Friday 16 November 2012

Reviewed by Emily: The Truth About Faking by Leigh Talbert Moore.

Product details:
 Publisher: Self-Published.
 Release date: September 1st 2012.
 eBook, 328 pages. 
Rating:2½ out of 5 
Ages: 14+ 
Source: Received from author for review. 
Reviewed by: Emily. 

Jason just wants a date with Harley.
Harley just wants a date with Trent.
Trent's still getting over Stephanie.

When Harley and Jason decide to fake date, they uncover a school of deceptions. Trent's got a secret, but so does Jason. And the more time Harley spends secretly kissing her fake boyfriend, the further she gets from her dreams with Trent.

Worst of all, Harley's mom is getting cozy with her hot massage therapy student, and even Harley's Reverend Dad can't fake not being bothered by it. But when the masks finally come off, can everyone handle the real truth?

When we first meet Harley, she’s determined to bag a date with Trent – AKA her future husband and Mr Right. She's got it all figured out. But her carefully laid plan starts to go awry when Jason James crashes into her with his car. He’s nothing like Trent and, worse, he's completely ruining Harley's plan. As she gets to know Jason and Trent more, she starts to wonder what she really wants… Should she stick to her guns? Or should she be brave and try something new? On top of her awkward romantic life, things are complicated for Harley at home. Her mother’s suspicious relationship with one of her students is attracting attention and Harley has no idea why her mother doesn’t just put an end to all the rumours.

The Truth About Faking is a sweet contemporary YA novel with an admirable message about forgiveness and acceptance at its heart. I loved the romance between Harley and Jason – it was heart-warming but not toothache-inducing sweet. Talbert Moore writes deliciously funny dialogue à la Meg Cabot and this made the banter between Harley and Jason really fun to read. As a well-developed and interesting character, Jason was definitely the star of this novel. But unfortunately these things weren’t enough to make up for parts of the novel that didn’t work for me.

Harley makes the worst decisions. She decides to do things based on big assumptions and little logic. Most of the time I kind of wanted to reach through the screen and shake her. She’s the sort of main character that makes you want to yell, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?” I might've been able to forgive Harley's terrible decision-making skills – who hasn't done something silly over a guy before? – but she’s also pretty selfish and harsh on her parents, which made it hard to sympathise with her. I love it when characters have realistic flaws, but Harley’s redeeming qualities were few and far between.

Talbert Moore says this was one of the first novels she ever wrote, and this is reflected in the quality of the writing. Clumsy sentences made this a difficult read. This one stands out most in my memory: “Somehow, someway, something must’ve gone wrong for our special moment to have gone so wrong.” Um…what? Something went wrong because something went wrong? I can’t help but think these issues would’ve been fixed with another round or two of close editing. However, Talbert Moore definitely has a grasp on good story-telling techniques and I look forward to seeing her prose develop.

Perhaps the biggest qualm I had with TTAF was its predictability. There's a huge twist revealed towards the end, which I figured out pretty early in the book. It was so obvious to me and I thought Harley was catching on a little too slowly. This made me feel as though the story was dragging and made the whole experience quite frustrating. I really liked the concept of the twist, but I wish it had been executed better.

The interesting themes and cute romance compelled me to keep reading until the end, but bigger problems were too hard to overlook when considering my overall feelings about the novel. I'd only recommend this one for die-hard contemporary romance fans looking for a light-hearted (but not life-changing) read.


  1. sounds cute even if predictable!

  2. Ack Harley sounds like a character who would really annoy me! It sounds like a contemp that isn't for me but I can see where it has its merits. Great review!

  3. This sounds like a promising story but if I fail to like the main character I have a hard time liking the story. Stupid or frustrating decisions throughout are a pretty good way to make me want to throw my Kindle out the window. It sounds like you found the story somewhat enjoyable, though. Great review. :)

  4. Thanks Elena! :-)

  5. Thanks Rachel! <3

  6. You're right, it was really cute!

  7. Thanks for the great review, Emily! This sounds like a cute read that I might save for summer! Harley sounds like she might annoy me just a little!!


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