October 09, 2014

Book Review: THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING by Rachel Harris

Book:  The Fine Art of Pretending
Author:  Rachel Harris
Publisher:  Spencer Hill Contemporary
Genre:  YA Romance; Fiction

“I was just thinking hypothetically, that if you pretended to hook up with me, and helped sell the whole casual thing, that the guys would be more likely to buy it.  Then maybe they’ll find me dateable too.”- Aly
“If you’re serious….I’ll do it.  We can start telling people tomorrow that we’re hooking up.”- Brandon
“On your word?”- Aly
“On my word.  If this is important to you, then count me in.”- Brandon

Blurb via Goodreads:

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

My Synopsis:

Aly is a Commitment, a person one has an actual relationship with.  Brandon is into Casuals, girls he can hook up with and drop anytime.  Though best friends for years, they have never gotten in the way of each other’s personal lives until Aly decides to change her status and people’s perception of her.  She wants to become a Casual and date the school’s hottest guy, Justin, who also happens to be Brandon’s close friend and is a known player.

Wanting to protect Aly from Justin, Brandon plays along and helps Aly in her plans.  The surprise is that NO ONE was surprised!  They have been expecting Aly and Brandon to get together for years knowing that they have a thing for each other for so long.  Problem is, both Aly and Brandon never knew it….or at least ignored it….until the inevitable happens.

My Review:

Starting a book right before bedtime is never a good thing, especially when the premise is so promising.  Though I’ve read the best friends to lovers bit many times over, this is a really good version with a cute twist. 

I liked how the author went straight to the point of Aly wanting to have a more exciting life hand in hand with her best friend Brandon as her crutch, albeit a gorgeous crutch at that. 

The issues tackled here are more emotional than anything else, mainly Brandon’s decision never to fall in love because he doesn’t want to hurt the way his mother did when his father died.  And to fall in love with his closest friend and the idea that he would lose her eventually is something he couldn’t handle.  I like that this book was written in dual points of view.  This way, I knew at all times and pretty much understood the reasons behind each character’s actions

The pace of the story is good.  Brandon and Aly got to their end point at just the right moment in the best possible way.  The support characters are also likable.  I believe Justin and Mean Queen Lauren are being set up for their own stories.  I personally would like to read more about Aly’s other best friend Gabi whose tough exterior intrigues me. 

If you like sweet, thrilling, not over the top, YA romance, then I do suggest you give this a read.  Just don’t start too late for I wasn’t able to put this down the whole night to the wee hours of the morning.  But it was worth my now huge eyebags.

Photo Credit:  Goodreads.com
The other books included in this post are from the author's My Super Sweet Sixteenth century series under the historical, time travel, YA romance genre.

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