July 7, 2015

Review: Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips

Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips
Publication date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Kensington
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received from publisher via Netgalley (Thanks!)
Summary: 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? (greads.com)

The Good
Lexi has perfected her image. From makeup to clothes, to her grades (which really does matter!) and coming across as the good girl to her friends (minus the occasional cigarette they give her grief for). She has her act down pat. But her friends, which includes Ben the “perfect” guy she’s been crushing on, don’t know who she really is. Like, that her mother is too busy drinking and looking for her latest boy toy to act like an adult. That her father has been MIA for the majority of her life. That her best friend, Nolan, and his family, who live across the street, have looked out for her whenever she needed it. Or that she’s been sleeping with their high school’s bad boy, Tyler Flynn, since the beginning of senior year and it’s a secret they both keep (at Lexi’s insistence). It’s a pretty tangled web she’s weaved and while I don’t necessarily agree with all her decisions, it’s easy to see why she wants perfect as her home life is slowly revealed throughout the book. Perfect is just a code word for normal.

While Lexi’s lies certainly get messy, Faking Perfect wasn’t as angsty as I anticipated it to be. It’s really about a girl who’s so focused on what she thinks she wants, she fails to see and appreciate what’s right in front of her. She does eventually get it though but it’s a painful process. First Ben finally notices her and asks her out but does the reality live up to the fantasy? (I’m sure you can guess the answer to that one.) Then she learns about her father and despite the hurt and anger she feels, she takes steps towards letting him back into her life. And finally, there’s Tyler. She was so careful to pick someone who was known for being casual and okay with a no strings attached type of relationship and suddenly he’s blowing that assumption out of the water (I kind of heart him).

In the end, it comes down to whether or not Lexi is willing to be herself in public — no more faking! — and knowing who’s real in her life.

(Some) reservations
I think Lexi’s character was developed really well and for the most part, she does find closure. But I wish we had known more about the friends who seemed to hold so much power over her. They felt kind of one-note and honestly, I wish Lexi had gotten a chance to tell them off and stand up for herself more. Even Tyler wasn’t as fleshed out as I wanted. He’s there for her and they have a connection (hot chemistry!) but I wanted to see a little more of their relationship outside the bedroom.

Do I recommend?
I liked it! Even though I wanted more, it was a quick and engaging read that I enjoyed.

1 comment:

  1. How intriguing! I wasn't sure if I wanted to read Faking Perfect, but you make it sound real interesting in your review. I like seeing characters grow from start to finish in a novel, and it sounds like Lexi does just that!

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