
  • Spencer: The nerdy, book loving, logical one of the group
  • Heather: The boy crazy, best friend of the group
  • Emily: The photographer, problem solving one of the group

At the beginning of the book, I started my theories on how the book was going to end: Emily and the beach house college neighbor; Heather and Adam; Spencer and his books. The first time they describe Adam, I could just see what Emily saw – a hot, strong man who every girl wanted to die once they saw him. Spencer on the other hand, I saw the guy version of me. Spencer was almost reading (he said he never left the house without a book, but in the book, he did once) and he was always losing the same thing over and over again, sunglasses. Heather was the annoying friend we all have. She was always looking after Emily, unless she is with some guy. Heather is one of the reasons Emily is so confident.

Emily’s mom has the whole entire trip planned out, from where they were going that day, down to what time they were supposed to go to bed. Her mom has plans for the lighthouse, the store, beach, the ferry, etc. Not once in this list did she have plans to see her daughter kissing the neighbor who left Emily borrow his sweatshirt, in the middle of the store.

Emily’s dad on the other hand, was more carefree and was that parent. Her dad was the parent that was always being funny and singing those really annoying car tunes whenever they were driving to another location. Even though he would always be annoying at times, he was hilarious. He had to be one of my favorite characters in the whole entire book.

The farther along you get into the book, Spencer turned into a ‘bad boy’ and you sort of get a feeling that either Heather or Emily were going to be getting together. During a trip to a lighthouse, Spencer and Emily climb the stairs together. (Apparently, the two of them were walking so slow that an older couple was walking faster than them).  When they make it up to the top of the lighthouse, Emily and Spencer ask a gentleman is he would take their picture together at the top, and he takes it. Something about that part of the book screamed out at me: EMILY AND SPENCER ARE GOING TO BE TOGETHER BY THE END OF THE BOOK!!!

The thing is, Heather wants Emily to explore the options of guys in North Carolina. Heather find some guys including Blake, Trevor, Dean, and etc. and she wants to hook Emily up with one of them. Spencer and Adam don’t want to hear about guys the whole entire trip, and you can start to feel that Emily didn’t want to either.

During a trip to the mall, Emily tells Heather that she likes Spencer. Emily was reluctant about telling her because Spencer has been known to follow Emily around. After Heather found out about Emily’s crush, she wanted to get the two of them together, and somehow her plans worked.

Adam, Emily’s dad, Adam’s brother, Heather, Spencer and Emily went to take a ferry ride. After waiting in line forever, they board and they have a great time. All of the group but Spencer and Emily leave to go home before a huge storm comes their way. The two of them hang out at the beach for a little bit before getting in the rental car to go back to the house. The car wouldn’t turn on, causing them to stay where they were until morning. Emily’s mom gets the two of them a Bed & Breakfast location, and she tells Emily that nothing should happen between the two of them.

Well, that was a lie. After learning that the room smelt like gingerbread, the owners had a library of scary novels and cookbooks and cookies, Emily and Spencer get ready to go to bed. Before they two of them fall asleep, Emily and Spencer reveal their love for each other, and kissing a few times.

The next morning, Spencer and Emily head back home, promising that they would not tell anyone that they were together until the time was right. The plan worked for a few days. Emily went back to her photography works and Spencer went back to losing his second pair of sunglasses.

One morning, someone finds a note that was written by Spencer to Emily. It took some time for the family to figure the whole thing out and Emily realizes why Spencer didn’t want to tell everyone they were together. Spencer apologizes over and over again for everything but the whole time, you could hear the parents say they were so happy they were together and they knew it would finally happen.

The book ends with Adam, Heather, Spencer, and Emily, back on the beach for the final time. Heather and Emily messing around for the final time and Spencer wanting Emily to explain what just happened, but it ends with a kiss.

The Writing:

Typically in books like this, they are really chessy and the writing style lacks an interesting point to it. I never can find a turning point, and they almost always end up the same way. Yes, this book did end up ending like most books like it, but there was a big turning point in the scene and the writing was totally different from anything else I had read.

I read a lot of YA romantic realistic books. Something I find in common in all of them is:

  • The love interest is always introduced in the beginning of the book, like in Picture Perfect
  • The writing style is always predictable, unlike this one

For a YA book, the word selection, I feel was perfect. Everything flowed in a way that I never thought the book would be able to go into. There were a few things that I didn’t like including the fact that we don’t know what happened with Heather and Dean, and also Adam kind of is forgotten by the time Spencer and Emily get together.

One thing I really wish would have happened is being explained what happened to Heather’s dad. Her dad died about a year ago and it never went into detail about how he died. I really wish I got the chance to learn what happened to him.

My Rating:

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 on Goodreads, but in reality, I gave this book a 4.3 out of 5. For the most part, I really enjoyed reading about Emily and the whole group of friends. But, there was the parts that was very stereotypical for a YA romantic realistic fiction book. Overall, the book was really well written and had an amazing backdrop to it.

Have your ever read this book or anything by Catherine Clark? What is one of your favorite beach memories? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Happy Reading,


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