Series: Pretenders #1
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Source:Ebook from Netgalley and Poppy in exchange for an honest review/ Hardback won from author contest.
My picture is on page eighteen of Noble High's Phoenix yearbook. I am one of the Phoenix Five. You nominated me. You thought I was one of the most outstanding students in our freshman class. You were wrong.
Still, I accepted my award. I acted special. But I couldn't help wondering what it was like to be that way for real. So I broke into Ms. Silver's safe in the faculty lounge and stole all five of our journals. I'm not exposing them out of jealousy or anger. I'm doing this because I am tired of the lies. The bar is too high, and cheating is the only way to reach it. Instagrams are filtered, Facebook profiles are embellished, photos are shopped, Manti T'eo's girlfriend was a fake...is anything real anymore?
I found the answer in our journals. These are 100 percent real and 100 percent unedited. The proof is in the pages:
We're all pretenders.
I requested this book from Netgalley because the synopsis is intense. I was drawn to this book and interested in what these characters would be like, and they were interesting to say the least.
There were a lot of lower reviews on Goodreads when I checked them and I was a little disappointed to find out I am one of the few that enjoyed this book. Yes, it ends abruptly without resolution -- which I despise; and yes, the characters are all overly dramatic -- but this is how I remember high school. Full of secrecy and gossip and overly dramatic and angsty, maybe it was just me but this book flashed me back to that time period and I found it fun to read.
Lisi Harrison sets up the book as a series of journal entries from five students, 3 girls, 2 guys, and they are very different and yet the same which is comforting and intriguing. Since we are in journals, we learn deep secrets, family problems, and the like, not just the school day happenings. I found this different from many teen books. Granted there is still gossip and hidden love and angst so it isn't too far off from your normal YA book, but it was funny and I liked it.
Each student has a different writing style: short and sweet, with footnotes, overly dramatic, to the point, and over the top which breaks up the reading very well. I found myself liking one character in the beginning and completely changing my opinions of them when we got to the end (and so much happens right at the end!)
Sadly, I was upset to learn that this is a series (like way too many YA books now) and the ending was a cliffhanger (again!) and some of the friendships rubbed me the wrong way, so not 5 stars.