Faking Perfect – Rebecca Phillips – Kensington-Teen – Published 30 June 2015
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?
When I started this book I knew it would go one of two ways – a character I didn’t like, messing her way through life, or a story about a likeable girl with a hard past determined to protect herself and with reason to project such a volatile exterior. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure which way I was leaning throughout the whole book. I didn’t hate this book, nor did I love it. I kept reading hoping for some redeeming factors, something that would make me really connect with the main characters. It was an easy read and I was interested in the story, predominately because I was waiting for Lexi to wake up or snap out of it. But let me rewind a bit.
Lexi is sleeping with Tyler. She just doesn’t want her best friend, her friends, the whole school population or her longtime crush, Ben, to know about it. She can’t help but be drawn to Tyler’s bad boy vibe, but she longs to be perfect enough for Ben. Projecting a perfect facade isn’t easy though, especially when her secret life starts colliding with her public persona, and her family life only gets more complicated.
I kind of felt sorry for Lexi. Life for her is pretty tough, but then I also felt she was annoyingly naive. I hated the way she treats Tyler, and in the end, I didn’t really care who she ended up with. Although I obviously thought one guy was the clear choice, I never really felt any connection with either of the male leads or Lexi herself. I felt that this book had lots of potential. I love hard-luck stories, girls who are searching for their identity and strength. But you know, I’m not so sure Lexi ever found hers. I wanted a more dramatic wake up, and for her to stand up for herself. A deeper connection with the romantic lead would have been better too. But the book wasn’t all that bad, it just could have been better. I liked Lexi’s best friend Nolan, who is quiet, artistic and not afraid to swim against the main flow. How Lexi reconnects with her father also offered a nice storyline. 3 stars, 3.5, 4, I’m not sure, but an easy read nonetheless.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction
Themes: Relationships and sex. Romance. Family. Friendship.
Age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Sexual references. Drug and alcohol use and references.
Published: 30 June 2015 by Kensington-Teen.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 272 pages.
Author’s website: Rebecca Phillips.