REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
by Rebecca Phillips
Faking Perfect is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
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?
“Let’s not do this anymore,” I said to his bare back as he took off his shirt and turned it right side out. I kept my eyes on the tattoo on his left shoulder blade - the grim reaper in his black cloak, smiling and holding a scythe. The harvester of souls.
Tyler pulled on his shirt and glanced back at me with a flickering of a smile. I tried not to let it get to me. All my life, I’d suffered such a weakness for boys like him. In the first grade, I’d had a massive crush on Cody Hatcher, who pushed kids at recess and regularly spit on the teachers. By middle school, I felt myself drawn to the troubled boys with bad home lives who cut class and sneaked cigarettes behind the convenience store. Then, in the tenth grade, when I started cultivating my good girl image and making new friends, I gave up on the bad boys and set my sights on the nice, well-adjusted ones. Like Ben Dorsey, for instance, track star and honors student and way too good to be true. Too good for me, anyway, which was why I’d strayed back to the bad boys again.
But nobody could ever know about that.
“Do what?” Tyler said, even though he knew full well what I meant. He’d heard those words from me before.
“This.” I gestured to the tangled sheets and my half-nude body and then to him, the ultimate bad boy with his tattoo and cigarettes and close, personal acquaintance with the entire Oakfield police department.
“This,” he repeated, leaning over the bed toward me, his hands sinking into the mattress. I pulled away from him, but not before I caught the warm, smoky scent of his skin. He saw my reaction and laughed, which infuriated and excited me. “You really want to stop this. You want me to leave and never come back. Right?”
We stared each other down. From above, I could hear the faint applause of a live studio audience.
“Right,” Tyler said, lowering his face to mine. He kissed me and I let him, even though once had been enough and he was the one in control and my mother was upstairs and awake.
I knew I was supposed to refuse him, to squash this problem once and for all and become the girl most people saw each day - the smiling, confident girl who’d secured a place at the top of the high school food chain. But I could never truly be her, at least not permanently. So I turned off the lamp, wrapped my arms around Tyler’s neck, and pulled him closer. I shut my mind to everything else, including the intrusive thoughts of Ben. Ben, who I possibly could have loved if only I was brave enough to love someone like him.
I didn’t love Tyler Flynn. I didn’t even like him.
Praise for the Book
"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 didn’t have to fake much at all – this book is an amazing read! Packed with chaotic family drama, sneaky bad boys who’ll steal your heart and a resident nerd best friend any girl in real life absolutely needs, Phillips’s latest delivers an emotional roller-coaster ride of a not-so-perfect teenage girl’s life. Fans of The Duff will love this, as it is a great story of an underdog finally coming out on top, as she learns to love each flaw she has, one at a time." ~ RT Book Reviews
"Fans of Sarah Dessen's novels will enjoy this book. Phillips will soon be a must-read YA writer for those who love romance and drama." ~ School Library Journal
"Faking Perfect is a perfect example of how characters evolve in spite of adversity." ~ The Young Folks
By Lynda Dickson
Bad boy Tyler Flynn has been sneaking into Lexi's bedroom window for the last six months, but no one knows. Lexi actually likes the perfect Ben, so she hides her darker side behind the façade of being a good girl. She hangs around with the popular crowd, but her real best friend is her geeky neighbor Nolan - he's the only one she can really be herself with. She can't let her "friends" see the real her - the vulnerable girl abandoned by her father and with a self-involved mother who pays her no attention. Then, when Tyler starts acting weird, Lexi's absent father suddenly resurfaces, and Lexi receives unwanted advances from her mother's latest pervy boyfriend, Lexi knows she is in for one hell of a senior year. But, sometimes your true love can be right under your nose, and you just don't know it. Will Lexi get her much-needed happy ending?
Faking Perfect is heartbreaking in its intensity and believability. Here is a girl who feels unloved and abandoned and looks for love in all the wrong places. She hides her secrets in her Corn Snakes book because she knows her mother will never go near it. This girl could be you, or your daughter, or your best friend. This girl is real. Being the mother of two teenage girls myself, this is scary stuff. Hopefully, books like this will prompt us to become more aware of what is going on in the lives of our loved ones.
A perfect read for teenage girls and their families.
About the Author
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 latest YA novel, Faking Perfect was released June 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.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes (US only).