{ARC Review + GIVEAWAY} The Fine Art Of Pretending by Rachel Harris

Title: The Fine Art Of Pretending
Series: The Fine Art Of Pretending #1
Author: Rachel Harris
Published: 30th Sept 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided via Netgalley for fair & honest review
Rating: 5/5

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.

It's impossible not to finish this book without a huge smile on your face!

The story:
So after seeing countless teaser over what feels like the last year I have been so excited to finally read this book. So it goes without saying I had HUGE expectations. And I'm happy to say I was not disappointed! This books is full of everything that makes me adore YA contemporary romances; the sweet innocence of teenage girls, flirty with boys, girly chats…about flirting with boys and all the teenage angst and fun!

Aly is a sporty girl who's never really cared about make up and wearing trending cloths. But she's tired of being seen and 'one of the guys' and 'just a friend'. She want the boys at her school to start looking at her different, and so begins 'Operation Sex Appeal'. With the help of her two best friends, Aly gives herself a make over. But if she wants school 'hottie', Justin, to ask her to the homecoming, the makeup and new cloths aren't enough. Aly needs to be seen with a boy, to show everyone she's hook up material, and who better to pose as her pretend boyfriend, than her best friend, Brandon (who is very popular with the ladies). Many awkward, sweet, and oh so hilarious situations ensue, and it's not long before her plan starts to work. But, it's only a matter of time before the 'pretend' dating starts to feel a little more real than either of them had expected.

The characters:
Aly was such a sweet character. She had a sweet naivety to her at times that was so endearing. Her thoughts and insecurities would be relatable for most teenage girls. But it was how she acted around her small group of real friends that I loved. She's more confident in her real personality and not ashamed of it. It was really beautiful to see her slowly embrace that more and more as the book progressed. It's something that a lot of young girls struggle with, so I found it really heartwarming to see.

Brandon was a little closed off at first. Yes he's happy and bright and loves to have fun, but you know there is a sadness underneath that bubbly personality. He's had pain in his past, that affects how he approaches life - it's all about having fun in the moment, and not really planning ahead. He's also a very kind and decent guy, who had me swooning all over the place! He's such a yummy little sweetheart!!

I must also mention how fabulous it was to see some positive parental figures in this book. Rachel proves that not all YA characters need abusive or absent parents! Aly's mum is happy and supportive and Brandon's mum is a loving and hardworking single mother. There was one conversation that Brandon had with his mum, and the advice she gave him made me well up it was that beautiful.

The romance:
Aly & Brandon have been the closest of friends for years, but Aly has held stronger feelings for him for some time. And it's clear to anyone who sees them together that he feels the same way. But he's fear of to loose her as a friend, or having he's hear broken that's preventing from fully embracing he's feeling towards Aly. These two were so frustrating at times - I can't tell you the number of times I yelled at my book "JUST KISS ALREADY!!". I absolutely adored Aly & Brandon and by the end I was a pile of mush.

The writing:
Rachel is the queen of swoony boys…seriously. She writes boys who are sweet, funny and most importantly, caring. I love that all her characters have a moral conscience, and although they all make mistakes at times, they learn from them and become better people for it. If I had young daughters I would want to read Rachel's books, with heroines to look up to and heroes who know how to respect girls.

The Fine Art of Pretending has everything you could want from a YA romance; laughs, tears, swoon worthy boys and heartfelt romance! It's impossible not to finish this book without a huge smile of your face!

Sexuality: medium / heavy kissing, references to sex, virginity & casual hook-ups
Violence: mild / minor fight between two school boys
Language: medium / several f words, sh*t etc
Drugs & alcohol: mild-medium / underage drinking at parties

Award-winning and Bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls next door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books...and kissing. Lots of kissing.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, and LOVES talking with readers.

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1 comment:

  1. This sounds almost as cute as the cover! Why hadn't I heard of this before?! I hope you're no longer a pile of mush after reading this book, that could make life rather difficult.


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