Title: The Fine Art of Pretending
Author: Rachel Harris
Series: The Fine Art of Pretending, #1
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 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.
Best friends who have been in love for years? Check.
Everyone else around them knows it? Check.
They realize their feelings around the same time but think the other one doesn’t feel the same way so they keep it hidden? Check.
One of them admits their feelings, the other one admits to feeling the same exact thing, and they live happily ever after? Check.
Rachel Harris writing the perfect contemporary novel about those four things listed above? Check.
Aly and Brandon are best friend goals. They have a bunch of inside jokes, they make each other laugh, they aren’t afraid to call the other one out on their crap, and they’ve been there for each other at the best of times and at the worst of times. They have this undeniable chemistry where you think “these two have to be dating, right?” Wrong. But trust me, getting from that point to the point in which they are dating is worth the ride.
There are all of these wonderful characters who help to round out the story so well. Aly and Brandon’s friends, their parents and siblings, and of course, that gorgeous-on-the-outside but kind-of-ugly-on-the-inside mean girl who makes her fair share of attempts to stir up the pot.
Let’s not forget Justin though. No, seriously. We need to take a moment to talk about how wonderful of a character Justin is. I totally loved him as a player, but when his more vulnerable side was brought up to the surface, that’s it, I was done. He’s too perfect and I’m so excited that the second book (The Natural History of Us – coming sometime in 2016) is going to be all about Justin because he deserves his happy ending.
If you want a fluffy, contemporary read that will constantly have you smiling like an idiot, then I highly suggest you pick up a copy of The Fine Art of Pretending right this instant. I promise you, you won’t regret it.