Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin

This book will be available on February 1st. 

Grade: B-

Fans of romance don't need to look any further than the fauxmance brewing between teen idols Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers--known on their hit TV show as Jenna and Jonah, next-door neighbors flush with the excitement of first love. But it's their off-screen relationship that has helped cement their fame, as passionate fans follow their every PDA. The only problem? Their off-screen romance is one big publicity stunt and Charlie and Fielding can't stand to be in the same room. But even when cameras stop rolling, the show must o on, and on, and on...

Until the pesky paparazzi blow their cover, and Charlie and Fielding must disappear to weather the media storm. It's not until their far away from the Hollywood circuit that they realize there's more to each of them than shiny hair and a winning smile.


Character Development: 7/10
Originality: 6/10
Overall Enjoyment: 7/10
Ending: 8/10
Voice: 6/10
Plot: 5/10
Setting: 6/10
Total Score: 45/70

Obtained: Free ARC provided by publisher.

Age Appropriate? PG-13

Cursing: Some, but nothing too explicit.
Drugs, Alcohol, etc: References to illegal drug smoking and drunkenness.
Sexual Content: Some lewd humor and references, but no actual scenes.
Disturbing Images/Violence: None.


The first thing I must say about this book is that it was not nearly as stupid as I thought it would be. Based on the cover and the synopsis, I expected a gag-worthy read with no real substance. But...I was surprised. While not an earth-shakingly profound story, Jenna and Jonah's was intelligent and honest, without all that sappy stuff many "romance" books provide.

Honestly, if you're looking for romance, I would not suggest this book. It is about Charlie and Fielding's developing relationship, it's true, but there was not an excess of sexy scenes or too much romantic tension. For me, this was an enormous plus. Somehow, this book managed to be not cheesy, with the storyline progressing in perfect harmony with their relationship. Though sometimes the two characters seemed a bit out of sync (a product, I think, of the dual authorship of the novel), they were both fairly likable, mostly normal, and human. And the product was a very, very sweet story.

Now, if you're worried about the whole "Hollywood" aspect of the story, don't. Franklin and Halpin certainly don't paint the world of teen stars and television in an overdramaticized or romantic light. And while I know very little about that industry, it seemed to me to be more realistic than many interpretations. Still, it was a bit difficult for me at first to empathize with two people who were rich, famous, beautiful, and eventually, in love, but after a while it became clear that this life has its own kind of trials and tribulations.Though predictable in some sense and very nonthreatening, Jenna and Jonah's played out nicely, and it was certainly not a waste of time. Will I read it again? Probably not, but the book definitely has its place, and is a very worthy contribution to its genre.


Emily Franklin
Brendan Halpin

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