Incriminating Dating by Rebekah L. Purdy
Release Date: April 10, 2017
DNF @ 20%
*Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review via Netgalley – thanks so much for sending me a copy*
I was in the mood for a good, cheesy contemporary, and the moment I saw it, I had to request this on Netgalley. Entangled Teen/Crush has been rocking on their adorable contemps lately, so I had to grab this one up. I know the fake boyfriend trope has been done to death, yet there are a few times where I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s just so cheesy sometimes and I enjoy the cheese. But this one fell flat for me.
Once Upon a Time…
Ayla Hawkins is ready to stand up for change in her high school. But winning the election for class president against popular Jenna Lee will be impossible without a miracle. When she stumbles upon Mr. Perfect Luke Pressler defacing public property and catches it on camera: cue miracle. Ayla’s got the dirt she needs to get Luke on Team Ayla—in the form of her new fake boyfriend.
One mistake. All Luke wanted was a night to goof off, to blow off steam. The pressure of maintaining the perfect facade when his reality was crumbling around him had become too much, and next thing he knew, he was pretending to date Ayla Hawkins. But his little blackmailer turns out to be kind. Honorable. Opinionated. And just the breath of fresh air he didn’t even realize he was suffocating for. But Luke and Ayla come from different worlds, and once the election is over, their fauxmance will be, too.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book features adult language, sexual situations, and plenty of girl power. Reading may result in swooning, laughing, and looking for a Luke of your own.
I think the main issue I had is that it was too formulaic, and I mean, it literally had all the things that would normally work for a cheesy book like this: a nerdy and sassy MC, the fight between popular kids and the “nerdy” crowd, the popular boy with a heart of gold and some struggles of his own, the fierce best friend, and some sassy and funny situations. Then add in the fake boyfriend to win the student election to actually make a difference? Does it not sound like an epic setup for an adorable book? It totally did to me.
However, I think where the issue was that it was too formulaic. It had all of these elements, but they just didn’t mesh together. It felt like it was trying too hard to be what it was supposed to be and wasn’t actually what it needed to be. Like, there were certain dialogue instances that were trying so hard to sound young but it just…fell super flat. And then there was the whole rushed factor of a lot of the story. Like, there was no talking out anything.
For example, Ayla comes up with this idea to blackmail Luke to be her fake boyfriend, so she calls up her best friend to let her know her evil/crazy plan. And her friend’s like, OMG, do you think this is a good idea? And Ayla’s like, well, IT IS GENIUS and literally the next sentence the friend is like, oh, well, kk. Okay, if I called any of my friend – even my bestie who has gone through quite a few insane plans with me – there would definitely be quite a bit more conversation and start out most likely with, HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND and GIRL, NO. And I get there isn’t a lot of time to get to the heart of the story so you have to do it quickly, but I would have liked two or more pages of discussion instead of 4 paragraphs.
Now, I did like the characters well enough and the plot was good enough, but I just couldn’t get over the huge hump that was the first two paragraphs of this review. Super sad because I’m missing my cheese.
A DNF Snow White rating, and an actual short review – well, shortish, since it started off short and then I just did my usual need to talk and made it much longer – for once!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you had issues with a formulaic book before? Do you like books that do have a formula? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
Inej made it to the final round of Book Madness – trust me, I did not see that coming, and I can’t think everyone that helped her get there enough. You’re seriously the best, and maybe say hello to her again one more time? And then you’ll never have to have these weird little messages again for me at the end…at least about Book Madness…for this year. You can vote here for the final round, and check out my original post here. Thanks so much again!