Review: ‘Faking It’ by Gabrielle Tozer

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Things are looking up for Josie Browning. Her boyfriend, James, is crazy about her, and she’s scored a writing job at indi. Now the pressure is on for Josie to prove she’s got what it takes to help plan indi’s launch. Plus, she’s battling with flatmates, frenemies and confusing feelings for travel writer Alex.

High on the perks at indi, Josie’s doing a pretty good job of faking her way in the industry – even though she still hasn’t mastered her hair straightener. But when Josie is invited to a media junket, she accidentally sets off a string of lies that threaten to ruin her reputation, love life and career forever.

Faking It is the sequel to The Intern, which I reviewed last year — however, it stands alone, so if you get the opportunity to pick up the second book and want to dive straight in, the experience won’t be too rocky.

I devoured Faking It in a couple of sessions — it’s very light, fun and easy to read, with a fair number of cringeworthy moments. Josie Browning has gotten perhaps a tiny bit better at thinking before she speaks (a very tiny bit) and her clumsiness is less of a feature in this book. But she still manages to get herself into all manner of tricky situations, mostly by not admitting she needs help when she does. Hence the whole “faking it” thing, of course. That’s kind of the point.

(I was actually really mad at Liani, Josie’s boss, for throwing the poor girl so far into the deep end at various points that she couldn’t even see the edges of the pool anymore. I mean, seriously, woman — you can’t be mad when Josie screws up under that much pressure. She’s 18 and hasn’t even finished her journalism degree yet! What would she know about dealing with celebrity agents and organising magazine launches?! Okay, I’ve got that out of my system now…)

James is sweet, and I loved the adorkable dynamic between him and Josie. He does drop the ball in a pretty spectacular fashion at one point, and then overreacts at another (at least as far as I am concerned) — but that’s part of what makes him a more realistic love interest rather than being a perfect cardboard cutout.

However, for me, the shining treasure in this book is the dialogue, especially Josie’s. Her intermittent verbal filter meant that she often came out with lines that had me giggling, and at other times were raw in their honesty. And the back-and-forth banter was something I could totally hear in my head. It seemed so natural.

The other thing I really enjoyed was catching a glimpse of Josie’s mother recovering from her shattered relationship and starting to date again. Even though Josie was quietly horrified, I was all, “You go, Josie’s mum!”

This series is fun, fluffy YA. The plot is fairly predictable but Josie is so enjoyable a main character that I didn’t mind. Now, can we have a spin-off about Alex, please?

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Four-and-a-half stars

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