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Danielle

What Danielle Did Next

A YA and NA book review blog

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Faking It

Faking It - Cora Carmack Read more reviews at What Danielle Did NextThis book was the perfect escape for me. I was having a hard time last week and needed to get out of my head and Faking It gave me the perfect excuse to do that and I could not put it down!This is the story of Max, a girl who likes to go her own way, doesn’t try to fit in, she’s independent, smoking hot and knows what she wants...on the surface. She’s also one big ball of grief trying desperately to recover from a tragedy in her past (Don’t worry she’s not the typical NA damaged girl or my Kindle would have been introduced to the wall by page one) and as such doesn’t let her emotions come to the surface very often. She’s closed off from getting truly connected in a relationship and only feels her pain when she engages in her true love - music. This way of life works well for her until the day before Thanksgiving when her parents decide to spring a surprise visit on her and her carefully crafted individualistic persona shatters and she panics and realises she needs an escape plan. She’s covered in piercings and tattoos she usually hides with a trusty turtleneck and let’s not even talk about the wholly inappropriate boyfriend whom her parents are just dying to meet. With her folks about to walk into the cafe they arranged to meet in, Max gets rid of said boyfriend desperately searches for an alternative that won’t give her parents a heart attack.Enter Cade. If you’ve read Losing It by Cora Carmack you’ll recognise the sweet love-sick puppy that was heartbroken when his best friend Bliss didn’t return his love and moved to Philadelphia to get away from her only to end up in the same town. Trying to recover from his humiliation and get on with his life, Cade is floundering. Post-College adult life isn’t as much fun as he thought so when a beautiful, charismatic girl called Max asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend while she has coffee with her parents...what has he got to lose?I adored every minute of this book. It had everything I wanted in a contemporary romance. Fun, laughter, heartbreak, sex, and two amazing characters. Max was without a doubt my favourite NA heroine. She’s not whiny, she’s not perfect, and she’s real. She recognises her failings and knows she needs to work on them. She feels the fear and while it takes some coaxing she faces up to it. Cade, the golden boy with the heart wrenching past, has never felt like he truly deserves the love he craves. Always searching for perfection so that people won’t abandon him like in his childhood, instead he “lets people go.” His explanation in the book as to why he does this was so sad and sweet and made me love him even more. I confess while reading Losing It I didn’t pay much attention to Cade but I adored him in Faking It.There’s one moment when the protective veil that both Max and Cade are hiding behind falls down and they truly connect. I don’t want to spoil it but there’s a big connection between chapter nine of Losing It and chapter twelve of Faking It that gave me THE FEELS and made me understand Cade so much more and I adore Carmack for including it. I fangirled so hard.The chemistry and sexual tension between Max and Cade is electrifying and I was on tenterhooks for the entire book willing them to stop playing the roles of boyfriend and girlfriend and actually be boyfriend and girlfriend. The connection between them and their respective pasts meant that even on the surface their relationship was deeper and more honest than either of them had ever expected and it was a joy to watch the walls begin to crumble. What I loved is that this book wasn’t formulaic, at no time did I eye roll and think “well they’re going to get their happy ending anyway (grumble bitch grumble)” and equally disaster wasn’t shoved in your face to make a point. The theme of grief plays a big part in this book and I thought Carmack handled it as sensitively as she did the theme of virtue in Losing It.At all times there’s a strong message to be yourself and I loved this book for that. It doesn’t sugar-coat the difficulties and the loneliness that sometimes travelling your own path will bring but it always makes you believe that with a little hope and honesty the path you find yourself on may not be the one you expected but it is the one you were destined for. Loved it!P.S: Can Finding It be out like ya know...NOW?!