Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips
Published by Kensington
Publication Date: June 30th 2015
Genres: Young Adult
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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?
When I first started this book, I thought I was going to get a cute contemporary YA romance between a girl and the boy that she kept overlooking. What I got instead was a coming of age story about a young girl who is chasing the wrong things and comes to realize that she is fine the way that she is, no matter what anyone else says. Or, well, something like that. 🙂
Lexi Shaw is sleeping with bad boy Tyler Flynn on the down low. She’s got a bunch of rules that Tyler has to follow if he wants to continue sleeping with her and he keeps all of her rules, until he starts acting all weird and confusing. Lexi and Tyler have always had an explosive friends with benefits relationship but Lexi has worked hard at keeping him at arms length because as much as she likes “hanging out” with Tyler, it is Ben Dorser that her heart belongs to. Perfect Ben who is the student council President, who is one of the most popular boys at her school and the boy that has firmly stuck Lexi in the friend zone.
Lexi strives every day to live this fake perfect life. She’s got the perfect friends. Hangs out with the perfect crowd and deep down she knows that she’s not perfect. She’s completely flawed but nobody needs to know about that. She keeps everyone at bay, including Tyler and her friends and the only person that knows the real Lexi is her neighbor and best friend, Nolan. Nolan is like a brother to her and they love each other like siblings do. Nolan knows her better than anyone else and her new friends tolerate him. They also loathe Tyler because Tyler is a pothead, sells drugs and is barely passing his classes in school. They think he’s a loser. Lexi thinks those very same things. She may like sleeping with him but she doesn’t necessarily like him. Nor does she know him all that much.
Over the course of the book, you find out that Lexi is going through some major life trials. Her mother is never going to win any Mother of the Year awards because she keeps hooking up with men who are no good for her and she’s jealous when her boyfriends leer at and pay attention to Lexi (like it’s Lexi’s fault or something), she just found out that the father that disappeared from her life is back in his hometown and married with a new family and then all of the shit with watching her crush with a new girlfriend every few weeks.
The more shit that is thrown her way, the more Lexi pulls away from everything. The more she hides behind her fake friends and her fake life. When she starts standing up for herself and realizing who deserve her friendship and her loyalty, I was glad. She spent a lot of time worrying about the wrong things. Doing the wrong things. Hanging with the wrong people but I really liked her relationship with the Bruces, most especially Nolan. Nolan was a constant in her life, one she desperately needed and I was glad that she had him. He saw through everything, accepted her for who she was and what I loved most about their relationship, was that it was completely platonic. They didn’t fall in love with each other or secretly long for each other. They loved each other and had each other’s backs, like siblings do.
The romance between Lexi and the guy she ends up with was more background noise than anything but there was one guy that I absolutely adored from the very beginning and one guy that I never liked at all. I was glad that she ended up with who she ended up with and I liked seeing them together. Seeing the change come over the love interest made my happy.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I thought it was a solid coming of age story but the beginning of the book and even some parts in the middle dragged for me and I kept wanting to skip ahead. There were parts of the book where I wasn’t so sure I’d like Lexi but I’m glad that I stuck with it, because the ending worked for this book. It’s not my favorite read of the month but it was still a solid story.
Grade: 3 out of 5