Series: The Fine Art of Pretending #1
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on September 30th 2014
According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.
With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.
But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.
I am often a bit hesitant to read contemporary romances, which mainly has to do with the fact that they can turn out so incredibly cliché. I knew there were two ways this could go: either it would turn out too cheesy and cliché for me to like, or it would turn out to be exactly the kind of read that I needed (and wanted). And boy am I glad that it turned out to be the latter!
This is the kind of book that you feel like reading. There’s no important significant message within the story, but that isn’t always a must in order for a book to be good. The Fine Art of Pretending was extremely entertaining and it told the story that I think we can all relate with, because we’ve all been there at some point. I know that high school was a period in my life that I struggled with, and I get Ali’s struggle. The Casual vs. Commitment classification is something that feels familiar to me. I never really put it like that, but I definitely know what is implied by it. It’s relevant and it makes for a very good and entertaining story!
I could relate to Ali, but some of the choices were quite questionable and made her come across as naïve and even a bit childish at times. She made some really poor decisions, trying very hard to be something she’s not. Her reasons behind these decisions were terrible, and it is so obvious that they are going to cause a fallout. In that way the story was a bit predictable. On the other hand, it resulted in some funny scenes that made me chuckle. As I said, there isn’t really a message to be found in the story, however, it is a very entertaining story. One you shouldn’t think about too much, but just go with it and enjoy it.
The romance was light and fluffy. The concept of ‘fake dating’ is just trouble all around, and in this sense it was a bit predictable as well. But I love that they were best friends before the romance unfolded. These kind of relationships built on friendship do make for the best stories. I haven’t really read a lot of books that had this types of romances (and I think there ought to be more of them!). Though the romance wasn’t really ‘spicy’ and maybe even a bit too ‘tame’ for my liking. Even though I would’ve liked it to have been a little something more, the cute and fluffy romance was quite enjoyable.
All in all the romance was pretty sweet and extremely cute. The message, although not really significant, was touching and it made for a relatable story. It is the perfect story for a rainy day, and a story that allows you to put your brain to rest while enjoying a fun read. It wasn’t the best read of the year, but it was enjoyable and entertaining and I liked it well enough!