Monday, 10 April 2017

Review: Incriminating Dating by Rebekah L. Purdy

About the Book

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.

Buy Links

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Giveaway Information: $30 Amazon GC

About the Author

Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. Shes lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California. Rebekah has a business degree from University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also has a big family (6 kids), she likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Bunch complete with crazy road trips and game nights. When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazillion pets.

Before the football game got started, the announcer came over the loudspeakers to tell the fans about the booth. Hoots and hollers went up through the crowd, and soon we had a long line of students waiting for their turns.
I stood near the booth, making sure to thank everyone for coming out and to actually talk to them. Surprisingly, they seemed receptive to me and my ideas.
“I’m so glad you’re running,” a girl named Brooklyn said. “It’d be nice to have someone normal as president, you know. Someone who cares about the art programs.”
I smiled. “Thanks. I promise, I’ll be fighting hard for those things.”
When halftime rolled around, we still had students lined up. Partially because Stacy promised to post pics on our school newspaper’s social media pages, and partially because I think people liked the idea of taking crazy photos with the popular kids.
The volleyball team left to take their places on the field, and I trudged to one of the chairs behind the booth. I so wasn’t ready for this. Chloe sat next to me. Thank God I didn’t have to do this alone.
“Here, put on some red lipstick. You want to stand out, you know.” She laughed, dabbing my lips. “Now smack them together.”
Trying to ignore the small group standing around us, I did as she said. A few guys hopped into Chloe’s line for a pic, but mine didn’t have anyone yet. And of course the girls were lined for Brady and Jack. I glanced around nervously. This was kind of embarrassing—no one wanted to be seen with me. Did I have something stuck on my face? Maybe I wasn’t pretty enough. Then someone came to stand in front of me. My gaze slid up to find Luke. He held up a twenty-dollar bill, then put it into the can. What was he doing? I knew he didn’t have that kind of money. But my thoughts quickly turned from his money to the fact he was paying to take a picture with me.
“So, what do we want to wear in our photo?” Luke said, reaching for a pair of dark shades and a ridiculously large cowboy hat.
“Um, I’ll take this…” I grabbed a large purple boa and wrapped it around my neck, pulling on a pair of long, lacy white gloves.
We stepped inside the booth…and lined up in front of a computer screen that Chloe’s dad let us borrow, which showed both our faces on it.
“I think we ought to make this a really memorable picture, don’t you?” Luke’s voice sounded deeper.He moved toward me, his breath warm against my cheek.  He wasn’t even looking at the camera. Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. Holy shit. My first kiss. And it’d be with Luke. Freaking. Pressler.

My Review

Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Teen Crush for my advanced copy of this book.

This week I was lucky enough to be sent an advance copy of Incriminating Dating by Rebekah L. Purdy. This was my first book via Netgalley, so I was really excited when I opened the email, it was early, I thought I was dreaming! Anyway, onto the review.

This is the first book by Purdy that I've read, but it won't be the last. The story begins with Ayla, High School Newspaper Editor and passionate drama club member. In the endless battle between Sports vs. Arts, her passions are suffering. Her best friend pushes her to run for Class President, but resident Mean Girl is seemingly unbeatable. Ayla feels stuck, until she finds some serious dirt on the school's Golden Boy, Luke, and she hatches a plan to help her win. 

Considering what a popular trope 'faux-mance' is in fiction, this is the first book I've read with that arc. It was a pleasant surprise that it wasn't as predictable as I expected. I read it in two days! 
The two main characters, and their two best friends, are really well drawn. I felt like I had a really clear image of them both, without a huge info dump at the beginning. Especially Ayla, the small details of her style are put together in a way that says a lot, without screaming 'GEEK!' Luke is similarly well-described, although I wondered at times if he was a little too perfect. He's such a good guy, that I felt like what Ayla had on him didn't exactly fit. I would have liked a little more about how he got into that situation. Still, his voice was convincingly written, and his relationship with his little brother in particular was really endearing. 

The only characters who suffer a little from being under-developed were Dre, one of Ayla's best friends, yet if she hadn't pointed that out I would never have known. I kept waiting for him to become more important, to do...anything really. The other is Mean Girl, Jenna. Thoroughly evil for sure, but just a little too obvious and predictable, without much real motivation.

One small detail I picked up on was some odd language. I don't know exactly how a person 'quirks' their eyebrow at someone, but for most of the book people were doing so on every other page. Equally, everyone seemed to 'stalk' away far more than they walked. It did seem to happen less towards the end of the book though.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. The characters are compelling, the story takes some genuinely unexpected turns and has a satisfying ending. Everything you want from a YA romance.

Rating: 4/5

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