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A Reader of Fictions: Review + Giveaway: Faking It

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Faking It

Faking It
Losing It, Book 2

Author: Cora Carmack
Pages: 304
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Read: June 2, 2013
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Description from Goodreads:
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.

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.

Previous Book in Series:
1: Losing It

First Sentence: "You would think I'd be used to it by now."

Alright, it's official. I love Cora Carmack's novels. They're such cute, fun, sexy reads, with just enough real life issues to keep them from being entirely fluffy. With Losing It, Carmack tackled virginity and deciding what to do in the real world. In Faking It, Carmack continues to focus on real life issues suffered by "new adults" everywhere: embracing yourself and deciding between money and passion.

The obvious interpretation of the title is that Max and Cade are faking a relationship in a classic romantic comedy gambit. Obviously, their feelings turn out to be something real beneath the ruse and all of that. That's not the crux of the book, and not the essence of what the title's referring to, though. In fact, both Max and Cade are faking so much more, and, no, I'm not talking about orgasms here.

Both leads are pretending to be okay with their lives as they are. Cade's pretending that he's over Bliss, and that he's not upset by her relationship with Garrick. He's pretending that he's happy in grad school, and not drowning in debt. If he pretends hard enough, his life really will be perfect, right? Max, on the other hand, fakes fearlessness to mask her emotions. She also fakes her personality around her family, pretending to be the perfect daughter, the one that died.

Honestly, no one can mess someone up like their parents, am I right? Max's parents put a lot of pressure on her, and express their disappointment at her died hair and dreams of being a musician. They help her pay her bills and loans (left over from her two years of college before she dropped out), but they hold that aid over her head. Could they ever really accept Max's tattoos and piercings or her bad boy boyfriends? Though she's a badass elsewhere, in front of her parents, she reverts back to the scared little girl, unable to talk back or step out of line.

Cade and Max are a case of opposites attracting in a lot of respects. He's all prep and she's a rock girl. Though there relationship does proceed on a much faster timeline than I prefer, they do have chemistry and it sizzles. Actually, as a couple, I like them much better than I did Bliss and Garrick. Their bond just comes off as more real, with more confronting of the other person's baggage and acceptance thereof. They're really making one another better and stronger. Also, Carmack reverses the traditional romance tropes, with Cade being the sweeter, more emotional one in the relationship, the one most desirous of a lasting connection. I wish Carmack didn't go quite as heavily for the happily ever after again at the end, but, still, Faking It was an awesome read for me.

The interesting change from Losing It is in the narrative style. Losing It was written entirely in Bliss' first person perspective, but Faking It alternates between Cade and Max. Though initially skeptical of this decision, Carmack does a nice job with it. I never had any difficulty discerning which POV I was reading at any given time. Plus, this really highlights how much edgier Max is compared to Cade, which I like. She's got emotions, but he's definitely the more emotional of the two, which is great to see this way.

Carmack's sophomore novel proves that she's not a one hit wonder. If you enjoyed Losing It, Faking It is a must read, even if you were on the fence about whether you wanted Cade's story. Now to wait impatiently for book three about Bliss' college roommate, Kelsey.

Rating: 4.5/5

Favorite Quote:
"'Because you've got balls of steel.'
     I hated when people said that, like it assumed strength and being a male were synonymous. There was strength in being a woman. 'Spence, I don't have balls. Good thing, too, because they'd look terrible in the lingerie I'm wearing.'"

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blogger Jenni said...

"and no I'm not talk about orgasms here" LOL I love you, Christina!

Happy to see that you enjoyed this one just as much (if not even more) than the first one! I really must get going on this series. I'm happy to see that Carmack was able to get split POV right in the second one, that's pretty rare.

It seems it's a trend in NA to do the novel in the series about different characters, hey? I think I like that, there is always a character that I want to know more about and we seem to be getting that lately!

June 4, 2013 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger erin said...

Thanks for the great post and giveaway! I'm dying to read this book as I loved the first one :)

June 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Ohh!! I am reading this one now, along with like 5 other books lol!! I am really enjoying it so far. I loved Losing It, and really wanted Cade's story. I'm happy to see you really enjoyed it!!!

June 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

*high fives*

You're probably going to laugh when you read these and be like "Christina loved these?" but I don't know they're just so fun.

That trend is actually pretty awesome, because romances really can't span multiple books effectively, because they either break up constantly or never freaking get together.

June 4, 2013 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hahaha, you read like I do obviously!

June 4, 2013 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So you loved the second one too, YAY! I have the copy of Losing It I won from you sitting on my bookshelf face-out so I read it soon. So psyched, actually because I'm in the mood to read contemporary stuff, and I love when books surprise me. I hope these do! I hope I love the couples like you did, Christina. This one definitely sounds very interesting, especially the female lead. I could see myself identifying with her in so many ways.

Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

June 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Actually, I like the couple in this one way better than the couple in Losing It. However, I totally identified more with the heroine in Losing It. I'm nothing like Max. Like at all. :-p

June 4, 2013 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Ellis said...

Ah man, it's like Carmack is splitting up all these aspects of my life and dealing with them in her different novels :D. I do like the cover for this much more than the one for Losing It. I don't know, that one just seemed creepy.

Oh and parents definitely mess you up but you can't really underestimate the influence of siblings.

June 4, 2013 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

I'll be honest and say I'm saving this review for after I read the first book in this series but wanted to say thanks for the giveaway. I didn't have any interest in reading Losing It until I read your review of it and I'm sure I'll think the same thing about Faking It ;-)

June 4, 2013 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Lilian said...

Shucks! The public library doesn't carry any of her books. *sigh*

To be honest, when I first saw the covers for these books, I was like "ewwwww..."
But with the high ratings you've been giving to this series--I am interested. Though I might have to hesitate taking the book to public places.

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

June 5, 2013 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger Alessandra said...

I'm reading this right now. I'm enjoying it so far.

June 5, 2013 at 4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cora Cormack's books sound really interesting, so I'm not sure why I haven't tried them out yet. Bleh, Max's parents make me want to give them bitch-slaps. Though their attitudes toward her are understandable, I guess... Glad you enjoyed it! Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on Losing It so we can fangirl together. ;)

June 5, 2013 at 5:24 AM  
Blogger Marathon said...

Okay, so it just so happens I'm looking for more mature contemp romance and I think I'm going to have to add Cormack to my list of authors to check out for just such a problem.

I really like the whole fake relationship story line, because it adds so much potential for hilarity AND depth. I'm really happy to hear that this story is another well-written addition under the author's belt. Yet another library book I'm going to have to request... *sigh* I can't help myself.

ALSO: It was lovely meeting you at BEA, however brief :D

June 5, 2013 at 6:31 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I totally do. I have like 4 or 5 on my currently reading list on GR and then like 2 or 3 that I'm reading not on there lol!! With a kindle, a nook, physical books, and audiobooks I always have at least 4 going at once! It's worse when I'm in a slump and then I will read 2 chapters of one and then start another. Once I was reading like 8 books at once.

June 5, 2013 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Dragana M. said...

Aaaahh parents and their expectations. :D My mother always preached to me how I should lose weight, color/cut my hair, use more makeup, change my dressing style etc. Her birthday present to me were always perfumes, makeup or some 'trendy' blouse/skirt (and you don't ever wish to imagine what was fashionable to her). Thank God since I got married she stopped doing that. So Max picked a right way to make her parents shut up. :D

I read Faking It and loved it, so I will not enter the giveaway but good luck to rest of the participants! :)

June 6, 2013 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Love this review, Christina! I also really enjoyed your heartfelt review of Losing It last month, in fact I linked that review to my review of Faking It because I thought it was so excellent.

I liked this book more than Losing It. I could identify with the characters more. I know you identify more w/ Bliss but I have to say I identify more with Max, personally. Although that makes me sound like a kind of effed up individual:) And I agree that Cade and Max's relationship felt more authentic then Bliss and Garrick's.

I thought Carmack's writing improved in this book as well. Maybe it's that she's been picked up by a big pub house, but it felt more polished. Or maybe it's just a natural progression as she writes more and more. Regardless, I like where she is going as an author:)

And I'm with you, I can't wait to read more. Especially excited about Finding It!

June 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay so glad you liked this one! I think I preferred it to Losing It even tho it was more sensitive than most NA's, I liked that this one tackled real issues with a lightness to it too. I liked the duel POV too, I couldn't put it down! Great review

June 6, 2013 at 6:47 PM  

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