Monday, October 6, 2014

BLOG TOUR: ARC REVIEW: The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending #1) by Rachel Harris

Title/Series: The Fine Art of Pretending | The Fine Art of Pretending #1
Author: Rachel Harris
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Published: September 30th 2014
Format: eBook | Pages: 241
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: InkSlinger PR
(5/5) Stars!!!

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.

 I received a copy of this book from InkSlinger PR for a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway my review or my rating!

I always go in to a book by Rachel Harris thinking that there is absolutely no way she can top the last one I read. I mean I loved that book! There's just no way! Yet every time I finish the newest one I'm left sitting here wondering to myself how the heck did she just do that again?! Now I know I say this every time I finish one of her books, and trust me it's true every single time I say it, but...The Fine Art of Pretending is her best work yet. This book is her baby, it's the one that means the most to her, and I could tell. You can see her heart on every single one of these pages.

It's hard to pick that one thing that I loved most about this book because there are so many great elements to it, but honestly I'd have to say it's the message that it puts out there. Actually I feel like, really, there's two important ones, but first Aly's. Aly feels like she needs to change to make big things happen for her. To get a guy to look at her as more than just a friendship potentially. Enter Operation Sex Appeal. She trades in her baggy shirts and pants for short skirts and tight tops. She exchanges her ratty old tennis shoes for heels. Applies more make up, lets down her hair instead of throwing it up in a messy bun. Completely changed the outside. She was never really herself though or fully comfortable in her new skin so to speak. Even though all the attention was new and exciting at first it was never fully real. Because she wasn't being real. Even Brandon, sure he "noticed" her when she changed, but he still missed the old Aly.

She grew so much in this book though from beginning of the book Aly, who is sweet and funny and you cannot help but love her, to the end of the book Aly. All change that was for the good. And I'm not just talking about her appearance. It's the whole disguise thing. You know how like when you're in disguise you feel more comfortable to let loose and put yourself out there. In her new look she was slower to second guess being more bold and putting herself out there. She was able to let the real Aly that's deep inside of her out. Stuff that had always been there but buried in self doubt. But with a bit of self confidence the real Aly really shines. And it wasn't until she said okay that's enough of this game I'm playing, because really it was just like a game, and she took the mask off and all the pretty, tight, short clothes and went back to relaxed and comfy, when she was truly herself with a dash more confidence that things in her life really started to happen. Be you. It's the confidence that's sexy.

With Brandon, and just know that I am crushing hard on this guy! Just had to get that out there before I go on! Anyway, with Brandon we have this already really amazing guy. A guy who has been her best friend for a very long time and has always seen her and trusts her enough to see sides of him that nobody else does. He's basically perfect. But in everything he's seen up to now love may seem great but eventually people leave you. Whether it's walking away or in death and so he keeps people in rolls that will, in his mind, allow him to avoid pain if they ever leave. In his journey with this pretending they do he has to struggle to realize that people may leave but taking the risk and loving them and having them love you back, no matter how brief, is worth the pain and risk. Something else I think is important to take away from this book.

Not only does Rachel Harris write you these amazing characters and this heartwarming, sweet and fun story but she's done something that isn't exactly easy and natural in a lot of young adult novels. She has flawlessly written these teenage characters, capturing their voice and making them so real and full of life. I've not seen it done better than with this book. Add to that these two really important messages to young people, and even old ones like me haha, that it's okay to be yourself and being true to you and confident brings out the sexy. You don't need to change for anyone. And take a chance on love. Sometimes it brings you pain, but it won't always. And it's always worth it.

I can't wait to see what you bring us next Rachel. One thing I know for sure is it's going to be amazing!

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About the author:

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. YAY! I loved this one so so so much! I really loved Aly and Brandon- and all the other side characters! Rachel rocks YA!