Title: Faking It (Losing It #2)
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Released: 4th June 2013
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Once again, Cora Carmack has provided a quick, humourous read with characters easy to root for. This time we follow the story of Cade, who is in Philadelphia hoping that he can escape his problems and focus on his career. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be working for him at the moment. Then he meets Max and suddenly finds himself pretending to be her boyfriend. But a role only meant to last a few minutes somehow turns into something much more long-term. And the longer they pretend, the less certain they are that it's fake.
I felt bad for Cade after the events of Losing It, so I was looking forward to seeing him have the chance for his own happy ending - even if the journey there was by no means easy. I like that Carmack doesn't attempt to make her characters fit images or stereotypes; instead she makes them real, relatable, unpretending. Max intrigued me from the moment I met her, and it wasn't long before we connected. There was something refreshing about their relationship, making me appreciate it all the more easily. It was wonderful to see them open with each other and help each other, especially with Cade encouraging Max to find that strength within herself.
Faking It made for a pleasant, uncomplicated read. While I may not love this series as most people do, the merits of it are undeniable, and I certainly have no regrets.
Title: Double Clutch (Brenna Blixen #1)
Author: Liz Reinhardt
Publisher: RHCP Digital
Released: 20th December 2012
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
I have to admit, I did regret snagging myself a copy before I started this, and if I could have rewound time and stopped myself from doing so, I would have done. I know that doesn't really seem fair, but the synopsis doesn't hide the fact that this is all about a love triangle. And for a while now, if I see signs of one that early on, I run the other way. But Liz Reinhardt did something extraordinary. She handled this triangle well, had me rooting for both guys and somehow kept Brenna from being an entirely ridiculous figure. While there were moments of frustration, I did still like her. Despite all the boy drama, she does still manage to keep her head straight, showing strength and maturity. In addition to that we see other things about her that give us more of a feel for who she is as a person.
Jake and Saxon are our two love interests, and both have things going for them. I won't tell you who she ends up with - that would be spoiling it, after all - but the relationship works; the two of them do fit together. At the same time, however, there is a part of me that wishes she'd ended up with the other one. Reinhardt's characters come with layers, and the further you read, the more you discover about each of them and, in the case of these two boys, it reaches the point where you're too attached to both of them. One is particularly vulnerable, I think. It's been some time since I was this ambivalent about the outcome of a love triangle, and this author has certainly performed a feat in making me care for both of her boys.
Aside from this, one thing of note is the parental presence in this book. Parents seem to be becoming more of an issue in YA books, but there is no need to worry in the case of Double Clutch. It was truly a pleasure to see the relationship Brenna shared with her mother and stepfather - because, not only is there is a parental presence, but it's also a loving presence.
Despite my apprehension, then, Double Clutch turned out to be a novel that I genuinely enjoyed, and it leaves me feeling glad that I did read it after all.