Thursday, 24 March 2011

Review: Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance - Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin

Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin, published by Bloomsbury on 7th March 2011

Goodreads synopsis:
Teen TV celebrities Jenna and Jonah make more money in a month than most people do in a lifetime. They can't stand to be in the same room as each other, but to boost the TV ratings their agents make them a 'real life' couple. Then the deception is uncovered by the paparazzi, and Charlie and Fielding have to disappear to weather the media storm.

This book was a light, fun and frothy read which was also extremely entertaining.  It's quite a short book and I finished it in one evening but it certainly fed my guilty love of celebrity gossip!

Charlie and Fielding are two American teenagers who happen to star in a hit TV show where they play the characters of 'Jenna and Jonah'.  To boost ratings and to ensure interest in the show, they pretend that they're boyfriend and girlfriend, even though in real life they can't actually stand each other.  As you can imagine this makes for a difficult situation at times.  When their secret 'Fauxmance' is revealed, they have to work out who they really are, what they want for the future and in what direction their relationship is now headed.

The book consists of alternate chapters told from the point of view of both Charlie and Fielding who seem to have contrasting views about their secret finally being exposed.  Whereas Fielding feels that he may now get to choose his path in life, Charlie fears that her career might be over.  Although they're big stars who have made enough money to set themselves up for life, I think the dilemma they face is one that most young-adults go through at some point in their life, which made their situation more realistic and gave me something to identify with.  I particularly enjoyed the chapters which were narrated by Fielding as he came across as a much more likeable character.  He was more down to earth and easier to relate to than Charlie who was a bit of a spoiled diva at times.  However, I did like the evolution of her character and the way that she grows as a person throughout the book.

I haven't read many books which have been co-authored but I thought that Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin did a fantastic job of blending everything together well.  I liked the direction in which they took the story and without giving anything away, I thought the second-half of the book rocked!  The way in which they drew on a famous couple in English Literature to mirror their own characters' complicated relationships was so clever.

For those that like romance, there's a healthy dose of it included and I adored the middle section of the book which placed Charlie and Fielding alone together, confronting their real feelings for the first time. 

I thought that the ending was a little abrupt as I wanted to see more but maybe there will be a sequel at some point?  What Jenna and Jonah did next!  I'd read it!

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