Title: The Fine Art of Pretending
Author: Rachel Harris
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Series: The Fine Art of Pretending (Book #1)
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Format: Paperback, 256 Pages
ISBN-10: 1939392284 (Spencer Hill)
ISBN-13: 978-1939392282 (Spencer Hill)
Reviewed by: Bridget
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.
Quick & Dirty: Adorable contemporary romance that I couldn’t put down. I finished the whole thing in one sitting and loved every minute of it!
Opening Sentence: The cleavage popping out of my scandalously low-cut halter top heralds the beginning of Operation Sex Appeal.
Alyssa Reed has always been friends with all the popular guys in school, but never one of their girlfriends. She is the type of girl that wears baggy jeans, and the only makeup she uses is chapstick. Looking back at all her years of high school she realized that she has always gone to school dances with just friends or pity dates. Now it is her senior year and she has decided that she no longer wants to be one of the guys. Then Operation Sex Appeal is born.
Aly has decided that by homecoming she will completely transform her imagine and that Justin Carter, the hottest guy in the school, will be her date. First off, she gets a whole new wardrobe and makeover. Now that she looks the part she just needs to convince everyone that she has become a carefree, hookup kind of girl. Now comes phase two of the plan where her best friends and total hottie, Brandon Taylor, becomes her pretend boyfriend. Everything is going according to plan until both Aly and Brandon start to develop more than friendly feelings towards each other. When the planned breakup happens it not only devastates both of them it also might be the one thing that will destroy their long-time friendship.
Aly’s story was really more of a coming of age story. She is at a point in her life where she decides to make some major life changes to try and attract guys. She’s not a hundred percent comfortable in her own skin so she changes her image. I loved watching her try to figure out who she really is and what it is she really wanted in life. It made it really easy to connect with her and like her. She makes many mistakes along the way, but that just made her feel more realistic. She is a smart beautiful girl that has some life lessons to learn and it was fun to be along for the ride.
Brandon really is the whole package. Not only is he extremely good looking, but he is respectful, kind, and just an all around good person. I did wish that I got to know him a little bit better, there were a few things about his past that I would have liked to have explored a little bit more, but that didn’t stop me from loving him. His relationship with Aly is sweet, sexy, and just perfect. They have been best friends for years and Brandon never wanted to ever do anything that would jeopardize their friendship in anyway because it meant so much to him. They could confide in each other and always be honest, which is a rare trait to find in a relationship. I thought that he was a great love interest!
The Fine Art of Pretending was adorable and I loved it. If you have read very many of my review you will know that my all time favorite type of romance is when best friends progress to something more, so right off the bat I knew I was going to like that about this story and it did not disappoint. The romance was seriously so cute and really well done, it totally made me swoon! There was also tons of great drama and humor blended into the story which made it a very entertaining read. The pacing was spot on and I pretty much blew right through the entire book in just one day. The plot was predictable but honestly in books like this it doesn’t bother me, I like knowing that there is going to be a happy ending. This is my first book by Rachel Harris but I have heard nothing but praises about her other books and having really enjoyed this one, I will be picking up more of her work in the near future. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for a light, adorable romance.
Gabi clears her throat. “All right, my turn.” Her stare zeroes in on me as she says, “Truth or darea?”
Aw, crap. Is it possible to say neither? Gabi just got burned on truth, and I’ve been far from Miss Truthful lately. What would I say if she asks about Brandon? But then, a dare almost had me making out with Lauren a few minutes ago. I waffle back and forth, gnawing on my lip like a freaking rabbit, and then spit out, “Dare?”
Gabi sits up tall with eager eyes, and I immediately start to wishing for a do-over.
“Since this trip started, I’ve seen the two of you,” she says motioning between me and Brandon. “give each other little kisses on the check and that chaste peck on the lips last night, but I’ve yet to see you go at it. I’ve spent years watching the two of you pretend you weren’t hot for each other. So go for it already.” Wiggling her shoulders, she days, “Aly, I dare you to make out with Brandon for a full minute.”
The Fine Art of Pretending Series:
1. The Fine Art of Pretending
FTC Advisory: I purchased my own copy of The Fine Art of Pretending. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.