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“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?
lack of development or growth for Lexi pulled the whole story down
Lexi is in crisis – she’s been ‘faking perfect’ to make up for an alcoholic mother, an absentee father and no self-esteem. We start by hearing about how long (and trying) it is to get ready for school, and we see her willingness to ‘use’ the “bad boy” for some sort of self-validation – as long as no one knows.
I could understand that – filling a void with ‘let’s pretend’ because reality is so awful: but Lexi goes one step further: everything, from the people she encounters to the daily grind is ALL about her. Where most would focus on everything BUT themselves, Lexi only sees the world in terms of the way it effects or reflects on her. Everything is about Lexi. Full Stop. Even conversations have little grounding in reality or feel natural or possible, not quite forced, just sanitized.
Tyler – well, we know he dealt weed – but he stopped, and started to get his act together. Above all, he was willing to deal with the, by this point, a highly annoying and whinging Lexi. But, her crush, Ben, finally looks at her.
But we know little about Ben, except kissing him is Nice. Nice is such a flat word – fitting for Lexi since she was pretty flat in personality and character, but I would hope that other adjectives could enter the book. But they don’t. Not really. It is all ‘common knowledge’ with no growth or development for Ben, and the frequently shared information about the controlling and immature boy he is misses her by.
Sadly, from the love triangle trope through the lack of self-esteem and the ‘bad boy’ versus Big Man on Campus love interests, any one of which could have been compelling if not brought forth an emotion other than ‘again?!?’ from me, the lack of development or growth for Lexi pulled the whole story down, leaving me wondering just why it was written.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.