Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pretenders by Lisi Harrison

Each year the yearbook at Noble High announces The Phoenix Five.  The five most outstanding freshman, chosen to represent the class.  But as the next school year begins, someone has decided that these five are nothing but fakes... and they've decided to prove it.  It seems that in freshman year English class students were made to keep a journal.  One that was never to be read by anyone, not even the teacher.  But now each of The Phoenix Five's journals have been stolen and leaked to the entire school.... and what will they reveal??  Maybe it will show that none of these students were ever deserving of awards.  Maybe it will reveal secrets that no one was ever meant to see.  The kicker here?  The person who stole and released the journals is one of The Phoenix Five him/herself!!

This was a total impulse pick up for me.  I was at the library, saw it on the NEW shelf, remembered seeing it on one of my New Releases posts a while ago, and grabbed it.  I figured a book written entirely by journal entries was definitely something I would like.... and it was!!

This book is written in alternating journal entries from five freshman starting Noble High who all end up being interconnected.  Every one of them has secrets.  Some came with baggage and some create it as they go, but they all end up in a mess one way or the other.  Here is a summary of these characters:

Sheridan- A drama girl who strives for the lead in every play... and she's usually successful.  Her BFF (and only real friend), Audri, seems to be slipping away due to a crush and the super annoying Octavia.
Andrew- Basketball = Life.  Due to his parents' financial situation, his dream of playing varsity is severely put in jeopardy.... until his sister shows him a way to come up with the money: Be a walking billboard.
Lily- Ex-Homie (homeschooler) who is a little overwhelmed by socializing at Pub (public school).  The deal she made with her mom is that she maintains straight A's or she's being yanked back home.  But Lily is too worried about socializing and obsessing over Andrew to focus on school.
Vanessa- A type A who just wants a peaceful home life.  Unfortunately the only time her parents don't fight is when she brings home some type of award or awesome grade.  Now she's crushing on Blake (Lily's closeted gay BFF) and desperately trying to keep her family together.
Jagger- Emancipated minor who's parents are apparently in jail.  He lives in the back of a pet store in exchange for a place to sleep.  Known only by Jagger, like Madonna or Cher.  The mystery surrounding him intrigues his classmates, especially Audri.

I really really enjoyed reading this book.  I can't find a better word for these characters other than fun.  I had so much fun reading about them that I became a little bit addicted to it and ended up reading this far too late into the night.  I love books that make me do that!  My favorite person to read about was Sheridan.  She has all the typical insecurities of a teenage girl, but she's a talented actress which she couldn't be without confidence.  In order to gain this confidence, she adopts personas of different actresses and the characters they portray.  Usually something like this would annoy me, but that didn't happen here.  I mean high school is hard.  I wish I would have figured out how to channel some confident girl when I was in 9th grade.  Even if it was an act.  There's nothing worse than wearing your insecurities on your sleeve in high school.  I have a feeling that Sheridan is going to learn how to be herself someday, but until then, I like seeing her "become" all these different characters

The big surprise for me was how intense and fast everything happened right at the end of the book.  It left me a little too cut off.  I get a cliffhanger in a series, but this felt a little unfinished.  Also I didn't know this was a series (although I figured it out when I was still in September at 1/2 way through).  But the series thing is okay with me... as long as I don't have to WAIT forever for the next book.  Because I really really want to know what happens!!!  And at this point it is really hard to imagine how in the hell these kids are going to end up getting chosen as most outstanding freshman.  They are all a little crazy and odd and they aren't exactly hiding it.

I will say that if you're looking for something intense and for the secrets to be like life or death, this probably isn't your book.  The secrets are definitely more of the everyday kind.  I found it a nice break from books that have me rolling my eyes thinking yeah right this could happen.  Most of the stuff that happens in this book is more down to Earth.

OVERALL:  So fun!!  I really had fun reading this book which consisted of alternating journal entries.  I loved how all five characters were so different, but at the same time they all meshed together.  If you feel like reading something fresh and different, I would definitely recommend this fun, drama-filled series!  I also think this would be perfect for younger teens and/or fans of Pretty Little Liars.

This Book Contains:

  • Journal Entries
  • Odd Fashion
  • Computer Hacking
  • High School Play Auditions
  • 5 POV's
  • Pretty Patterns for Each Person's Journal (Ex. Snakeskin, Composition Notebook)
  • Basketball

My Rating:


How I got this book: Library
Date Published: 10/1/2013

1 comment:

  1. This was an impulse "grab because it's there" book at BEA lol. I never read it though mostly bc I haven't really heard much about but it sounds pretty good!. I really like books written with different formats like journal entries so that's what intrigues me the most about this one now. I also like how fun it sounds - and glad to have been warned about the ending that probably would have annoyed me >.< But at least there will be a sequel! Great review, Michelle!