Dec 03, 11
Read from December 01 to 03, 2011
This was a 2.5 star book. And the problem isn't even the story. There was so much potential working with a cute situation between two childhood actors pretending to be in a real romantic relationship. The problem was the writing and character development. It was bad enough that even the cute story couldn't salvage the subpar writing - and I started dreaming of ways to write that in my Goodreads review. Yes, I am a dork.
Anyway, Charlie and Fielding(Aaron, by the end) are co-stars of the family hit drama, Jenna & Jonah's How to be a Rock Star, for the past 4 years. They are both contracted to pretend to be dating and in a completely committed, yet innocent relationship. Under circumstance not really of their doing, their fauxmance (fake relationship) is revealed (sorta - everyone just thinks that Fielding/Aaron is gay). But now that everything is in the open, both of them have to reexamine life and their relationship with each other.
Charlie, who I assume was written by Emily Franklin, started off "hating" but really crushing on Fielding/Aaron. She had so much potential to be developed into a complex yet likeable protagonist, but somehow, Ms. Franklin drops the ball. I believe it was near the middle of the book when we realize that Charlie has no thoughts. What happened to the lonely child star actress who doesn't know how to live? Ms. Franklin creates a caricature of that character, but neglects to fill her up and develop her voice.
Sadly, Ms. Franklin was the better writer of the two writer collaborating. Brendan Halpin wrote Fielding/Aaron's view, but with less technical finesse than Ms. Franklin. Most of the time, I felt that there was too little description to allow readers the ability to follow the story. Mr. Halpin's writing was also a bit convoluted and did not follow any linear pathway. These are serious mistakes and should have been fixed by the editor. But for what Mr. Halpin lacks in technical skill, he succeeds in giving Fielding/Aaron a voice. In fact, he happens to be the main storyteller during the 2nd half of the book. Fielding/Aaron is an interesting character who is learning to grow up, just like his co-star, but inside he's a normal kid too (one that enjoys singing and dancing and all).
With the introduction of the gimmicky play with their respective characters Beatrice and Benedict from Much Ado About Nothing, it became painfully obvious what the characters were supposed to do: banter and fall in love. I was disappointed that these writers would even incorporate Much Ado About Nothing to the extent that it was used. For reader who have never read the play, it was confusing to follow along.
So basically, I sorta enjoyed it, but it was highly flawed and had a lot of potential, so I have to keep my rating of 2 stars. ( I was tempted to bump it up, but that's not exactly fair considering how difficult it was to follow.) So, in conclusion, read at your own risk.