Pretenders (Pretenders Series #1)

Pretenders (Pretenders Series #1)

3.7 32
by Lisi Harrison

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Three girls, two guys, five secret journals.
The five most popular students at Noble High have secrets to hide; secrets they wrote down in their journals. Now one of their own exposes the private entries...
I am leaking these because I'm tired and I know you are too. The success bar is too high and pretending has become the only way to reach it. Instagrams


Three girls, two guys, five secret journals.
The five most popular students at Noble High have secrets to hide; secrets they wrote down in their journals. Now one of their own exposes the private entries...
I am leaking these because I'm tired and I know you are too. The success bar is too high and pretending has become the only way to reach it. Instagrams are filtered, Facebook profiles are embellished, photos are shopped, reality TV is scripted, body parts get upgraded like software, and even professional athletes are cheating. The things we believe in aren't real.
We are pretenders.

Editorial Reviews

That Lisi Harrison spins teen relationship novel with the best of them should not surprise us: She is, after all, the author and keeper of The Clique and Alpha franchises. In this series launch pad, she sets the table with intrigue, romantic tension, and the promise of much more. An excellent series starter.

School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—A motley crew of high-school freshmen have one thing in common-they are all pretending to be people they're not. Sheridan Spencer is a lonely drama queen who boosts her confidence by channeling celebrities. Andrew Duffy's dreams of making the basketball varsity team are shattered when his parents reveal their financial troubles. Lily Bader-Huffman wants to break free of her overbearing parents and get a social life. Vanessa Riley is an extreme overachiever whose parents are on the verge of divorce. And Jagger is the mysterious, emancipated loner with a big secret. As in a Garry Marshall film, their lives intersect. Vanessa crushes on Lily's gay best friend. Lily likes Duffy, but he seems to be getting cozy with Sheridan. Sheridan's best friend is ditching her for Jagger. Their first-person narratives are told through journal entries as credit for an English class. It is hinted at early on that the journals (supposedly under lock and key) will eventually get revealed to the whole school, just not in this first book. The novel ends on a cliff-hanger. Fans of Harrison's "Clique" books (Little, Brown) will love this book with its melodrama and chaste scandal. A fast-paced read with surprisingly compelling characters, Pretenders is a good recommendation for middle schoolers looking to read up, but who are not quite ready for, "Gossip Girl" (Little, Brown).—Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Rockaway Township Public Library, NJ
Publishers Weekly
Noble High is a pressure cooker of a school where excellence is expected and truly outstanding freshmen have a shot at making the “Phoenix Five.” As they start at Noble, aspiring actress Sheridan, basketball player Duffy, beautiful and driven Vanessa, home-schooled genius Lily, and Jagger (who doesn’t “have time for a last name”) have been assigned to keep journals. Initially resistant, they succumb to the lure of writing down their feelings, chronicling crushes, worries, and—increasingly—compromises, confusions, and corner-cutting. In this series opener, Harrison (the Clique series) makes the characters distinct and lively, starting from the isolation of day one and effectively building up their interactions and the resulting complications. By book’s end the students are barely into their first semester, and readers don’t yet know how they ended up with the coveted recognition of being named to the Phoenix Five or which one of them leaked the diaries that expose them as “phonies” and pretenders. Harrison will need to write fast: this book ends with a lot of questions that readers will want answered. Ages 13–up. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
The premise: the five students recognized in the high school yearbook as the "Phoenix Five," chosen by their peers as the most outstanding students in the freshman class, are not what they seem, and are indeed not outstanding at all. The proof: exposure of the private diaries all five were required to maintain throughout the year by their language arts teacher. Although the book at first looks to be a free-standing novel, it is evidently only the inaugural title in a much longer series, as the journal entries chronicle barely more than the first month of the school year, and the book ends with every character facing some worst-ever, unbelievably humiliating and horrendous moment (police sirens wailing), with no resolution in sight, continuing a frustrating trend in current young adult fiction. Harrison excels at creating distinctive characters, each with an immediately identifiable voice and style of self-presentation: the aspiring actress (who writes each journal entry as a screenplay), the relentless over-achiever (who supplements her entries with footnotes), a former home-schooler with a stalker-like crush on the "normal" basketball-playing boy next door, that boy himself, and a strangely charismatic boy who claims that both of his parents are on death row. Plot twists are abundant, weaving the stories of the five "pretenders" together in ingenious ways, and allowing readers the fascination of seeing each character revealed both in his or her own private musings, as well as in the unsparing eyes of all the others. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
Kirkus Reviews
A new series with a Gossip Girl–esque conceit from the best-selling author of The Clique. X-Phonie, one of Noble High's Phoenix Five freshmen operating under a code name, breaks into their teacher's safe to reveal the sordid (or not-so-sordid in this case) journals of the school's most infamous students. First up is Vanessa, the brown-skinned, green-eyed girl who's always in it to win it. Her hefty footnotes often outweigh her journal entries. Hipster Jagger's parents were arrested, and now he lives alone in the back of a pet store. Basketballer Duffy is so much the object of Lily's obsessions…er...affections that she steals his Nikes and keeps a running tab of the souvenirs she's collected. Finally there's drama queen Sheridan, who lives in a fantasy world imagining she's Massie Block from The Clique. The first installment winds by turns in and out of the very clean world of the five teens' journals. Harrison nails the voices of her female protagonists but struggles with those of her male ones, particularly Duffy, who still plays the Wii when most boys his age would have graduated to a more age-appropriate gaming system. Little happens beyond introducing the characters and their interests/crushes/interactions with one another, with the result that this feels like a tepid attempt to recreate the bawdy ridiculousness of Gossip Girl. A lukewarm retread of the snarky teen chick-lit of yore. (Romance. 12 & up)

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Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Pretenders Series , #1
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Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


By Lisi Harrison

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2013 Lisi Harrison
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-316-22244-0





A classroom stretches out before us. SHERIDAN SPENCER, an alluring freshman, sits center row, center seat. Poised, she click-starts her pen and writes.

Morning One as a Noble High freshman did not involve a lot of handholding. Like, none, in fact. Which was fine. It's just not what I'm used to.

One might assume I do well in new situations because I channel celebrities for confidence. Like, right now for example, I am pretending to be Blake Lively. But if I'm being totally honest, which I am, first days are hard no matter how famous you act.

When I (as Blake) arrive someplace new I'm greeted right away. I'm given a tour of the set and offered a Dr Pepper on ice, no straw. My trailer is decorated to my exact specifications; boho-chic and stocked with Original, Tropical, and Sour Skittles. But this morning? Notsomuch. The only rainbow I tasted came from the Lucky Charms burp I tried to suppress at the Pick and Flick. (That's what everyone calls the pickup/drop-off curb.)


It happened as I watched the taillights on my dad's BMW M5 disappear into the morning fog. I was standing with my very best friend, Audri Dunsing. She always rides with me because we live in the same gated community and ... well, more on her later. The point is, we were just standing at the Pick and Flick because we didn't know where to go yet. I guess we could have followed everyone else, but we were kind of stunned because our middle school was tiny and this place is huge. Anyway, it's raining and I'm trying to open my zebra umbrella. Backpacks are bashing into us and it's total chaos. O'course, that's when Audri gets a whiff of my burp and decides to shout:

Ewwwwww, Sheridan! Digestive tract issues much?

I managed to apply more Russian Red lipstick, which helped me hold on to a bit of Blake. But not enough. I was seriously mortified. So I go: Sick! What is that smell? while fanning the air all innocent. Then I fan-smacked some older Blair Waldorf–type in the neck.

Sorry, it was an accident. (Me.)

You're the accident! (Her.)

Remember those old cartoons where the coyote runs off a cliff and freezes in the air? It isn't until he looks down and realizes he's in trouble that he falls. Well, that's kind of what happened to me when Blair and her friends started laughing. I realized I wasn't really Blake Lively and my confidence took a dive—whistle sound effects and all. Which turned me back into me: Sheridan Spencer, future screen star, including but not limited to TV, film, computer, and tablet. Current blooper.

Anyway, I pull Audri off the main path and onto the grass lawn—which is huge, by the way. As big as Spencer BMW (my dad's dealership), which has, like, hundreds of sedans and SUVs, and I go: Thanks a lot, Audri!

O'course she starts speed-blinking and I know exactly where this is going. Yes, I have a stronger stage presence than Audri. (I've played leads in Wizard of Oz, Wicked, Annie, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, High School Musical, The Little Mermaid, Grease, and six holiday tributes to the birth of Jesus.) But when it comes to fake crying? She's the best. Our old drama coach called her Meryl Weep.

Why did you call me out on that burp? (Me. Not letting it go.)

Sniffle, sniffle. I'm sorry. (Meryl.)

She took off her signature blue-framed glasses, jammed them in the pocket of her Lucky Brand denim jacket, and wiped her wet cheeks. I rolled my eyes.

Watch those tears, little freshman! (Some random blond guy.)

He had choppy layers and blue eyes like Niall Horan from One Direction. But zero of Niall's charm. I'm guessing from his rounded shoulders that he underdelivered on stage presence too. Anyway, after the tears comment he said: I drove a convertible. If you make it rain I'm going to stuff you in my trunk. Then he jingled his car keys in Audri's face the way my mom used to do with the twins.

What was that for? (Me, after he left.)

Audri shrugged and put her glasses back on.


Whatever Zero Direction meant about the rain, he was right. It's been pouring for hours. The good news is there have been no further embarrassments. The horrible news is that Audri and I don't have a single class together. Not even lunch. And so far no one has made any effort to meet me. Maybe tomorrow I'll channel a more approachable blonde like Reese Witherspoon.

Ms. Silver just gave us the ten-minute warning. So far she's my favorite teacher. All we've done is write in these journals. She wants us to fill these pages by the end of the year. She swears she won't read them. To prove it she gave us these leather cases with locks on them. She said she'd flip through the journals at the end of the year to make sure they're full but that's it. All she cares about is getting us away from computers. I'm going to record everything and eventually adapt these musings into a one-woman show. I can't wait to tell Audri so she can do it too.

OMG! So the guy beside me is writing with unbridled passion. Hold on. I have to peek.

OMG! OMG! I side-eyed him at the exact same time he was side-eyeing me. A simultaneous side-eye. How romantic comedy is that? I smiled my eyes into narrow crinkles (like Blake's). I must look fetching in my Russian Red lipstick because he got all nervous and looked away. He appears to be drawing hearts!

Are alleged hearts for me? Is he even cute? I want to peek again but—

The bell.

To Be Continued ...



Tuesday Andrew Duffy. Andrew Duffy. Andrew Duffy. Andrew Duffy. Andrew Duffy. Andrew Duffy. Andrew Duffy. Everyone calls me Duffy. Duffy. Duffy. Duffy. Duffyyyyyyyyyyy.








Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um.

Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um.

Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um.

How am I supposed to write 250 pages about feelings in one year? Do we even have 250 feelings?

I'd ask Ms. Silver but she said no questions. Just write. Don't worry about spelling or grammar or structure. Just write. She said some other stuff about pressure and being a freshman, but I yawned, and when I yawn I go deaf for a second. So I missed that part. Then she gave out these cases with locks so our thoughts stay private. But the logo on my case is the same as the one on those boxes my sisters jam in the trash. A half-open flower or something.

Uh, Ms. Silver, I don't see how carrying a purse full of feelings is gonna help me deal with being a freshman. It might get me killed, though.

Some skinny dude by the window is drumming on his journal with a pencil. It's kinda annoying and kinda bold cuz it's a major diss to the teacher. She keeps looking up from her laptop but he's not stopping. I bet he's gonna be this year's Class-ick. Last year it was Benji Stryker. He stole Hud's DS and offered to sell it back to him for double the price. And Hud actually—

Ms. Silver just busted the drummer. He's wearing this old Rolling Stones concert shirt and she called him Mick. Mostly everyone laughed. I didn't. It would have been cooler if she called him Charlie Watts, cuz Charlie's the drummer in the Stones. The guy does have a Mick thing going on, though, even though the real Mick's hair is brown and the Class-ick's is auburn. (I know that means reddish-brown because my sister Mandy is always stinking up the bathroom with her "auburn" hair color kits.) But their cuts are similar. You know, long and choppy. And he's got that frog face girls would like if he was famous. Anyway, he stopped pencil drumming, so that's good.

I want to look behind me and see what Coops is doing so I will. I will look behind me and see what Coops is doing. One, two, three ...

I just saw Coops's scalp. Either he has lice or dandruff because there were these white specks in his hair. His head is down like he's taking a test. What is he writing about? Our other buddy Hudson is in a different class. Which is fine, I guess. We'll all be on the basketball team together. I can't wait for tryouts. Playing Varsity is going to be so cool.

Now what? Now what?

Now what?

Now what?


Those What I Did Over Summer Vacation essays were cool because I got to write the same thing every year.

1. Listen to my older sisters fight.

2. Basketball camp.

3. Shoot hoops with Coops and Hud after camp so I don't have to listen to my older sisters fight.

4. Go on a boys-only fly-fishing trip with my dad so we don't have to listen to my older sisters fight.

My essay was in paragraph form, but I decided to write it this way because numbering takes up more space.

Duffy. Duffy has the ball. Duffy is on fire. Duffy is unstoppable. Duffy shoots the winning basket!

Woo- hooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Some girl in a yellow dress saw me making those o's. Then she smiled. She has red lipstick on her tooth. I turned away really fast like I had some big feeling that needed to be written down. And now I'm just writing and writing to look busy. I hope someone tells her about her tooth. It looks like blood but I know it's not, because my Bubbie Libby gets that all the time.

Bubbie is what Jewish people call their grandmothers. We're not Jewish. But Bubbie Libby is. She converted when my grandfather died because she thinks Jewish men are good listeners, and she wants to die knowing what it feels like to have a real conversation. So she lives with us and waits for the Chosen One. Whatever that's about.

Maybe I'll email Amelia tonight. She got a scholarship to an all girls college in New York. She's into poetry and women's rights and talking about girl things that me and my dad do NOT want to hear about. She's smart with journals and has tons of them locked in a safe. Like anyone would ever want to read this stuff.

The bell.



Sept. 4.

Feelings? Get real. I stopped having feelings on February 13, 2012—the day my parents got tossed in jail.

I've been emancipated since I was fourteen.

I'm fifteen now.

I live alone.

I take care of myself.

I don't have time for feelings.

My name is Jagger.

I don't even have time for a last name.



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My name is Lily, I turn fifteen next month, and I am eating for three. Wait, I think it's four if you kount me, and ready for this: Mom and Dad are klueless kuz I still look way-skinny. Thank you, Karess.

Not only is Karess a personal trainer slash DJ, he is the father of my triplets. He's into spelling C words with K's so now I am too.

Back to my skinnyness.

Karess recommended protein bars and energy drinks to keep the baby weight off, and ready for this: Five months pregnant and I've already lost 11 pounds. Kan you believe?

Once I "show" we'll Greyhound it to L.A. and open a gym called Kut. It will kost a million dollars to join so we kan get rich in one day. Karess wants to name the kids Karb, Kalorie, and Kardio. Luv it. Luv him. Luv the kreativity.

School is for unpregnant losers. Like what's the point of this journal assignment if I'm going to open a gym? Also my hand is shaking kuz I've had seven energy drinks on an empty stomach. Well, empty of food, not triplets. Point is it's hard to write.

Klass is over! Next stop, kemistree.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012 (Midnight)

I left my journal on the kitchen table for six whole hours. Mom made two attempts to bust the lock, first at 4:27 PM and again at 7:19 PM, but she couldn't guess my combo (A.D.'s b-day). Even if she did, and then managed to hide the clues, I'd know. That fake entry about Karess would shock her blind. She'd circle the living room like a mad cow, slamming into bookcases, knocking over newspaper stacks, tripping on lamp cords. Believe me, I'd know.

Thanks to this sturdy locking mechanism, I can be free. Free to discover the real Lily Bader-Huffman. Not the A+ student, with the male best friend, who has been homeschooled for eight years. The one who is forming beneath her. Growing like a shadow. Faceless and distorted; elongating and reaching; determined to make her secret dream come true. Determined to be normal and popular and kissed by—

Uh-oh ... footsteps.


September 4th

The English assignment given by Ms. Silver on September 4, 2012, @ 1:47 PM is as follows: Each student must record his or her innermost thoughts and feelings during freshman year at Noble High. The goal is to have a safe place to connect with ourselves. The challenge will be finding our voices and the courage to embrace them. These journals will not be graded or read. Ms. Silver will inspect them at the end of the year to make sure we filled all 250 pages. That is it. We will also have to write an essay about self-discovery and what we learned. But we are not supposed to focus on that now.

At 1:49 PM I inquired as to whether we would benefit by filling additional journals. To which she responded, "Not in the form of grades." To which I asked, "Will our GPAs benefit?" To which she replied, "No. Your soul will." To which I thought, Forget it, then.

Thusly, my strategy moving forward is to pen one journal's worth of "innermost thoughts and feelings" while focusing primarily on reward-based endeavors. I will, however, transcribe all feelings and thoughts associated with said endeavors here. Since that's the whole point of this exercise.

I will commence with a brief character profile.

My name is Vanessa Charlot Riley. I am fourteen. My hair is light brown and as curly as an old-fashioned telephone cord. I have green eyes and caramel-colored skin. My mother hails from Haiti, my father Queens. I'm told I look like a much, much, much younger Vanessa Williams. Better than Venus Williams. Ha.

As columnist Gina Simmons from the Noble High Times put it, "Exotic and striking, even Vanessa's features overachieve." My middle school principal signed my yearbook with, "Beauty and Brains, you are proof that girls can have both."

I prefer using quotes to characterize myself for three reasons:

• 1) Quotes prove opinions.

• 2) No one likes a gloater.

• 3) I must be liked.

My favorite hobby is winning. The endorphins feed my heart and carbonate my blood. It's a euphoric rush, but it ends as soon as I get my prize. The only way to get it back is to win again. I compare it to the ever-stale Bazooka bubble gum—tough work for a moment of sweetness. But, oh, how sweet that moment is. Hence, the reason I'm always chasing that next piece.

Well, it's half the reason.

Veritas ? It goes deeper than endorphins and carbonated blood. I'm just not sure how to explain it, since "it" is more of a feeling than an actual thing.

Actually, it's fragments of a feeling. Fleeting fragments like scattered dandelion fluff. Fuzzy bits drift by but I've never tried to grab them or piece them into thoughts. Maybe because thinking them in full would make them real. And I don't want them to be real because they have to do with my parents.

But Ms. Silver asked for innermost so I'm going to connect the fuzzy bits and tell you what I try not to think about. Ready?

It's my parents. How much they fight. And why that affects my grades and wardrobe.

This morning began with a screaming match about my older brother, A.J. Then it became about Dad and how he'd rather dissect computers than listen to stories about Mom's evil boss at the hotel. Which transitioned into the things Mom flushes down the toilet. Nothing says "Good luck on your first day of high school" like an argument about clogged pipes.

I'm never involved in these squabbles but I am allergic to conflict, so I suffer. Veritas? Fighting sounds make me itchy. I have red marks all over my arms and legs to prove it. Like I was jumped by the Real Housewives of New Jersey on Acrylic Day.

Peers assume I'm modest because I wear long sleeves to keep from scratching. Modesty on a girl with features that "overachieve" does make her more likable, so it's not all bad. But it's not all good, either. Obvious frump factor aside, running track in sweats leads to heatstroke. In 98 percent humidity, hallucinations. But it's worth it. First place means my parents will stay together another day. So I cover up and run like a nose in flu season.

Excerpted from Pretenders by Lisi Harrison. Copyright © 2013 Lisi Harrison. Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Lisi Harrison is the author of The Clique, Alphas and Monster High series. She was the Senior Director of Production Development at MTV and Head Writer for MTV Production. Lisi is currently pretending to write her next novel.

Lisi lives in Laguna Beach, California.

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Pretenders 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read almost all of Lisi Harrison's books. I really think this one might be her best yet. For slightly older readers than her old The Clique series. i also think guys and girls will equally like it.
lmcc67 More than 1 year ago
Consider yourself WARNED - this book is the first of a series and it just ends. Full stop, no closure for any of the characters. You will have to read the next book if you want to know how any of this works out. I LOVED this book until it ended. Everything about it drew me in, and I turned pages like crazy. And just ended. Every single character was left dangling with a full-stop cliff hanger. I've never been so furious. I don't mind books that are part of a series with an over-all arc, but I expect each individual book to have some form of closure at the end. This had none of it. Worst of all, there was no warning that this would be the case - that this was the first book in a series. If I had known that, I wouldn't have started it until the next book was available. I feel so used and frustrated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Homeschooled Lily Bader-Huffman convinces her parents to let her go to high school when her best (and gay) friend is sent. Lily’s parents agree, provided she maintains her A+ average. This wouldn’t be a problem, except Lily is besotted with Andrew Duffy, a basketball phenom destined to make varsity as a freshman. But Duffy has his own crosses to bear, and Lily’s appearance in his life registers nary a blip. It’s a good thing she has Vanessa Riley, a gorgeous Vanessa Williams-esque girl whose beauty is only exceeded by her brains. Vanessa’s family is falling apart, and she feels the only thing that can keep them together is her report card.  I really liked how seamless each journal entry connected to the one before and the one after. I think this is the most drama-ridden book I've read in a very long time. But that drama is what makes PRETENDERS so great. There is so much high school hi jinx that it kept me wanting to know what could possibly happen next. And I can say that anything you can imagine happening to a high schooler, does and probably will happen in the future.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Three girls, two guys, and five secret journals. The start of freshman year is here for Sheridan Spencer, Andrew Duffy, Lily Bader-Huffman, Vanessa Riley, and Jagger. Sheridan: used to being popular and talented. She channels different celebrities for confidence, and trusts them to make her look fab, flawless, and gorgeous. But will Sheridan's life starts going wonky, will she find out that yourself can be the best persona? Andrew Duffy: the poor basketball star. Sick of his sisters and his family's money problems, "Duffy" relies on basketball. When he finds out the thefee to be on the team is outrageous, he is desperate for a way to get money. Little, does he know that his attempts to get cash end up getting him two girls that have crushes on him. Lily, his used-to-be-homeschooled nieghbor who collects (steals) his stuff that he touches, and Sheridan who can't find her own personality. How's a boy with gold sneakers supposed to pull this off? Lily Bader-Huffman: made a deal with her mom: straight A's at Noble High, or it's back to being homeschooled (aka a Homie). When grades start to slip, what desperate measure will she resort to? And will she get caught? Vanessa Riley: pretty, and a A+ student... until her grades, as well as her new friend Lily's start slipping. Her parents fight constantly and she worries a lot. Her brother AJ can't get his act together, but whe he does, it falls through. Can Vanessa try to get her life, Lily's life, and AJ's life together and still have energy to have hope on the parental front? Jagger: he's been the tough boy ever since his parents got landed in jail for helping someone, and he's determind to keep that steel solid front up at his high school. But when he meets Audri, Sheridan's best friend, will he be able to? And will Jagger learn that maybe he dies have feelings, after all? Three cheers for another outstanding book by Lisi Harrison. When I started reading this book, I had my clear favorites for the journal entries. By the end, all the stories were twisted and tangles and combined. I really got into the five's stories and really felt each of their feelings. Some parts made me laugh, and some made me almost cry. It was written in the voice of a teenager, and was an outstnading read. My only complaint? The total cliffhanger at the end. Please, please, PLEASE publish the second book ASAP, Lisi!! I just can't wait! I'd recommend this book to all teenagers and older tweens. Five stars out of five!! ~X-PHONIE (X for short, it's cooler) :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this read. It was easy and something I finished within the 2-3 hour range. It was cute story of the struggles of freshmen in a high school that is known for exceeding in all aspects. Which to me, was very relateable situation. I'm currently a high school freshmen for an overachieving school and understand that pressure. It was nice to see each of the different POVs and i love seeing the little drama with peers and the opposite sex in High School. (Which in my case is awesome to read about since I go to an all girl HS). I loved the character development throughout the book and how they struggle to be different and at the same time act like the rest of the crowd. The only thing that I didn't enjoy was the ending. Just like another reviewer had said, I didn't feel like it was a great  way to end the book. I never got that sense of rap up for some of the characters that we didn't hear much from at the end. I felt like I was missing what was going on with Jagger. I turned to the last few pages and was like 'Wait, that was it?". Overall good book and I can't wait for more! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisi Harrison was able to string together journal entries filled with emotion, uncertainty, and confusion into a book of perfection. She was able to fully encompass the essence of loneliness that comes with growing up and the reality of the situations can tear down any young teen's heart. When Sheridan is given exercise tips from her own mother instead of a comforting hug, that tore at my heartstrings because I knew exactly how she felt. It certainly seems like parents do not understand the fragility of being a teenager. Lisi has certainly outdone herself in this new series and I applaud her for taking a unique and creative route to exploring this five precocious teens. Some people criticize the characters for being too stereotypical, however I beg to differ. That is merely our initial reactions to them as human beings. It is human nature to judge, isn't it? Like when we see a drop dead gorgeous girl who seems to be able to juggle perfect grades, boys, and awards, we label her as an overachiever. Or when we see an attractive jock who can't seem to notice all of the girls drooling over him- we just assume that he's stupid. Yet as you go further into the book, you find that there is so much depth to all of them. Experience Vanessa's daily exhaustion, anxiety, and lack of parental love as she struggles to gain attention using her grades that she had to cheat to get. Place yourself in the shoes of Duffy as he schemes his way into a job that will be able to pay for his expensive ambition since his parents have gone broke. Yearn for a boy hopelessly out of your league and dream of being a normal teenager like quirky Lilly or become curious over the mysterious Jagger and his suspicious life story. Take a breath and open up a book that will transport you back to the hallway of high school. Cuddling under my warm blanket, I found Pretenders to be a therapeutic, chicken soup book that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The book was skillfully written in a way where you could truly feel the pitter patter of the rain as it was coming down on Sheridan's car as she left Theater auditions or smell the exotic French food cooking in the kitchen as Lily came home after leaving Style Club. This is certainly a wonderful book to read over and over again and the feelings you experience when reading it will stick with you for a long time. Take a moment then open up the book to enjoy the splendors that come with growing up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg this book was amazing. I finished it in hours, but the one problem I had with the book was the ending....I want to know what happens to the characters it just ended like that I have to say thought I would recomend this book to anyone and I can't wait untill the secomd one comes out on june 24!!!!!!!! So excited
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisi needs to write the second book! I read this back when it came out and it just left me there! The summary doesnt have anything to do with the book. It doesnt even get to the part where they are nominated for the 5. Not the best, but still loved it. But please write the second book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book started out bad and finished ur time and hard earned money and dont read this book. To be honest i didnt get through 50 pages of the book before i lost all interst. So save ur money and look into another book. And yes im one of those book nerds that reads 24/7.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
English class at Noble High will never be the same for students, and for five students their lives are really about to change. For three girls and two guys, these confessionals that they begin to write in the notebooks their English teacher has given out truly begin to change their lives. Students were asked to write in special notebooks, that have a lock and will not be read by anyone other than the student, are supposed to expand each students mind. To let them write freely about what they feel, think or do throughout the school year. The teacher has advised that no one will ever read the notebook, hense the lock on each notebook, and the only grade the students will get is for completely filling the notebook, once again the teacher will not read the book, will simply flip through it to check for completion only. Many of the students think that this is a dumb idea, but some think that this is a wonderful idea and embrace the new writing freedom they have been given. But the secrets that these books possess for these five students will change their lives and the lives of many others. Each person pretends to be someone they are not in the eyes of their peers, but behind closed doors, or in this case, behind the closed covers of a notebook the layers are shed and truths are revealed. Will they remain behind the covers or will someone expose the real truths? This is an amazing book. I liked the different characters in the book and the fact that each character had a very different style of writing and way of looking at their lives. Gripping, but it just cut off at the end of the book, right in the middle of things getting really really good. Good call on the part of the author, keeps the readers wanting more, but not good for the reader who wants more and will have to wait till the next book comes out.
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
Pretenders by Lisi Harrison Teen age anxs has not changed over they years, the mediums are what have. Lisi Harrison for a while was one of the authors my daughter read serially, going through all her books all her books from the library for months. But when she read this book she was not interested in giving her opinion. Having read the book i can see points that could be used in a classroom to teach children. as an introduction to writing journals and having self expression but i found the over lapping characters as hard to follow as it was for my daughter. The events in the story would also be good for teaching about peer pressure, teenage mistakes, and corporate greed. I wonder if the diaries were collected together and not interspersed would have made it an easier read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know what yall haters are talking about but i read the book and it was had five diffeent people with their own stories but at one point or another their stories join meet or cross. The ending makes you wonder whats going to happen now that things are getting serious and exciting and you have to read the next book and try ti find out who put the journals in the wide open. I loved it. Its a must read
HeyitsAbby More than 1 year ago
At first the book was slow and boring...Then i really started to like it...But the end was a TOTAL cliffhanger
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all of Lisi Harrison's books but this is definitely the worst. It was confusing from the first page and it was boring. There was not even a point to the story. I am usually pretty nice and positive during book reviews, but tbh this book completely sucked, and there was nothing good or interesting about it. Save your money. Please.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hhaa i didnt rrad it haha
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So you guys say this book is ( BOSS ) tell me about the book and don't say to much about it. thank you from savanna P.S. if you are going to say something about this book say my name ( savanna) on the space up thank you so much 10\1\2014
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how all the characters click together in a gut twisting heart wenching way. Its hard to follow the characters at first and fallin love with them but by the first couple character switches you love the characters and everything makes scence. The only thing i didnt get was lily i feel like her character was hard to follow. Overall it was a great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much and I could not put it down once I started it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Ever took a sneak peek at someone’s diary or journal? Those personal thoughts a person writes down, maybe thoughts of anger, fear, joy, their darkest secrets that cannot be shared with a best friend? As a class project, everyone was to keep a private daily journal for the school year. No one was to ever see it but the author. Who would think someone would stoop low enough to steal the diaries of the five students elected as the Phoenix Five, the most popular, most “together” students in the freshman class? But someone did. Was it spite? Jealousy? Curiosity? A need to know that even the kids with it all on the outside were really just like everyone else? Pretenders by Lisi Harrison begins with the theft of these five journals and alternating chapters highlighting their private entries. The deepest thoughts, insecurities, feelings and routines of these students were exposed. The entries read just like a journal, sometimes the thoughts were silly, funny, immature, arrogant, but they felt real. I felt I was reading real journals, mentally doing an eyeroll here and a chuckle there. Was it riveting reading? Depends on what you call riveting, if you like to snoop, imagine it being someone you know, it’s riveting. Even better if you don't like the person. If you felt you were impinging on someone’s privacy, Lisi Harrison made them so life-like, that you may feel uncomfortable, the point is, you feel something when you finish! I can't say I liked the Phoenix Five as people, but I did feel for what they wrote, and their notes did appear honest to me. I’m not sure Ms. Harrison was looking to entertain as much as to point out, hey, even the in crowd is human and flawed and maybe everyone is a "pretender" to some degree! What becomes of these journals, the point to the theft, the consequences of this brutal exposure, and the person who took them, well, there is book two for that! I received this copy from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange for my honest review.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Three girls, two guys, and five big secrets. That was what the novel promised, unfortunately, as you can tell from the title of this post, Pretenders failed to deliver. I am so disappointed in how misleading the synopsis is. I feel pretty bad because if the synopsis was written differently, I would have known that Pretenders isn't the type of book I would usual read because 1) It is very immature. The five characters are high school freshmen and their story is told in diary entry form (5 different POVs).  Their mentalities felt like ones belonging to preschoolers. I really disliked how shallow they were, how 5 micrometer deep their personalities and how unmemorable their stories were.  2. The supposed "five big secrets" don't exist. I kept on reading and reading… and reading but I just couldn't figure out what they were. Yes I read some supposed unmemorable 'revelation' but it just wasn't worth all the hype. 3. A couple of hours after finishing the book, even if you offer me a large sum of money, I seriously won't be able to tell the difference between the characters and their corresponding story… What is worse is that the book didn't even wrap up but there is a sequel to it. What happened in this whole book could be summarized in a couple of pages so I seriously don't understand the need for prolonging such a story into more than ONE book. I would only recommend this book to kids between the ages of 9 to 11. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg this was a really awesome book so that's why i gave it five stars i can't for the second one to come out