ARC Book Review: Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree
ashley | I have a weakness for flawed characters, so when Dr. Dylan Michael’s perfect life derails within the first chapter of Jamie Raintree’s Perfectly Undone, I prepared myself for what I was hoping would be an emotional ride.
Me and this book got off to a rough start. From the first page, I had a lot of trouble relating to Dylan, which actually really baffled me because I saw a lot of similarities between our lives and our approaches to things. I share a lot of her opinions and fears, but I couldn’t relate to how she acted on them and had a really hard time connecting to the character. I also definitely couldn’t relate to her guilt over her sister or her drive as a doctor to redeem herself for what she felt so guilty for. That was a huge driving force of the book, making this was a huge obstacle for me to get past.
Sadly, I didn’t have a better time relating to any of the other characters at first, either, and I found Dylan and Cooper’s relationship lacking. I get it, she’s flawed, she pushes people away, but the more I got to know them as a couple, the more they seemed like they were forcing something that wasn’t meant to be. I get that relationships change, but Dylan had one foot out of the door since the beginning and never seemed fully committed to him, yet she claimed he changed all that in her and he was the only person who made her feel safe. He was understanding and supportive to a fault and she really took advantage of that and I just had no sympathy or empathy for her relationship troubles. Frankly, I didn’t like Dylan; she seemed like a really flat and selfish character to me.
Somewhere during the middle of the book, however, something shifted. Dylan started to grow and actually look at the world around her instead of herself for once and I couldn’t have been happier. The relationship she formed that helped her open here yes made me a little uneasy, but it was also kind of sweet in a way and I enjoyed watching Dylan come to terms with her own flaws and finally address her guilt and learn to accept that everything doesn’t have to be perfect or in control. These were parts of her character that I could also relate to and finally she was starting to acknowledge them in a way that connected us.
The writing was also a redeeming point. There’s a betrayal in the middle of the book (something of which I saw coming, which was annoying, but understandable), as well as a few other difficult and heartbreaking situations that come up and the way Raintree described the devastation was perfection. This part really cut deep for me and I finally started to feel something for Dylan and the life she was trying to find and piece back together.
This was such a strange read for me because I really didn’t like the way things started, but I’m glad I continued to read because the characters eventually grew into themselves, to book finally found it’s groove and it was really interesting seeing Dylan stripped down from the character we first meet and built back up into a strong, smart and balanced woman.
** NOTE: This started as a 2/5 and ended as a 3.5/5.
october 3, 2017