April 4, 2014

Faking It by Cora Carmack

I mean, she'd asked a complete stranger to pretend to be her boyfriend. She had seemed fearless. Parents were apparently her Kryptonite.
-from Faking It by Cora Carmack
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* This review contains spoilers for Losing It by Cora Carmack*

I enjoyed Cora Carmack's Losing It enough to give its companion novel, Faking It, a read. I was disappointed that this story wasn't a sequel, but instead the story of Cade in grad school in Philadelphia. But if you loved the flawed characters and sassy narration that Carmack provides in the preceding novel, then you'll have no trouble adjusting to Cade and female protagonist, Max, in this comedic contemporary romance.

After graduating college, sweet and wholesome Cade Winston decides to pursue grad school in Philly; unfortunately this is the same idea as his unrequited love, Bliss, who also moves to Philly with her boyfriend Garrick. When Cade learns that Garrick is going to propose to Bliss, he knows that he must move on. As the fates would have it, in walks Mackenzie Miller aka Max, a beautiful, rough-around-the-edges girl with tattoos, piercings, and unnaturally bright red hair. She approaches Cade with a proposition: pretend to be her wholesome boyfriend for her crazy conservative parents who are visiting in exchange for a date. While they appear to be polar opposites, Max and Cade quickly learn that they each have something the other needs to be whole: adventure and acceptance respectively. But with so many differences and a relationship built on a lie, it seems impossible for them to trust each other.

I've always enjoyed a good "boyfriend/girlfriend-for-hire" story (yes, I even love the terrible Debra Messing movie The Wedding Date, even though it's so bad), and this one didn't disappoint. This story was a lot deeper than I anticipated, which was both endearing and cryptic. We know that there's a reason Max and her parents have such a disconnect, but we don't learn a lot about it until later in the story. I liked that Max wasn't black-and-white emotionally, but I think too much time was spent on the chase of the relationship and not enough spent on Max's emotional past. In general, I really liked Max, even if I couldn't relate to her chaotic nature and ability to shut off her emotions. She was colorful, adventurous, and her fear of her parents was especially interesting. Similarly, I enjoyed learning more about Cade and his history. It helped that this story was told in alternation perspectives of both Cade and Max.

True to her writing style, Cora Carmack continues to provide funny and honest prose that are true to her characters. Some of the descriptions were so vivid that I laughed out loud ("like a rusty eggbeater to the heart"). However, some parts of this book were just way too ridiculous for me ("I was a masochist. I was just as bad as that crazy monk in The Da Vinci Code, only her smile was my whip." REALLY?). I felt like the characters and overall story were great, but the execution was too fluffed with drama and not enough depth, when there was plenty of room for depth. I didn't mind reading the fluff because I liked the characters, but in evaluating as a story overall, this kind of made it fall flat.

Bottom Line: Another great contemporary romance from Cora Carmack. If you enjoyed Losing It, then you will probably enjoy this one, too. A light read, great for romantic entertainment.3.5/stars

There is a third story in this series, Finding It, which chronicles Kelsey's adventures in Europe. I never really cared for Kelsey, so I don't think I'll be pursuing this one unless it becomes a part of the Kindle Lending Library.

1 comment:

  1. I wondered about this one, and I also love stories like this and The Wedding Date, but I'm sure this one would end up annoying me like the first. I might give it a try sometime when I'm in the mood for fluff! That Da Vinci Code quote is just obnoxious though! haha. Great review!


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