on August 8, 2009
From the description on the back cover of this book, I was expecting a light summer romantic read. And that would have been enjoyable enough -- woman with dating issues meets attractive but seemingly unattainable man who ends up seeing more in her than she sees in herself, etc, etc. We've all read books like that and we all enjoy a well written one every once in a while. But "Faking It" goes beyond the genre to something smarter, more sophisticated, something with a little more bite and substance. Andi and Devin are complex characters with an unexpected journey. Lorello's writing is witty and makes for a fun, fast read, but along the way she covers more than romance and sex -- her characters each have fully fleshed out personalities, making sharp observations of their own about everything from art to gender roles to sexual politics. Yes, it's still a great beach book -- you may have trouble putting it down -- but it's a beach book with a brain, and one with characters you care about.
Looking forward to the sequel!
on June 20, 2009
When I first dove into Faking It I worried that the premise--Andi Cutrone, a young urbanite takes `love lessons' from a male escort--might be a little too Sex and the City for me. But the weekly lessons surprised me. Instead of sex, they focus on Andi's feeling about herself, her body, her relationships. Somewhere in that tangle of confused emotions every female reader will recognize either the woman she is or the woman she once was.
Then, about a third of the way through the book(yes, I checked the page number)I realized that the weekly lessons, although illuminating and the hook that pulled me in, had become secondary. Instead characters had become paramount. I wondered more about what Andi and her love tutor/platonic friend Devin would do on the other six days of the week. This book could have become an excuse to lurch from love scene to love scene but author Elisa Lorello created believable people that eclipsed their careers(one boring and one naughty). Ultimately, a book that seemed to be about taboo subjects like sex for money was really about something much more prosaic--changes. Changing attitudes. Changing careers. Changing partners.
My biggest round of applause goes out to Lorello for keeping me guessing. Too often books that contain romances follow a predictable formula. We know who the good boyfriend is. We know who the bad boyfriend is. We know who she'll wind up with. The only question mark is what will happen along the way. Faking It kept me guessing until the last page. Really! Thank you Elisa for characters and complex personalities that propelled me to the last page.
on June 3, 2011
I wanted to like this book and perhaps if the ending had made sense I would have let all the other things slide.
1) All too much time spent on the minutae of writing -it just was not enjoyable to read.
2.) They build up that Devin wants to talk to Andi because she seems interesting. Which was odd to be because as I was reading about her I didn't find her that interesting. IMO when guys notice a woman as they walk into a cocktail party it isn't because they are interesting. They needed to give us something to hold on belief wise there.
3.) Devin doesn't just know about sex or being charming -noo he is also able to articulate what's missing and what will fix the problems in 7 short weeks. I mean I know it is fiction but a drop dead gorgeous guy, that happens to be smart, and nice happens to be self aware enough to facilitate a sexual awakening of someone he doesn't even know that well??
4) 7 weeks turns him into Aristotle? Really?
5) We actually see Devin and Andie's relationship develop -not just what is said -stuff they do, how they react to each other etc. Other relationships in the book are pretty much developed over e-mail -sort of forced feeding us the "perfectness" of Beau #2. We like him because we are supposed to but not because he's any character that we've actually come to know and love.
6) Devin is an escort that has NEVER crossed the line and gone all the way. So he's sort of a bad boy -but not really. It seemed disingenuous to me but I thought that was to facilitate the story but considering the ending -I'm not sure why that part was necessary.
7) 80% of the book building up unresolved sexual tension and then a cheap literary device to create vulnerability to make the big even happen and that event is over in half a page with no real payback for the previous 80% on the UST.
I did really like Devin, and Andi grew on me -the rest of the characters seemed 100% throw away. Some of the dialogue at the end between Andi and Devin was amazing, but the ending was 100% horrible.
Wouldn't you think that a book written by a college professor who teaches freshman writing, whose main character is a college professor who teaches freshman writing, would be well written? And yet, Faking It contains a lot of writing errors, revolves around an entirely implausible situation (I mean, okay Andi falls in love with a male escort; what woman in her right mind would fall for a male escort who "escorts" virtually every single woman she knows from work? Talk about a grapevine. Ick.), and lectures the audience into a stupor (do any of us care about modes?). Add to this a general snottiness (oh Andi and Devin are all about literature and art) and a way-too-healthy ego for Andi (Andi teaches Devin to be a "f--g Aristotle" in 7 hour-long classes? Sam falls for this 34-year-old virgin at an academic conference? Puhleeze.), and you have a pretty unbearable read. It obviously works for some people, based on the enthusiastic reviews here, but it didn't strike me as either humorous or interesting.
I hate to sound so harsh, but I hated this book. Mainly, I found the premise just totally unbelievable. I just did not buy the idea that an educated woman would engaged a male escort to teach her the art of seduction....perhaps it's not the premise that is so absurd, but how quickly things progressed. Really, after two meetings, I can't imagine the events of the first 1-2 lessons actually taking place. It's hard to be more specific with adding any spoilers. Also, the dialogue drove me crazy. The main characters would be having a somewhat profound conversation and then it would be ruined by one of them saying something like "Ya know what I mean?" About 50 Ya's scattered throughout the book. Also, Andi's big revelation about her past also needed a little more development. It's like the author felt she needed to write a tiny novella instead of a well paced novel.
I am shocked that this book is part of the Amazon Encore series. It definitely does not deserve a second chance.
on June 9, 2011
A real life ending...oh no she didn't!
Oh yes she did! Why, I cry? I loved this book, loved it, couldn't wait to rate it a 5-star, one I would put on my book shelf and read again, one I would give to my daughters when they are getting to know their own bodies, one I read in one day. Then, doom, the final chapter, my heart sank. It can't be right, it can't end this way...I know there's a sequel, but sill. I don't need a sequel; I need this book finished. If I wanted a real life ending I would sit around my table and listen to my girlfriends talk about their glory days of the ones they kicked to the curb and the ones that got away. I would turn on the TV and watch a soap opera where they never make the right choice. I would watch the Bachelor; who never picks the right girl. I wouldn't pick up a romantic novel, not smut, romantic! Not all endings are happy, I get it, but come on, this one wasn't just disappointing or unhappy it was wrong.
The writing style is a joy. I've fallen in love with Andi and Dev. I immensely enjoyed their journey, and their arrangement and the relationship that followed. I like how their own journey was tangled in each other's. Everything Andi learned about herself was brought to the surface by Dev and vice versa. Dev was faking it too, only brought to the surface by Andi. They develop a true love. Yep, I'm that person, the one that believes in one true love. There is one person out there that can and will love you for all of who you are, where you share your secrets, and they are reciprocated and nothing is forced. Andi and Dev develop that, their secrets are laid out there, exposed. This is probably why the ending made me feel a little hollow, sad really and completely miffed. She trots off into the sunset in the wrong direction. I feel like that old, dirty lady in "The Princess Bride" who shouts at Buttercup for her upcoming nuptials to Prince Humperdinck; boo-boo, Andi, you spit in the face of true love, boo!
So, of course Andi develops a `real' boyfriend, an unbelievable relationship, by email and phone. She agrees to go to the next level, relocate, over email? Leave Dev behind, the one who knows her inside and out, the one who can light a fire of passion that creeps up her spine. I get it, she doesn't really know him, at this stage, she needs to leave. She has her excuses, new job, misses New England, exciting new guy. But...she wants to move in with Sam, who she can't even tell about Dev. What? I thought she got to know herself, I thought that was the point; she was no longer faking it. As a reader we like Sam, he is fun, funny, makes breakfast, intellectual, handsome, good lover, necessary for Andi's growth, but we Love Dev. Sam feeds her comfort while Dev feeds her electricity. She and Sam are two peas, one pod; she and Dev are opposite ends of the spectrum feeding off one another, learning from each other and discovering themselves. A story line ending with Sam is Bore-ing.
Can't, won't read the sequel. A quick read through the synopsis and Sam dies, leaving Andi heart broken, Dev picks the pieces up. Nope, Dev is not second choice, he is first choice in book one.
3 Stars: It's a wonderful book, excellent, fun and intriguing story. The ending, well like I said, boo. Rip the last chapter out and dream up your own ending--then it's a 5 star!
on January 6, 2011
I read this book wanting to like it, really. I gave it the benefit of the doubt each time I picked it up and opened it up again. Still- no cigar.
Honestly, what bothered me most about this book wasn't the poor writing or the unrealistic premise. It wasn't even the melodramatic character development that the lead, Andi, underwent. What made this a difficult read for me is that it proved to be another story about a dull, self-deprecating woman finding "love" out of her league. It hit me--just like Twilight (from which I've only read thirty pages or so, but that is justified), the narrator served as just a hollow placeholder onto which women readers could project their personalities.
The book tells the story of escort Devin, who is described as an "Adonis" every time he is mentioned by the author, and Andi, a remarkable and intelligent young woman with a personality that jumps off the pages. JUST KIDDING. Andi is plain, overweight, and references her many hang-ups and low self-esteem often enough to make you stop rooting for her and start wondering if these pages were ripped out of a teenager's diary. Of course, she is immediately attracted to the least within reach, most attractive man in her vicinity. More unbelievably, the Adonis becomes attracted to her eventually and ultimately, everything comes together when...POW she meets her perfect man and has to choose between Perfect #1 and Perfect #2. Because that happens ALL THE TIME, right?
Stories like this only contribute to the warped views so many of our women have on love, commitment, and life decisions. I'm sorry, but it is no more healthy to show an unrealistic relationship based on zero substance than to show an abusive one. There are wonderful, wonderful men out there, it's true, but forming a great relationship with one (even the Adonises) takes work and even a little bit of awkwardness. I would have liked to see something else motivate the character arc--self-acceptance, personal growth, even a damn job promotion--rather than having it initiated by someone else's surprise attraction.
NOTE TO AUTHOR: If you want to convince a reader that your heroine is amazing enough for everyone to fall for her, then you need to make it easy for the reader to fall in love with her, first.