RATING : 4.8/5
“Paradise” is a book which will make you make you not ‘sob’, but ‘cry’ really hard (**you have been forewarned **). It is a book about sacrifices, jealousy, heart breaks, but above all, about love – pure unparalleled love.
Judith McNaught has divided the novel into three parts – childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. It starts with a 14 year old Meredith Bancroft looking at her photographs, where she describes herself as a “flat chested troll with braces” (an intelligent troll nevertheless). Daughter of the millionaire CEO of Bancroft & Company, Meredith is always told about by her controlling father. When we meet her four years down the line, the young chubby troll has blossomed into a stunning, alluring girl. One night, after a particularly heated argument with her father, she meets Matthew Farrell at a country club event. Matthew Farrell (*heart throb alert*) belongs to a society which is in stark contrast to the one Meredith belong to. Even though he has no money, Matt works his ass off to put himself through college. He is everything except rich and elite class. When beauty meets heart throb, sparks flow, and passion roars (and Meredith is knocked up).
Judith McNaught is widely appreciated for the absolute perfection in her portrayal of the characters. In “Paradise”, she has outshined even herself. All 700 pages of the book have been written with absolute sublimity. When Matt and Meredith meet each other after 10 years, both are successful entrepreneurs, but detest each other deeply. Inevitably, Matt and Meredith keep running into each other. The skeletons of the past knock up on their doors, and they are paralyzed by the fact that they might have been punishing each other for someone else’s faults.
McNaught has penned down a heart-warming and brilliant romance. The characters share a stirring and tender relationship. They make you believe that true love has a habit of returning, despite all the odds. Matt and Meredith are surely not perfect individuals, but the way they love, care and protect each other is definitely a hallmark of perfection.
Here is an excerpt (enjoy):
“If you’ll kiss me back,” he whispered huskily, brushing his lips along the curve of her jaw, “I’ll make it six million. If you’ll go to bed with me tonight,” he continued, losing himself in the scent of her perfume and the softness of her skin, “I’ll give you the world. But if you’ll move in with me,” he continued, dragging his mouth across her cheek to the corner of her lips, “I’ll do much better than that.” Unable to turn her face farther because his arm was in the way, and unable to turn her body because his body was in the way, Meredith tried to infuse disdain in her voice and simultaneously ignore the arousing touch of his tongue against her ear. “Six million dollars and the whole world!” she said in a slightly shaky voice. “What else could you possibly give me if I move in with you?” “Paradise.” Lifting his head, Matt took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and forced her to meet his gaze. In an aching, solemn voice he said, “I’ll give you paradise on a gold platter. Anything you want— everything you want. I come with it, of course. It’s a package deal.”
―Matthew Farrell, Paradise
RATING : 4.4/5
Before I even start reviewing Perfect, I would like to share something with you. When I read the first page of Perfect, my clock said 11:00 P.M, and when I was done, it read 5:00 A.M. The fact that this book stole my sleep (like literally) is something I will never forget.
‘Julie Smith’, a petite eleven year old orphan who lives on roads, abandoned by her birth parents and rejected by two sets of adoptive parents, is finally taken into foster care by the Mathinson family. This family gives a beguiled green-eyed angel another chance at life, and in turn, the girl (Julie Mathinson) vows to make her family proud, to erase her soiled past, and to be ‘perfect’.
‘Zack Benedict’ is a multimillionaire Hollywood heartthrob who is accused of murdering his wife. After having served two years as a model prisoner and earning the privileges of a trustee, he manages to escape from Amarillo prison. With the entire American police on his tail, he tries to find a safe refuge and ends up taking a hitchhike with Julie Mathison. He takes her hostage in mountains of Colorado.
During the time they spend together, Zack and Julie eventually develop a strong connection, which soon turns into a havoc wreaking love affair. When Julie returns to her home, the entire FBI is at her doorsteps, asking for Zack Benedict’s whereabouts. Torn between her love for Zack and her belief in justice, she is forced to pick a side- to either be with the law, or against it.
‘Judith Macnaught’ has woven this story not by mere words, but by heart-warming emotions. She has described every scene with great impeccability. At one point in this novel, you feel like a part of the characters’ lives and hope to set everything right for them. The love that Zack and Julie share is so pure that I can guarantee that you will sigh in their sadness, weep in their sorrow, laugh in their joy and dance in their love. They will touch your heart from the very first page and will stay with you till time immemorial. This novel is a must read, simply because it will show you what it feels like to cherish and to be cherished; to love and to be loved.
P.S- I sincerely do hope with all my heart that someday, this beautiful story will find its way to screen.
P.P.S- Do keep a box of tissues right by your side.