Series: Losing It, #2
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow & Co
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: OMG So Cute
Reviewed by: Kate
Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.
Losing It. I didn't love it for a lot of reasons, not least of which was the title, which made me uncomfortable (I'm a married grown up; I don't know what's wrong with me). And it's about actors at theater school. I act for a living, so I find stuff about acting and actors to be kind of embarrassing to read. I also read it maybe a little to soon after the abysmal Slammed, which covers a similar relationship (although Slammed handles it in a way that is yucky, unethical, and short on charm), so I never really gave it a shot. Slammed is a terrible book, and if you haven't read it, don't. Please don't read it. Please.
Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.
But this week, something magical happened. Faking It went down to $2.99 in the Kindle store, and I was stuck in bed with a cold, an injured back, cramps, and three flavors of pudding. And guess what? It is the most charming book in the whole wide world. Holy moly. During an early scene, I caught myself giggling aloud. Giggling. Me. I don't giggle--my laugh is a humiliating guffaw of Julia Roberts proportions.
The meet-cute is more of a meet-adorable. It's...you guys, I can't write this. I just started giggling again thinking about it. Man. OK. Be serious, Katie.
OK. Max, our awesome rockabilly female love interest (we bounce back and forth between her and Cade's first-person accounts of what has happened, and that narration style, while generally annoying, works fine here), is at a coffee shop with her terrible boyfriend when her parents call to say they're in town from Oklahoma and they'll be at the coffee shop in five minutes to meet the boyfriend. So obviously he bails, leaving Max kinda hung out to dry, and she convinces Cade, who's having coffee alone following an awkward meeting with his former best friend, to play her boyfriend for the weekend. You guys, I know it sounds dumb. I know. But it's so, so good.
Oh! So Max is in a band with her best dude friend and the useless boyfriend we met earlier. When her best friend says she has "balls of steel," she calls him out on how crappy that is, and guys, it made me really happy. Because she points out that women can be strong and that complimenting a woman by saying she's masculine is actually insulting to our gender. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine, and this book stole my heart by having a character take a stand on it.
I also really like that a big deal is not made of the fact that Max occasionally smokes. YA and NA literature tends to treat smoking as either really disgusting or really cool, and this book is just like, "Hey, some people smoke sometimes because it forces them to take big breaths and that calms them down," and that's it.
It also talks about the thing where you're not religious and when you go back home for the holidays you have to hold hands with everyone and say Grace before you can eat any food. Because sitting through the prayers of a different religion from what you personally believe is really awkward. And you have to hold someone's sweaty hand while enduring it.
Things that bothered me, and I'm really grasping at straws here:
"Drink" is, very early in the book, used as used as both a noun and a verb in the same sentence. Just specify what's she's sipping on and you won't have to say things like "She took a drink of her drink." In fact, we already know it's coffee. So say that and it won't be weird.
This author also makes some unfortunate pronoun choice mistakes. She tends to say "you and I" when "you and me" would actually be grammatically correct.
I also have a major pet peeve that's kind of dumb, but this book touched on it several times: Original song lyrics in books make me extremely uncomfortable. Where She Went is the only book I've ever read with song lyrics that were actually good and did not make me squirm, and as much as I loved this book, it is no Where She Went. So if you have this same issue, prepare to cringe a lot.
Also, there's a big emotional reveal at the end, and it's kind of a dud. Like, I kind of felt like, "Oh, that's sad. Ten years it's taken you to get over it, huh?"
So as far as New Adult lit goes, Cora Carmack is not as good a writer as, say, a Gayle Forman or a Tammara Webber, but who cares? This is a fun, sweet series. And if you have a kindle, Losing It is currently $1.99 and Faking It is $2.99. That's pretty awesome. AND the next book is going to follow a new main character while she backpacks around Europe. What's not to love?