Review Time! Everyone's heard of Alyson Noel right? The bestselling author of the Immortal series? Well, before she wrote paranormal romance she wrote contemporary! She still does ( I think) but Faking 19 is her first novel! Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy!
(Goodreads) On the surface, seventeen-year-old Alex has it made. She’s beautiful and smart, plus she’s best friends with M, the absolute most popular girl in school. Feeling bored with their fancy Orange County suburban town, Alex and M decide to check out L.A.’s glitzy nightlife scene.
Pretending to be nineteen, Alex and M meet Trevor and Connor, two rich older guys. At first Alex can’t believe her luck—she gets to hang out at hip Hollywood house parties and downtown L.A. clubs. These weekend trips into the city become the perfect distraction for Alex, who is secretly struggling with her failing senior-year grades, her absentee father, and her clueless mom.
But after the initial fun wears off for Alex, she is forced to re-evaluate her friendship with M, who is hiding some secrets beneath her perfect Burberry-clad exterior…
The Short Story? - I'm going to have to eat my own words again. You know how I don't like coming-to-age novels OR dark contemporaries? Well, Faking 19 was a little of both and I loved it. Absolutely loved it, I was expecting something along the lines of Gossip Girl and I get something better! Beautifully written, fantastic characters and a great message behind it all, Faking 19 a novel every teen should read!
The Long Story? - I really don't know where to start with this novel. I have to say it wasn't what I expected but it past my expectations. It's a novel with great messages behind it, it's little bit of a coming-to-age novel but not in the traditional sense, it's not embarrassing or gross or badly written. I would say that this one would appeal to Deb Caletti, Lauren Barnholdt and Susane Colasanti.
The plot was rather simple, there wasn't really any conflict or "action". There was no boy to stake claim ( not really) or any school to conquer yet it was typically YA contemporary. It wasn't fast-paced but it flowed nicely along. It's one of those novels that everyone can relate to. Faking 19 circulates the fact that since the divorce of Alex's parents, she's kind of slipped away. She's neglected and she doesn't care anymore, her grades are slipping and she's pretty much hit rock bottom. Faking 19 is more of a emotional journey or better described as a "finding yourself" kind of novel. I'm not normally a "finding yourself" reader but this novel really touched me, the problems Alex faces could be the problems of any teenage girl, it hits close to home ( not that close since I'm not neglected or anything) but it's a novel that has importance.
The characterisation was great. Alex, our protagonist, is someone I'd grown to admire. She's hit rock bottom, she's pretty much blown her chance at college but yet she manages to work her way around all her problems and deal with it. She hopes and sets herself goals, she pushes past her anger and grows to accept that not everything is going to be perfect, that people make mistakes. Alex was strong and willing to put faith into hope. She was realistic and someone I could connect to. M, Alex's best friend, wasn't someone I had grown to like but she was a necessarily character because she played the role of the better, prettier and smarter "cliched" best friend. The boys, Trevor and Connor were also a milestone that Alex had to over come, she had to realise that taking the easy way out isn't going to solve everything and she can't rely on others. Overall, it was a very neat cast, very well portrayed.
Alyson's writing style in Faking 19 is very different from her writing style in the Immortal series, honestly I couldn't tell they were written by the same author. I really liked how Faking 19 was wrote, it was so "teen", the narrative voice was angry and sarcastic. The language used is simple and easy to read. It's a really comfortable read, not difficult and not very long ( only about 200 pages), it's definitely a one-sitting-read.
Faking 19 is a novel about finding yourself and holding onto hope. It's novel with an important moral, no one's perfect and even when you make mistakes you can't give up, you just have to move on. It's a very inspirational read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great characters, well-written and a novel everyone can connect to. Faking 19 is perfect for anyone whose ever been a teen. This is your story.
Rating - 4/5
Badass Bookie xx