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.
I have no idea if you guys know but I am a sucker for bestfriends-turned-lovers kind of romance. That’s one of my favorite tropes. The Fine Art of Pretending is exactly the kind of book I need to read when I’m feeling a little blue because it’s enjoyable, fun, a bit sarcastic and yes, fluffy. It’s a mix of light and drama, just the right one. Besides romance, it focuses of friendship and family.
“It’s not as if the boy can help that he’s easy to fall in love with.”
This book is about Aly, who wants to change her status in school from Commitment, girls who are supposed to be looking for serious relationships, to Casual, the no-strings-attached-casual-hook-up kind. It started from her make-over transformation with the help of her friends, Kara and Gabi, but she thought she could level up so she asked her bestfriend, Brandon, for help. They pretended to hook-up, but what they didn’t know was their friendship was on the line when they started to have real feelings for each other.
It’s cute. It’s adorable, funny, snarky, sarcastic. I love the relationship between Aly and Brandon. It’s realistic. I think that there’s actually nothing wrong or weird with having platonic relationships with the opposite sex. Although, yes, there’s the possibility of yearning for more, but it’s not impossible to be “just friends”. I’ve done that, still am. I loved both of the characters, almost all actually. Aly is smart, adorable and funny. She’s also kind and caring, especially to her sister. Brandon is the same, he also has a sister, who is actually BFFs with Aly’s sister. Brandon is adorable as well! He’s also very protective of Aly, which made him agree to the fake romance thingy Aly suggested. I love that they’re actually perfect for each other. The chemistry between them is strong. I loved how their romance unfolded throughout the book.
“Maybe I do have a little Casual buried deep inside after all. Maybe I always have. Or maybe it’s that we’re like that ‘80s movie, The Breakfast Club, where we’re all a little bit of everyone.
We’re all undefinable.”
The other characters were lovely as well. Aly’s friends, Kara and Gabi, both have interesting personalities. So were some of Brandon’s friends, Carlos and Drew. They’re pretty funny and I loved that they all had big contributions to the story. Lauren Hays, the um, well villain sounds pretty heavy but you get the point, was a bit annoying. She didn’t actually get on my nerves, because even though she bitches all the time, sometimes what she’s saying has some point. She’s not really the villain, she’s more of the antiheroine. Justin Carter, one of the most popular guys in their school, was the main target of Aly’s Operation Sex Appeal. I thought he was a real player, but there’s actually more to him which was nice to see.
“Loving someone, being loved… It’s worth the pain of losing them.”
The plot may be a bit cliché and predictable but I really enjoyed reading it. The writing was spectacular. It’s very realistic and spontaneous. The romance is sweet and cheesy and I love it!