Saturday, December 26, 2009

Perfect Shot

Perfect Shot by Debbie Rigaud 2009

Rating: 3.5/5

IQ "Besides it is a known fact that if you don't care enough about what you're fighting for, you are less likely to win the battle." London pg.145

High school junior London Abram is an amazing volleyball player and she loves the sport and doesn't relish the idea of going outside of her comfort zone. But then she meets Brent St. John while working at her art-store job. London rings up his purchases and discovers that he's a photographer. Later that day she sees him in front of a store. She doesn't realize what all the commotion is about, until she's already been counted by Brent. She learns that he's working as a photographer's assistant in a modeling competition. So she does what any girl with a crush will do; she signs up for the modeling competition to spend more time with him! London is competing against fourteen other aspiring models, people who really know fashion. London knows nothing about fashion, she's perfectly comfortable wearing her volleyball jersey and jeans everyday. London only cares about getting Brent's attention, but then she gets into the competition, it's kind of fun. Also there's a cash prize and London needs the money if she's going to be able to afford volleyball camp. London is starting to think that maybe she can win the boy, the competition and the money!

The writing in Perfect Shot is fast-paced and holds the reader's interest. The characters have pretty good senses of humor and their antics will have you chuckling. London's best friend, Pam is a self proclaimed HDQ (Haitian Drama Queen) and she lives up to her nickname. While her dramatics will definitely have you laughing, her loyalty to London will emphasis what a seriously true friend is. Pam has lots of crazy stories about her various crushes through the years and they are all helpful to London. In one story London learns that, "offering his seat is not synonymous with offering his heart. Some guys actually do it because they want to, not because they want you." (pg. 90-91). I think that's a very good lesson to keep in mind. Another interesting character was Kelly, London's arch-rival. They go way back, they were both child star models, but they've never gotten along. Kelly grows and develops as a character in a realistic way, she doesn't change over night after some life-altering experience which is good. And of course, Brent is adorable, but I think he's the one major character who wasn't developed all that well. I would have liked to learn more about his background especially the reasoning as to why he became a photographer. London is a likable main character, I was invested in her success concerning Brent and the modeling competition.

It's safe to assume that Perfect Shot will be predictable, including the outcome of the modeling competition. I don't know much about romance novels, but I'm pretty sure romantic comedy end happily. The book was different in the reason behind the fighting between London and Kelly. While a bit annoying, it was different and added a little more interest to the story.

A minor problem with the novel is some of the celebrity references and events. For example, when describing Brent, London says he looks like "a cross between a teenage Lenny Kravitz and a modern-day Jean-Michael Basquiat." Now, perhaps this is my lack of art knowledge, but I had no idea as to who Jean-Michael Basquiat. I did however know what Lenny Kravitz looked like, so throughout the book I envisioned Brent as looking like Lenny Kravitz with other elements of my own dream guy. Now, I'm no worse for wear because of imagining how he looks, but it may cause a bit of confusion among readers. There are a lot of pop culture references, most from the last five years, but that dates the book. I'm not sure of the longevity of SimonPulse Romantic Comedies, but if they are continuously re-read then future readers may also be confused, not knowing what TRL is, or what the music video "Stronger" is like or who DJ Unk is. I'm the kind of reader who has to go and look up cultural references that I don't know, but some readers won't bother and while I certainly don't think the cultural elements made the book, I think they add a nice element to it.

I liked Perfect Shot, it's a funny, cute and thoroughly entertaining read. I also want to chime in and agree that Perfect Shot would make a cute movie and Debbie's casting of the two main characters are perfect. Tristan Wilds as Brent and Teyana Taylor as London! If you've read the book, what do you think? Anyway, I definitely recommend this book to all romance fans and for those who (like me) are new to the genre. It's a good intro to the romantic comedy series and I applaud Ms. Riguad on being the first author to have a book about African Americans in the SimonPulse Romantic Comedies series.

Disclosure: Received from the author. Thanks Debbie!


  1. I will be reading this book very soon. From this review and the google preview I read. I do believe I will like it.

    If an author is going to do pop references they should go for classics can stand the test of time references.

    Like Jay Z or Mary J Blige

    TRL and DJ UNK not classic

    Maybe the author slipped in Jean-Michael Basquiat. I think its a very slick way to get people research a Black artist, who usually isn't introduced in H.S.

  2. Sounds like a fun book. I like these occasionally, just a fun read. :)

  3. wow-excellent review! I'm not into simon pulse rom coms much, but there are a few good ones. I'm going to have to check this on out :-D

  4. @Doret-There were some classics, but you're very right DJ Unk is not a classic cultural reference. I suppose TRL could be. I completely agree that it was very nice sly way to slip in Jean-Michael Basquiat, and I looked him up (fantastic artwork!). But I don't think all readers will look him up and they will miss a great opportunity. I think you'll like Perfect shot :)

    @Sheila-I needed a fun read and this was the perfect (haha) book for it!

    @Amy-This was my frist simon pulse romcom and I liked it. I recommend you do check this one out =)

  5. So awesome to see PERFECT SHOT reviewed on this fantastic blog. (My face hurts from smiling.) Thanks for including it!
    You bring up a good point about the pop culture references (@ Doret, duly noted!). There is an aspect of the character's life--her trendy neighborhood, the modeling competition--that's all about fads. Also, in general, the books in the Simon Pulse Ro-Com series are often sprinkled with pop culture references.
    Cool that you picked up on the Jean-Michel Basquiat mention! (Couldn't resist it since the main character works with artsy hipster types at her part-time job.)
    I'm so glad you liked PERFECT SHOT! :-)

  6. @Debbie-Thanks for the kind words! I liked hte Jean-Michel mention because I looked it up and really liked his artwork and it perfectly fits in with the scene.
    All the pop culture references work, but readers may not recognize all them.


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