Faking It by Cora Carmack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cade is in graduate school in the city where his former best friend and unrequited crush now lives with the love of her life. He is experiencing a painful transition from the fun and care free college life to the life of a poor graduate student getting a taste of the real post-college world. Max (Mackenzie) is wrestling with some ten year old grief following a life-altering loss. She and is struggling to be herself and follow her heart to a career performing music. In an attempt to keep her dysfunctional conservative family from cutting off her financial support- in a moment of crisis she enlists perfect looking and acting Cade to pose as her boyfriend to appease them. Cade finds that he is attracted to someone in a serious way for the first time in a long time, and Max finds herself breaking down some walls to allow herself to really feel something for someone else. It becomes clear quickly that the pretend stuff isn't so pretend.
I think it speaks favorably about Cora Carmack's writing that I didn't really like Cade in Losing It, but I sure came around quickly when I started this book. What it means to me is that in Losing It I was feeling from Bliss's perspective- which was that Cade's attraction was unwanted and unreturned, and a little annoying. I felt sorry for him, but not sorry with him. Then I start reading this and through Cade's eyes- start being irritated with Bliss and Garrick for being so hurtful in flaunting their love. What? I was totally cheering them on in the last book. Good job Ms. Carmack. It is an interesting feeling to be taken away from my own perspective as a reader because I'm forced to feel along with the character.
I liked Max, but I didn't love Max. Mostly I liked Max because of how much Cade liked her. I appreciated that his attraction to her helped him heal and feel good. I wanted them together from the beginning. Even the whole "pretend boyfriend turns into a real boyfriend" theme in a lot of books is a little played out I didn't feel that this was just that same story being told again. There was something about it that made it not seem as completely unrealistic as that situation would be in real life. Max and Cade's chemistry was fantastic, and I felt the heat from their interactions throughout the book. I thought Max's parents were a little over-the-top, as was their change of heart in a matter of hours after Max revealed her true self to them. I also wish the book was longer. I would have liked to see more of everything. Perhaps they both go to Texas and Max could meet Cade's grandmother? The ending felt a little abrupt. But since I wanted more and would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Losing It- I'm giving it 4 stars.
View all my reviews