Faking Perfect

Faking Perfect Book Cover Faking Perfect
Rebecca Phillips
Juvenile Fiction

When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High's resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules: 1. Avoid her at school. 2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together. 3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben. Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?



It took me a bit to gather my thoughts on “Faking Perfect”, because the plot is a timely look at the struggles of family and high school, but there were some flaws.  It was by no means a bad book, but the lack of character-depth took away from what could have been an otherwise great book.

Lexi Shaw is a teen who, unfortunately, has an all-too-common family life of a father who is not involved in her life and a present, but emotionally distant, mother.  The ways she copes are trying to fit in with the popular crowd mixed with self-destructive behaviors.  The character of Lexi is actually extremely well-developed, with clear motivations for her actions and self-awareness presented through her inner monologues that gives readers a clear insight into her thoughts and feelings.  The problem comes with the secondary characters.  There are cursory descriptions of them that gives some clues to the people they are, but nothing below the surface is touched upon through Lexi’s thoughts or interactions with them.  This is quite sad, as many of them have the promise to be deep and interesting, but the lack of exploration into their lives left many of them relegated to the world of tropes and caricatures.

As I said in the introduction, the plot of “Faking Perfect” is a good and timely one, filled with important life-lessons.  Who among us has not felt the need to act differently in order to impress our friends?  How many readers know too well the feelings of being neglected by their parents?  These things are addressed in a compelling way, along with other issues that occur in high school such as teen pregnancy, popularity, and the warped perceptions people often have of others based on rumors or personal bias.

Overall, if you are able to overlook the character development issues, “Faking Perfect” is a good book, especially if you are looking for a palette cleanser of sorts.  The writing is well-done and the themes explored make it worthwhile.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence, Drug Use, Underage Drinking

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