February 11, 2014

Encore Review: Faking It by Elisa Lorello

No, my only option was to fake it, play it cool, pretend like I wanted and needed nothing more, not even the bagel, to walk out feeling satisfied. Little did I know that when it came to Devin, I fooled no one, least of all him.
-from Faking It by Elisa Lorello
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Back when I first started this book review blog, I read Faking It and fell in love not only with the book itself, but with the characters, the author's writing and the whole idea that women's fiction can be fun without sacrificing smart. With today's release of Elisa Lorello's She Has Your Eyes, the third novel in the Andi Cutrone series, I couldn't resist re-reading Faking It to refresh myself with the characters that have leaped off of the page and into my life as if they were real people. My re-read proved to be even more powerful than the first time I started Andi's story and I've even upgraded my rating from 4-stars to 5. It also has inspired me to write my first Encore Review, a second look at a book I've re-read because I have so much more to say about it.

Faking It is the story of Dr. Andi Cutrone, a sexually repressed 34-year old college professor who meets Devin, a male escort often hired by her colleagues to escort them to university functions. Fascinated by Devin and hung up on her own lack of sexuality, Andi makes him a proposition: she will teach him about writing and rhetoric if he teaches her about sex. What results from their arrangement is the story of two emotionally broken people who help each other fix themselves in the most unlikely of ways.

Upon re-reading Faking It, my whole experience changed. In my first review, I complained that the beginning wasn't as fluid as the rest of the story; I had found it difficult to focus on piecing Andi's story together. What I didn't have when I read this novel for the first time was faith and trust in the author, especially considering how far-fetched the synopsis of this story seemed at the time. But now I'm a strong believer in Elisa Lorello; I relished in the details of Andi's life this time I read because I trust Lorello meant to include all of the details contained within the pages. I could better understand Andi as a character and better gauge her growth through this trust.

As with any re-read, the second time reading this book helped me to pay better attention to the little things I may have missed. This book, for example, is full of so much beautiful symmetry, one of my favorite things to discover in any book. I recognized that the setting of Andi and Devin's first meeting pops up later in the story which gave it more power to me and helped me better consider their journey. Similarly, Lorello uses symbolism in small ways that made a big impact on me: breakfast, packing, unpacking, so many things I want to flesh out in this review but I don't want to spoil anything for you. Suffice to say, when I grow up and have a book club, I plan on making this one of the first books we read because there's so much more I want to discuss and analyze, even if it's just to swoon over Lorello's unobtrusive use of literary devices.

My favorite part of Elisa Lorello's novels are her characters because without them, I don't think the overall stories would be executed as vividly. Her characters as a whole are written concisely yet nonrigid and interact with each other so realistically that you can't help but love them. I am especially sensitive to dialogue in novels as I feel that it's the lifeblood of the characters, making them fall somewhere on the spectrum of exciting to sterile. Lorello never fails to exceed my expectations with the dialogue of her characters, and Andi and Devin have some of my favorite dialogues in any book I've read. Their comical banter and intense arguments are my favorite parts of the book; I love how Lorello has crafted these two unique characters and then is able to have them interact in a way that is so lively and realistic. I could probably re-read chapters with Andi and Devin's banter over and over again, just like watching a good movie.

Finally, I want to express my appreciation that this book sounds like it's all about sex, but it has very little overtly sexual content at all. This might be disappointing to some readers, but to me it was so refreshing!! So many books have flooded the market about emotionally broken people who sedate their pain with explicit, unrealistic and often shallow sexual encounters. While these stories can entertain me, I cannot personally relate to them. Lorello's writing doesn't drip with shock value, and as a result I think she reaches a greater number of real people who can better identify with her characters. Furthermore, there's a message underneath the surface that I think different readers will take from in different ways. Both times I finished reading Faking It I felt emotionally fulfilled, like I had read something that made a difference in my life even if it was a pretty simple little love story. I think for readers of women's fiction it has the potential to be much more than a story about a professor and escort may sound.

Bottom Line: If you're a woman, you should read this! 5/5 Stars.

Don't forget, the third novel in Andi Cutrone's story, She Has Your Eyes, is out TODAY

I've already read it and can tell you that YOU MUST READ IT! But please read Faking It and Ordinary World first! Look for my review during a Fictionella Blog Tour in March or read it on Goodreads now!


  1. this one sounds interesting. it still fascinates me how sometimes reading a book is like really getting to know someone intimately. first time we meet, there are so many things wrong with him, or otherwise. and the more we know him, it totally changes our perspective about him.

    also, i managed to sneak out to a book store yesterday! i bought 2 books and now in the process reading on the first one. hey, in my case that's a huge leap. haha

  2. This sounds very intriguing, especially since it's about sex but not explicit. The banter sounds amazing! I might have to buy this one at some point, I just checked my library and it has two of her books but not this one =/ But I definitely want to give it a go sometime!


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