July 2, 2015

Faking Perfect Tour: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for FAKING PERFECT by Rebecca Phillips! Today I'll be sharing my review of the book with you - and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.

Faking Perfect
Author: Rebecca Phillips
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: K-Teen
272 pages 


“Edgy and honest, Faking Perfect is the real thing.” –Huntley Fitzpatrick

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?


"Edgy and honest, Faking Perfect is the real thing." - Huntley Fitzpatrick

"Poignant, edgy, and real, Faking Perfect is an honest look at the courage and strength it can often take simply to be yourself." - Julianna Scott, author of The Holders

Faking Perfect was a quick and enjoyable young adult contemporary novel. It revolves around our main character, Lexi, and the fact that she leads double lives. On one hand, there's the real Lexi - the one who's mom is always dating losers, getting drunk, not paying the bills, and acting like a teenager. The real Lexi's father was out of the picture when she was four because he was a drug addict, according to her mother. Without the love and support of her mom and a missing dad, Lexi turns to her best friend and neighbor - Nolan - to help her feel normal and safe. She is far from perfect and has bad habits and dark secrets that she keeps under lock and key. The other Lexi is the complete opposite of the real one. This girl is at the top of the social ladder at her high school, in the most popular clique, and does whatever it takes to stay there. She dresses the part, acts like her "perfect" friends do, and does whatever is expected of her to stay a part of the group. They have no idea about the real Lexi underneath - the one with the broken home, who smokes cigarettes and occasionally weed, and frequently sneaks the notorious bad boy of her school into her bedroom at night for obvious reasons. She can never let them learn about, let alone see, this other side of her. Lexi is confident that she has everything under control until it all starts to unravel at the same time. Ben - the perfect, golden boy of the school and Lexi's longtime secret crush - asks her out. Tyler - the guy she's been sneaking into her room at night is no longer sticking to her three rules, and now her dad's back in the picture after all these years. Lexi's world is spinning out of control and her two separate lives are starting to mix together - which was never supposed to happen. With everything going on, just how long will Lexi's fake self last before her true self comes out?

I don't normally read YA contemporary fiction because I find that most of the stories are totally predictable, which doesn't appeal to me. This book fell into the incredibly predictable category, just as I thought it would. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing. I don't think that the author was trying to give the reader a bunch of twists or a surprise ending with this novel. The story was meant to be predictable so the reader could enjoy a quick read, but also because it focuses on more important issues. What you see is what you get with this one. Read the description and you'll know what's going to happen without even opening the book. But if you look underneath the story, you'll find a lot of important topics in today's society. Mostly the pressure that society places on people - usually teens and women - to look a certain way, act a certain way, and other ridiculous and nearly impossible standards. This topic is easy to see throughout the book and in Lexi's character. She basically represents all of us to a certain degree. Most people have things in their lives that wouldn't be deemed "acceptable" to society - they don't fit the mold that is expected of them. So what does Lexi do? The same thing everyone else does - she creates an alter-ego that does fit into all of these perfect little categories and has none of the bad characteristics of her real self. She creates an elaborate facade in order to fit in with the popular kids and to feel like she was accepted and she belonged. As we all know, the mask we create to hide our true selves can't stay in place forever - it's going to eventually crack and fall apart. This is another issue that Lexi has to face in the story - whether it's better to pretend to be someone you're not and to ignore who you really are, or to have the confidence to be who you are - flaws and all. It's a topic that deeply effects our society today and, as you can see, is an important debate that a lot of people feel strongly about. I could go on and on about this topic, but I think I've made my point clear enough in regards to the social issues dealt with in the novel along with the underlying concepts that intertwine with it all.

The characters were all sort of realistic. I have to admit that I found almost all of them to be flat and stereotypical with no real distinguishable attributes. Again, I think this was done on purpose by the author so we get the secondary characters needed to tell Lexi's story, but not deep enough that they distract from the main topic. Lexi, on the other hand, was incredibly well written. She had a distinct personality with flaws, strengths, and everything in between. I also found her to be very realistic and easy to identify with from the start of the book. I always talk about the importance of point of view to a novel, and this one is no different. It's written in the first person from Lexi's perspective. The author did a phenomenal job in creating a complex main character and by writing in the first person POV, the reader is able to experience everything that Lexi does while also getting a peek inside of her mind. We get to see her hopes, dreams, fears, insecurities, memories, inner thoughts, and so much more. The reader gets to know her on such a personal level that it feels like you were right there with her during the entire story. By mixing all of these elements together - from the natural pace of the writing and the attention to detail, to the topics that were easy to relate with and then the complexity and sheer reality of Lexi's character and what she experiences - the author was able to create a truly original novel that will both entertain you and have you thinking about the topics discussed throughout the story. So, overall, I didn't really care much about the surface story. What really stood out to me were the other attributes and aspects of the book that resonated with me as both a reader and as a woman in today's society. You can read it however you want - a quick and easy YA contemporary novel or a narrative about how society is pressuring people to be things they aren't, like I did. Either way, I recommend it to all readers - regardless of age or genre preference - because I truly feel that everyone will connect with and experience it one way or another.

Rebecca Phillips has been a fan of contemporary young adult fiction ever since she first discovered Judy Blume at the age of twelve. After a brief stint writing bad poetry as a teenager, she finally found her niche with realistic, coming-of-age YA. Her third novel, OUT OF NOWHERE, was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She's also the author of the best-selling JUST YOU series. Her next YA novel, FAKING PERFECT (Kensington), is set to be released on June 30, 2015.

Rebecca lives just outside the beautiful city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband, two children, and one spoiled rotten cat. She absolutely loves living so close to the ocean. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found vacuuming up cat hair, spending time with her family, watching reality TV, reading all different genres of books, or strolling around the bookstore with a vanilla latte in her hand.

Rebecca is represented by Carly Watters of P.S. Literary Agency.

Author Links:

Buy Links:


1 comment:

  1. Lexi sounds like a very relatable character, thanks for the review.