Sunday, June 7, 2015

Review: Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips

When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High's resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules:

1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben.

Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?


Lexi is an imposter in her own life. She pretends to be something that she isn't so that she can score the boy she thinks she would never deserve. She's the perfect friend, student and comes from a perfect family at school but at home, things are a bit different ... her mom is a drunk, her dad isn't in the picture and Lexi lets a drug dealing loser climb through her bedroom window regularly so that she can get a little taste of some bad-boy action. Can Lexi keep up the perfected charade or will things come crumbling around her?

I thought that Faking Perfect would be an interesting coming of age story with a bit of a twist. There were quite a few things that I didn't count on though ... and not in a good way. I'm just going to be brutally honest here ... the book was slow, up tight and the storyline felt smothered. A story can be up tight? Sure. Let's see if I can explain what I mean ... the story felt stifled. Everything was just so buttoned up and exact, it didn't feel real. Even if this character was pretending to be perfect, life doesn't happen neatly. It just doesn't. Sometimes shit happens. Sometimes you lose your shit. Sometimes you find out shit. And when you've got your thigh high waders on and you're trying to just cope with all this ... shit ... stuff doesn't happen neatly. Even when things went wrong for the characters in this book, the outcome from most of the situations was just too convenient. I don't want the easy way out for characters because that isn't realistic. Not everyone will lose their job and on the same day, win the lottery, find their long lost dog from 13 years ago, win the heart of the long-time crush and trip over keys to a free Ferrari on the way into the drug store. Now that didn't happen in the book, but that's kind of what it felt like. Stuff just doesn't happen that way. That isn't to say that this book isn't gritty and heartfelt ... the characters went through some tough crap and while I get it, I also just wanted them to get OVER it. 

There were also just so many characters. I didn't know who the hell half of these people were most of the time. I got about halfway through the book and had to go back and highlight where each person came into the story so I could go back and try to remember who the hell they were and why they were so important that they needed to be included in the storyline. I don't mind a whole bunch of characters but make them matter and bring them up a lot or make them secondary characters and don't bring them up as much or even make them insignificant and just bring them up once but it has to be just one of those three choices.

I don't know that I'll be reading another novel by this author. Faking Perfect has received okay ratings but it was definitely not for me. I didn't like the flow or the convenience issues and then the character stuff. Oh. My. Gosh. I forgot the ending. The. Ending. I hate the ending. I was always taught to never say hate because it's such a strong word but I had REALLY strong feelings about not liking the ending. It just ... ended. Nothing was closed out or buttoned up, it just ended. And from what I understand, this isn't part of a series so ... I don't get it. Why. WHY?!? Le sigh.

I really hate not liking a book. It pisses me off, to be honest. Especially if a lot of other people liked it and I didn't because I sit around wondering what little piece of magic I missed that everyone else was able to catch and ride to the end. But that's the way things go sometimes. Oh, well. On to the next one.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *

Available June 30th, 2015

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