Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Faking It

FAKING IT
Losing It #2
Cora Carmack
Contemporary New Adult
304 pages
William Morrow
Available June 4th
Source: From publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS
Faking It is a story that follows a predictable arc, but underneath the broad umbrella of its familiar premise is a pocket of layered intimacy, where Max, Cade and Ms. Carmack’s innate ability to weave an extremely engaging tale play off one another and treat us to the beauty that results. Knowing the final destination of the relationship between Max and Cade doesn’t for a moment detract from our enjoyment of the incredibly rocky journey to get there, and we can help but luxuriate in two people who have been playing their separate roles for so long they’ve even convinced themselves of their own authenticity, and it’s a joy to watch the bright lights on the stage of their lives go out and force them both to face the shadows of reality.

Max, for all that she is hiding from the world and her family in particular, has a sort of refreshing honesty about her, saying what she means when she means it and bantering with Cade in a way that brings a huge smile to our faces. It doesn’t take long for us to see her fear though, one she covers with layer after layer of physical glamour in the form of heavy stage makeup, vibrant hair color, and tattoos in order to distract people from looking any closer. She’s but a player in her own life, laced up in the corseted costume of a leading lady and bound tight by the blinding terror of what might await her should the role she’s playing be stripped away to leave only Max in its place.

Cade gets his fingers, literally and figuratively, underneath those laces however, pulling them loose and forcing her to face what’s been hidden for so long. In doing so, he finds the unrelenting grip he has on Max to be something new for him, her inherent desire to flee from that which scares her triggering a previously unrealized desire in Cade to give chase, thus freeing him from his casting as the bystander in Bliss’s life. Max and Cade fit together in a way that’s fascinating; not necessarily two pieces that click into place as though that’s how they were always meant to be, but rather pieces that get turned every which way as they search for a way to come together, and the reward–as it always is–is that much greater for the struggle.

The only minor complaint with this story is the speed with which some major issues between Max and her family are resolved. Her parent’s expectations and the haunting perfection of a lost sister are what drive Max to apply all her layers as buffers against the truth of who she wants to be, and when it finally comes time for her to step off the stage and face her potential critics, things seem to work out quite simply after a minor showdown. That drawback aside though, Faking It is delightful and moving, and Ms. Carmack continues to cement her place on my list of auto-buy authors.

Rating: 4/5
 

Find Cora


This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

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BONUS MATERIAL

A few weeks ago I posted the fantastic news that Cora Carmack was going to be releasing additional scenes from book one, Losing It, from Garrick's point of view (YAY!) should the pre-order sales for Faking It reach certain numbers. This made me absurdly happy as I adored Losing It and Garrick in particular, so I'm thrilled to be able to share with you the first of these bonus scenes below. Cora has released three scenes in total, and you can find all of them on her blog. Hope you enjoy!

45 comments:

  1. I do not want things to be resolved too quickly, but then again I do not want it to go on and on either

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    1. I agree, I would rather have things be solved a little too quick than drawn out a little too long:) I just love Cora's writing!

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  2. I'm glad that despite you knowing which way Faking it would go, you were still able to enjoy this book Jenny. I felt so sorry for Cade in Losing it, so I'm glad that he finally gets his own happy ending. Also thanks for sharing this bonus material with us, I remember reading about it on twitter some while ago! :)

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    1. Me too Jasprit! I just wanted to hug him in Losing It, and then my thoughts about him got progressively dirtier in Faking It ;-)

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  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Jenny! I'm not one for predictable romance arcs like this one, so I doubt this book is for me. Still, it's always great to find an author you love, so I'm glad you've found another!(:

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    1. In romances, I like knowing there's going to be an HEA at the end. I need that, so this worked perfectly for me, and I'm definitely a fan of Cora's!

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  4. Yay, glad you liked this one too. I loved this one a ton more than the first, I think there is a third one coming out too, cant wait!! :)

    ~Tina

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    1. SO EXCITED FOR THE NEXT BOOK TINA! Though I gave them the same rating, I liked this one even more than Losing It too, Cade and Max were just awesome:)

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  5. I still don't know if NA is my cup of tea. I don't think I'd enjoy it as much as I enjoy my little YA niche. Perhaps that makes me a wee bit sheltered haha either way, it does sound like an enjoyable read, and I'm glad it didn't disappoint! Great review, Jenny! Glad to have you back from BEA!

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    1. Let me know if you want some NA recommendations, I have lots if you want to give them a try:) I really enjoy Cora's books, they're really quick, fun reads with great characters.

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  6. Ooooh, hon! I'm so glad you liked this. I felt so bad for Cade at the end of Losing it and I'm glad we get to share his journey to real love. I like that Max and Cade are complete opposites where as the MCs in Losing It were anything but. I adore the cover so much more than the cover for the first book and I'm sooooooooo excited for this baby. Yay!

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    1. I loved it Siiri! I can't wait to see what you think:) I love getting the story of a character we've already met in a previous book, it means I'm fully engaged in the story from page one:)

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  7. My book club buddies love this author. They did warn me that it was a little to NA for me but I am so glad that so many love it :) Awesome review!

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    1. I really enjoy her Felicia, and if this book is any indication, the series will just keep getting better as it goes:)

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  8. I'm so excited to read this one! I don't mind a bit of predictability as long as the characters are strong and the story engages me along the way. It sounds like Max is a complicated, interesting character, and I know Cade is (and that the guy deserves a happy ending!) Amazing review, and thanks for sharing these extra scenes! :-)

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    1. I adored Max Lauren! She and Cade were such fun, interesting characters. I so enjoyed their story:)

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  9. Woot, I loved book one and am so glad this one delivered! I love the characters and cannot wait to begin the rocky journey and you are right even though we know we will get out HEA I always enjoy the ride! Wonderful review and welcome back!

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    1. YAY! Can't wait to see what you think of this one Kimba!

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  10. I have Losing It still to read but I am really looking forward to reading it and this one as well. Thanks for posting the deleted scene!

    I hope you had a great time at BEA!!

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    1. Thank you! I had an awesome time, I'll be putting up a wrap up post this weekend:):)

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  11. *quickly and quietly adds these books to my recommendations list*

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  12. Sounds like a good story, despite the predictability (it seems like most contemporary stories are predictable, if you read enough of them)! The characters sound great. I'll have to check it out, along with Losing It.

    Great review!

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    1. I like my romances predictable, I can't help it. If I went into a story knowing it was a romance and the couple didn't end up together or some sort of weird twist happened, I'd be all out of sorts. I need my nice comforting HEA:)

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  13. I enjoyed this one too! Max was such an awesome girl. I loved her straight-up personality, but I hated that she had to be a certain way in front of her parents. Though I agree with you on the end, it was resolved too easily and didn't feel real. Great review, Jenny!

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    1. I did too! I so wanted her to just be who she was, but I could also understand the pressure she was under to be a certain way. I just loved her:)

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  14. You know I've actually been staying away from NA because it just seems to dramalicious for me, but you have me wanting Losing It and now I want Faking It because of you. *shakes fist* Darn you Jenny! I just love the way you make these characters sound fascinating!

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    1. Both of these books are relatively drama free in terms of the melodramatic, love-triangle type of angst. There's of course drama, but not of the over the top, hot/cold relationship variety:) Highly recommend Melissa!

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  15. Welcome back! I cannot wait to read your recap post on BEA. I am with Melissa, I am not the biggest fan of NA because too many follow the same formula, stomp your heart tear out your guts and too much angst, but this sounds like a series I can get behind!

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    1. Thanks Heidi! I really enjoy this series because there's just the right amount of drama. Nothing that makes you want to pull your heart out in frustration, just a few things here and there to keep you fully engaged:)

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  16. Lately, I've come to realize that predictable is good, relaxing even, and I appreciate it very much. So clearly I need to start this series immediately - I've been reading more contemporary lately anyway.
    I love that they don't just fit together easily, watching them struggle and seeing their efforts rewarded will be a delight, I'm sure.
    As usual, fabulous review, Jenny!

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    1. YES! There are times when I get so stressed out reading the super emotional, rip your heart out and stomp on it type of books that I just need to relax with something fun and flirty and entertaining:)

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  17. I've been a little gun shy with the NA romance books. Some of them work and others are just too much angst or back and forth. It sounds like this might be one of the good ones that I might enjoy though!

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    1. These don't have the back and forth Candace, I think you'll like them. There's obviously drama and conflict or they would be really slow reads, but they're not overly angsty in the least:)

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  18. Jenny, your back! Nice review. I'm not sure if I wanted to read this book since I wasn't really impressed by the first book. Still your review changes my mind. I might enjoyed this one better. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I am! I really enjoyed Losing It, but I liked this one even better, so maybe it might work better for you as well. Cade and Max are a really fun couple:)

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  19. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and insights about this book. I was always of the opinion that people who were "flashy" wanted to be looked at. I never thought that it was a way of hiding. I could see how the lack of a big blow up after all her deception and worrying would be disappointing. Sometimes in real life though, things that you worry so much about have a very anti-climactic ending. I would think for a book though, it should be more dramatic.

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  20. Ah, the old pay you to be my boyfriend trope. I'm about to try that myself ha ha.

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  21. you are lucky! I'requested this one from NetGalley but unfortunately didn't get approved because of my location. Too bad I'm excited to read more about Cade.

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  22. Sounds great! I was reading the Scene Where They Meet and realized I'd been here way longer than I should since I have a post to write! I think I like this author's writing very much. Seems to be something substantial behind her story instead of just jumping into bed. I like that very much! I will give both a try!

    Heather

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  23. Losing It was such a fun read, so I've been looking forward to this one. Love the premise!

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  24. I JUST GOT THIS TODAY!!!!! Cannot wait to start it now :)

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  25. "Max and Cade fit together in a way that’s fascinating; not necessarily two pieces that click into place as though that’s how they were always meant to be, but rather pieces that get turned every which way as they search for a way to come together ..." Jenny, romances like this are the best! I find them so much more realistic.

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  26. I loved the first one in this series, Losing It, so I'm so excited to hear that Faking It turned out well for you, Jenny. I wanted Cade to get his own HEA! Thanks for posting the extras for Losing It! Lovely review. :)

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  27. I read it last night in one sitting and loved it!

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