Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pretenders by Lisi Harrison


by Lisi Harrison

 My picture is on page eighteen of Noble High's Phoenix yearbook. I am one of the Phoenix Five. You nominated me. You thought I was one of the most outstanding students in our freshman class. You were wrong.

Still, I accepted my award. I acted special. But I couldn't help wondering what it was like to be that way for real. So I broke into Ms. Silver's safe in the faculty lounge and stole all five of our journals. I'm not exposing them out of jealousy or anger. I'm doing this because I am tired of the lies. The bar is too high, and cheating is the only way to reach it. Instagrams are filtered, Facebook profiles are embellished, photos are shopped, Manti T'eo's girlfriend was a anything real anymore?

I found the answer in our journals. These are 100 percent real and 100 percent unedited. The proof is in the pages:

We're all pretenders.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.

I am usually pretty hard on young adult books, even books with very high ratings.  Throne of Glass, I'm looking at you.  So I find it a little funny that I liked this as much as I did.  Sure, the characters are all extremely immature except for Jagger, the emancipated boy with parents on death row who talks about eating dog biscuits to gain enough weight.  That was a joke...right?  Anyway, they are all obsessed with becoming popular or getting their crush to like them.  It is high school, after all.  And these kids are freshmen and prone to doing very stupid things.  These kids are extremely gifted so they do stupid things in big ways.  I did have a hard time believing that anyone could be as naive as Lilly, though.  That girl has some issues.

The book was about these kids trying to discover who they really are amid bullies, betrayals, and secret crushes.  All the while small misunderstandings and lies build until their whole made-up world crashes down around them.
It was pretty good and each kid had their own distinct voice that really let me think that I was reading their journal entries.  I liked it all until the ending.  That wasn't a cliff-hanger.  That was a non-ending.  It was like walking toward a cliff edge and falling it a pit ten feet away.  I would have liked at least some closure.

Overall, I give it 3/5 stars

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