Monday, June 10, 2013
Review: Faking It by Cora Carmack
Review: Faking It by Cora Carmack
Release date: June 7th, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow & Company (HarperCollins)
Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.
Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.
The cover: Eh. It's romance-y and cute enough. They made a game attempt at showing Max's tattoo and dyed hair, but it's not really enough.
The story: MY GOD, do I love this book. Cora Carmack is, to me, everything that's RIGHT with the emerging New Adult genre (and this book is most definitely new adult-- a warning for those who like their books pure and squeaky clean). Faking It focuses on characters, and the plot is derived from those characters and their flaws. But oh, yeah, it just so happens to be SMOKING HOT and wildly romantic. Which works for me.
I read and loved Losing It a long time ago, so I knew I loved Carmack's funny, charming, easy style. But to me, Faking It was even better. The characters are punchier, rawer, and overflowing with personality. I did not want to put this book down. It focuses on Max and Cade, who, if you read the synopsis, start to fake a relationship for her family's sake. But this one form of "faking it" leads them to realize all the other myriad ways they're "faking" their own lives--faking being over their pasts, faking fearless, faking a lot of things.
There's a surprisingly amount of depth in this book. Max and Cade both deal with a lot of emotions, and therefore we do, too. I like a book that manages to balance the lighter, flirtier, sexier stuff with a real emotional journey. Also, this book switches first person POVs between Max and Cade, which I'm always super skeptical about (it's REALLY hard to pull off), but which I think works really well here.
Cade: Perfect boy is perfect. And yes, sometimes that can lead to perfectly bland, but oh, Cade is one of the best sincerely good characters I've ever read about. I loved him (and pitied him) in Losing It, and I loved him even more in Faking It. I'm not sure how Carmack managed to give him so much personality, but she did. Sweet, sexy Cade made me laugh like a hundred times.
Max: MAX IS AWESOME. She's one hundred percent the opposite of Bliss (and absolutely nothing like me, which I LOVE). Simply put, she's a bad-ass. She's damaged, she's bold, she's tattooed, she's a singer in the band, and she's fully, one hundred percent aware that she's a fuck-up. She's pretending to be something she's not so that she won't upset her crazy conservative parents--and so they won't cut her off. Which means she definitely can't introduce them to Mace, who is pierced, tattooed, and usually chemically enhanced. (What I love about Max is she's totally above drugs.) Enter Cade, the preppy-perfect guy her parents always dreamed she'd find, and one hundred percent not Max's type.
OR IS HE?
Max + Cade:
CHEMISTRY, man. Chemistry. These two characters make so much sense for each other I don't even know what to say. Not just physically, either--emotionally, they are a really healthy match, and it's totally swoony and awesome to watch them figure each other out. The emotional obstacles blocking their way to twue wuv are totally natural and justifiable and don't feel author-manufactured. Basically, I shipped them hardcore.
If I were to pick any nits I'd say chapter 27 should have been about fifty pages longer, and Milo the Mexican friend was a little too wise and convenient. And a little annoying. But obviously, if you like swoony romance, a fun time, and laughs galore, I DEFINITELY recommen you check out Faking It. Also, I met the author at BEA, and she was super charming and totally worth standing in line for for about 1234567654 hours. So yay!