Friday, August 31, 2012

Perfect is Overrated

Perfect Is Overrated
**Copy won through LibraryThing early Reviewers**

Kate Alger has suffered from post-partum depression since her daughter Molly was born four years ago. She is finally starting to make her recovery when another mom at Molly’s school is murdered. Instead of driving Kate back to her bed, the murder invigorates her.

A former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Kate’s instincts for catching bad guys kicks in and she starts snooping into the murders. Unknowingly helping her is Kate’s ex-husband, Paul, an NYPD detective living in the apartment above hers, and her good friend Peg, also a prosecutor.

As the murders start piling up, the pre-depression Kate breaks through more and more and she starts to confront the issues from her past that kept her in her depression.

Perfect is Overrated really surprised me, I picked it up thinking I was going to have to trudge through and not get any enjoyment and I was happily surprised that I liked it.

Aside from the fact that Kate has been suffering from post-partum depression for four years – really, her mom is a psychologist and no one thought to put her on meds, or anything? I think Bergreen does a good job with Kate, I came to really like her character and as the story developed more and more of Kate’s backbone appears.

There was a lot of backstory involving how her and her ex-husband met and fell in love (they both knew immediately they were going to get married and three dates in he tells her he wants to have babies with her), her pregnancy and scenes from her depression.  At first I was annoyed at all of the backstory but I realized Perfect is Overrated is not so much about the murders but a woman’s descent into post-partum depression and her rise to overcome the depression which aside from the four year part, I think Bergreen handled believably.

Bergreen writes with a snarky wit that I really enjoyed. Kate has a lot of good liners that had me chuckling, most of them involving her ex. The writing is fast and the story is intriguing with enough twists and turns to leave you guessing.

My only issues with Perfect is Overrated was the four year depression that no one did anything about. In some ways it is resolved, but still leaves me shaking my head a bit. The reasons for the divorce of Kate and Paul had me internally screaming to just talk to each other! I suspected what really happened and wanted to shake both of them for lack of communication. For two people who were so in tune with each other that they knew after their first meeting they were going to get married this is unfathomable.

Problems aside, I think it was a really good beach book. I was interested enough to fly through in just a couple sittings. I liked the characters and the murders kept me guessing who dunnit until after a couple tries I landed on the right character. If you’re looking for a light read on the last days of summer, or even after! Perfect is Overrated is a good choice. 

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