Lisa is a card-carrying, book-loving Gryffindor. Solid. And that’s why everyone knows she’s awesome. Well, except for her crush, Matt. He only ever sees her as a friend. Plus, he's got his eye on another girl. Oh well, plenty of fish and all that.
Good thing Lisa just read a book on the “wedding ring phenomenon”—you get more attention when you’re already taken. What if Lisa pretends to be Matt’s plus one? Maybe it’ll help Matt get his girl and Lisa can hook her own fish.
After the plan works, Matt suddenly claims he doesn’t like the view from the friend-zone and wants her instead… But she isn’t interested in being anyone’s second choice. If this guy wants to earn her attention, he’ll need more than some silly “phenomenon.”
He’ll need to go all out...
Disclaimer: This book contains multiple nerd-girl references, cute puppies, and snarky humor that will make you LOL!
Each book in the Dating Dilemmas series is STANDALONE:
* The Dating Debate
* 99% Faking It
About the Author
Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts.
She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at www.chriscannonauthor.com. Subscribe to her newsletter at http://www.chriscannonauthor.com/connect/ to be notified about new releases.
Read an Excerpt
Matt walked toward me with an easy grin on his face. He'd finally started to relax around me now that he realized I wasn't going to throw myself at him. Not that I hadn't entertained the idea, because he had chocolate-brown eyes and dark wavy hair and broad shoulders and ... wait ... where am I going with this?
Right. I wasn't throwing myself at man-candy-Matt because he'd made it clear that he thought of me only as a friend. And at first that had sort of sucked, but I was a big girl and I could deal with it. He made a good friend. We had fun together.
At one time, I may have held out hope that he would turn to me and say, "Lisa, I was wrong. You're exactly the short, nerdy girl I've been looking for." But it had been a few months and now I was over it. At this point in my life I wasn't sure any guy was worth the trouble. Until some new guy showed up and took my breath away, I was declaring my life a drama-free, date-free zone.
Matt sat down next to me at our normal lunch table in the Greenbrier High School cafeteria and opened his brown paper bag. "Are you and Nina getting your nerd on tonight?" he asked.
"Is it Friday?" I said, like it answered the question, because it totally did. Every Friday night my best friend Nina and I engaged in Nerd-girl Festivities. We went to Books-A-Million to find new treasures and then hung out in the coffee shop afterward talking books and boys and anything else that came to mind. "What about you?" I asked. "Any exciting plans?"
He shrugged. "Not sure yet."
"Someone has commitment issues," I teased in a sing-song voice.
"Hey," Matt said, "I'm just a guy who likes to keep his options open."
"Please. You have a pathological resistance about committing to plans. You always wait until the last second."
"Right." Matt took a bite of his sandwich. "Just because your mom's a therapist doesn't mean you're qualified to analyze me."
"My mom's job doesn't have anything to do with it." I popped the top on my soda and took a drink. "I've seen you try to pick out a donut at Krispy Kreme."
"It's not my fault they all look good."
"Yes, but most people have a favorite." Maybe that was his problem with dating. All girls looked good and he couldn't pick one. "Let's try an exercise my mom does with her clients. If you could do anything tonight, no matter how impractical, what would you choose?"
Matt's gaze flicked over to the table where his younger sister sat with her best friend Jane and then he glanced back at me. "That's a stupid question."
Busted. I leaned in so no one would overhear us. "I didn't ask who you'd do."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Matt's tone was a little too defensive.
"Nothing." Jane had a steady boyfriend, who happened to be drop-dead gorgeous, and they appeared to be very much in love. That didn't stop Matt from staring at her whenever he thought no one was looking. Since I used to spend a fair amount of my time checking out Matt while he was otherwise occupied, I recognized the game he was playing. It was a no-win situation.
Nina picked me up to go to the bookstore a few hours after school. "So you and Matt seemed awful chatty at lunch today. Anything I should know about?"
"Nope. I'm still living my life in the friend zone." I tilted the air-conditioning vents down so the air didn't hit me in the face. Short girl problem 101. Whatever normal-sized person who'd sat here last had left the vents aimed so the air blew my hair all around my face. Since I wasn't modeling for a shampoo commercial, this was not an ideal setting.
"I know you still like him," Nina said.
"Wrong. That ship has sailed."
"Are you sure? West said Matt talks about you when you're not around."
I froze for a second and then took a cleansing breath. "Please tell me you're not discussing my past crush with your boyfriend. That would be in direct violation of the best friend code."
"Wrong. It doesn't count if he's the one that asked about you. He said Matt talks about you almost as much as he talks about Jane."
"Does he realize Matt is into Jane?"
"I don't think so and the better question is why does Matt have a crush on a girl who is obviously so into her boyfriend? And no offense, but not many people could compete with that guy."
"It's kind of karma that she isn't into him," I said. "He'll just have to move on, like I did."
"Fine. If you've moved on, then who are you interested in?"
"No one, for the moment," I said. "Although I'm actively looking for a new book boyfriend. Hopefully, I'll find a fabulous new guy at the bookstore."
"This is totally selfish, but you need a real boyfriend so we can double-date."
I laughed. "So my love life should revolve around yours? Is that what you're saying?"
"Yes," Nina said. "And I'd appreciate it if you'd get with the program."
"I'll get right on that." I knew she was joking but part of it rang true and that kind of bothered me. Is this what life was going to be like from now on? If my best friend has a boyfriend I'd better find one, too, or soon I wouldn't have a best friend anymore? Because that would suck.
"Hey," Nina said. "You know I'm joking, right?"
"I know." I sighed and slid lower in my seat. "I have to tell you I don't have a lot of trust in the male half of the species." Given that my mom was a family counselor, it was the irony of ironies that my dad had abandoned her when she'd told him she was pregnant. They'd been married less than a year, and I guess the idea of being a parent had freaked him out. My mom said one day she came home from work and he was gone. No discussion. No warning. Just a bunch of empty drawers and a note about how he wasn't ready to be a father. She'd received divorce papers in the mail before I was even born. I'd never even met the guy and pretty much thought of him as nothing more than a sperm donor and a complete douchebag.
"Given your situation, that's justified. But look at your mom now. She's been dating the same guy for years."
"Yeah, Tony is great," I said. "But I don't think it's a coincidence that they've never even discussed marriage."
"Maybe he has his own reasons for not wanting to get married," Nina said.
"It's weird. I've overheard his cell calls to an insurance company about some woman's bills and prescriptions. I'm kind of afraid of what that might mean."
"Okay. So either he's cheating on his sick wife, or he's stayed married to someone he doesn't love so his insurance will cover her medical bills?" Nina pulled into the lot of the bookstore and parked in the front row. "That's either terrible or tragic."
"I've almost asked my mom about it a few times, but if she's okay with the situation then it can't be too shady." Everything my mom did was above board. Her motto was Honesty is the best and only policy. "Maybe it's his sister or his mom or something." I unbuckled my seatbelt. "I'm done with all this stressful real life crap. I'm ready to get my happily ever after on. Let's go buy some books."
We entered the bookstore. I inhaled the scent of coffee and ink-covered pages, my two favorite fragrances, and suddenly all was Zen in my world. A new display of Harry Potter shirts and bags caught my eye and sucked me in like a tractor beam.
I ran my fingers down the strap of a messenger bag with an owl pattern on one side and Platform 9 ¼ on the other. It seemed to be calling my name. I opened the flap. The bag was divided into two compartments and even had loops for pens. "I love this."
"It's cute," Nina said. "I don't really need another bag."
"Since when does need have anything to do with it?" I had what some might call a purse problem. I liked to think of it as an eclectic collection of geek-girl handbags.
"Didn't you tell me not to let you buy any more purses?"
I hugged the messenger bag to my chest. "I have no recollection of that conversation."
"Do you have room in your closet for another purse?"
I pictured the shelf in the top of my closet. My handbags were lined up facing out like they were on display because seeing them made me happy. There wasn't much room left. "If I put the Darth Vader bag inside the Tardis bag I could fit this one up there, too."
"I would point out that the Darth Vader bag is bigger than the Tardis," Nina said. "But I know what your response to that statement would be."
"It's bigger on the inside." I grinned. While Nina didn't share a love for all my geeky fandoms, she did at least understand and appreciate them. I ran my hand over the bag. "But cross pollinating fandoms might lead to a disruption in the space-time continuum, so I could just keep this bag on my dresser."
Nina snorted but didn't bother responding. Then she picked up a pair of socks with an owl and wand pattern. "You can never have too many pairs of socks and they take up much less room."
I sighed and checked the price on the bag. It was more than I wanted to spend. So, I reluctantly set it back down. "Don't worry, dear. I'll be watching for you to go on clearance." I grabbed a pair of socks decorated with the Sorting Hat and Harry Potter spectacles and checked the price tag. "These are cute and much more budget friendly."
My job at Crazy Crafts kept me in yarn and books with a little left over for fun money. I crocheted scarves and sold them on Etsy, so in a way one of my hobbies paid for itself.
Now that we were headed into warmer weather, my scarf sales would drop. That was okay. I could crochet and stock up for next winter.
"Good choice. I declare tomorrow Harry Potter sock day," she stated like it was a new holiday.
"Works for me."CHAPTER 2
Lisa wasn't wrong about me waiting to make plans until the last minute. It wasn't because I couldn't commit, it was because I liked keeping my options open. West would make plans for us, and I could sit back and chill out. Why work when someone else would take care of it? Work smarter, not harder was a motto for a reason.
Not that I was afraid of hard work. I worked with my dad in our family landscaping business. I could dig up old hedges and shovel mulch all day, as long as I was outside breathing fresh air. When it came down to it, I wasn't a people person. I mean I liked some people, but loud, crowded places weren't my favorite.
I checked the kitchen clock. Jane was coming to pick up my sister Haley soon. I wasn't going to fall all over myself staring at her, but I wanted to say hello. A few months ago, I would have made sure to wait for Jane on the porch swing so I could intercept her before she came into the house and talk to her while Haley was getting ready. I was done playing that game, which is why I was in the kitchen warming up a hot pocket when Jane knocked on the door. It's not like I had some sort of radar that let me know when she was close. I saw her walking up the front porch through the picture window.
"Come in," I hollered.
She opened the door. "Hey, Matt."
"Hey." It was best to keep conversation to a minimum. "Haley's up in her room."
"I could have guessed that." Jane headed up the stairs as my fraternal twin brother Charlie came down. They nodded at each other and then he joined me in the kitchen. My phone vibrated with a text. I checked the message. "West says he's meeting us at Clarissa's."
"That's the plan."
"Cool." Charlie's girlfriend had a big backyard, which was perfect for barbecues. Even if there were a lot of people, it would be outside, which was better than being crowded into someone's living room or basement.
Once we reached Clarissa's, I found a lawn chair on the far side of the patio and surveyed my options. There were half a dozen couples and a few single girls. No one I was interested in. Too bad Lisa was off doing nerd-girl activities. She was always fun to hang out with.
West showed up and sat by me. "So how much fun are we having tonight?" he asked.
"I think you should text Nina and tell her we're at a Harry Potter party and that chick who played Hermione is here, and she wants to meet them."
He grinned. "Yeah, that would get them out here."
"Seriously," I said. "How long can they look at books?"
"For hours. Thank God they have a cafe in the bookstore. I've learned to go grab a coffee and wait while I read on my phone."
"You read on your phone at the bookstore ... where they sell books?"
"You've seen my house," West said.
West's mom was a hoarder. They'd tried to find her help. She'd seen several therapists, but that didn't stop her from filling their house from floor to ceiling with random junk. West's dad was OCD, so he organized all the crap in plastic tubs. Sometimes I wondered how West kept it together.
Two blondes came toward us. "Hey, West," blonde number one said.
"Hey," he responded.
"Are you still dating your neighbor?" she asked.
"Too bad." She giggled and walked on by. Blonde number two's cheeks were red. As she walked past me, she said, "Being a wingman can be embarrassing."
I grinned and nodded. She smiled and kept on walking.
"Go talk to her," West said.
I shook my head. She was cute but I wasn't interested.
"Why not?" he asked.
Time to change the subject. "Is it my imagination or do more girls flirt with you now that you have a girlfriend?"
"Seems like it."
Charlie and Clarissa came toward us with a guy I'd never seen before. He definitely wasn't from around here. He looked like he thought he was trying out for the role of a rock star or a rebel in a movie. His hair was short on the sides and long on top so it flipped over and almost hid one of his eyes. His ripped jeans screamed, I'm trying too hard.
"Hey guys," Clarissa said, "this is my cousin Trey."
I held out my hand. "I'm Matt."
Trey shook my hand. "Charlie's twin brother."
I nodded. "And this is West." They shook hands.
"Trey just moved here," Clarissa said. "He's a little obnoxious, but once you get past his hair, he's okay."
Trey laughed. "You wish your hair was as cool as mine."
"Right," Clarissa said.
"Please tell me this isn't all there is to do in this town." Trey gestured at the patio and everyone sitting around it.
"If you're looking for excitement, you came to the wrong place," I answered.
"I was afraid you were going to say that."
"What are you talking about?" Clarissa said. "You can go see a movie, go out to eat, hang out at barbecues, or go play golf at the country club."
"Do I look like I golf?" Trey asked, like he was disgusted by the idea.
I laughed. Maybe this guy wasn't so bad.
The smell of hotdogs drifted through the air.
"I can't believe I'm about to say this," Trey said. "But those hot dogs smell awesome."
"Watch out," Clarissa said. "You wouldn't want anyone to think you liked being here."
"Don't worry," Trey said. "I'll scowl while I eat."
They headed over to the grill.
"Do you want to go grab a pizza?" West asked. "Because I had hot dogs for dinner almost every night this week."
I knew his mom didn't cook, but that was sad. "Sure."
The Slicery was crowded, but we only had to wait about ten minutes for a table. We were halfway through our sausage and pepperoni thick-crust pizza with extra cheese when Nina and Lisa walked in the door.
Nina spotted us and headed over with a big smile for West. Lisa followed along behind her like she knew the situation was inevitable.
"Did you know we were coming here?" Nina asked as she sat down next to him.
"No," West said. "I was trying to avoid hot dogs."
Lisa sat in the chair beside me. "So, what did you guys do tonight?"
"Barbecue ... it was kind of boring," I said.
"You should have come to the bookstore," Lisa said with complete sincerity.
"Because it's never boring at the bookstore?" I asked.
"Nope." She shook her head. "Never."
The waitress came over and asked if they needed a menu.
"No," Lisa said, "I want iced tea with lemon and a small meatball pizza."
"Meatballs on a pizza?" I said. "That's just wrong."
"Pizza is Italian," she countered. "Meatballs are Italian. How can that be wrong?"
"Meatballs go on spaghetti," I pointed out. "Not on pizza crust."
"You're wrong." She grinned. "Then again, you're probably used to being in that position, so who am I to argue?"
"Hey, Miss Overachiever, I may not always know the answer but that doesn't mean I'm wrong."
She squinted at me. "There's the right answer and then there is the one that is the opposite of right. Wait ... what do they call that? I know ... wrong."
"Not caring about the questions doesn't make me wrong. It just means that it's a game I don't want to play."
"So you're opting out. That's kind of lazy."
I cracked my knuckles. "I like to think of it as conserving energy."
"I'm pretty sure that's another word for lazy," Lisa teased.
"Nope. I just conserve my effort and spend energy on things that are important to me."
"How short is that list?" she asked.
"Pretty short," I admitted.
"Am I on it?" She batted her eyelashes at me, which made me smile.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "99% Faking It"
Copyright © 2019 Chris Cannon.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Funny, Romantic Read For All! Every now and then, I love to read a good young adult romance. A romance that is young, and innocent. So, I was browsing through Netgalley and saw this one, and fell in love with the synopsis and the cover (I mean, seriously. How adorable is that cover? I can just feel the hug he's giving her!). I grabbed it up. I'm super glad I did, too, because I have a new author to read more work by, and characters that have stolen my heart for the long haul. I loved the way Chris Cannon chiseled these characters. They are true-to-life and came alive within the story. I felt more like I was watching a movie on the big screen than I was reading a book. Lisa and Matt reminded me a lot of some of the kids I used to know in high school. Lisa had a crush on a guy who just wanted to be friends.....or so she thought. Friend zone happened a lot back in my day at school! Watching Lisa and Matt together in this read was super fun. They were witty and so cute. I loved watching them realize their feelings for each other, and their banter with each other was fun. The sparks flew but nothing was over the top, and Lisa and Matt would be great characters for any young adult (or adult!) to read. Chris Cannon has a beautiful talent. The way she weaves the story together, even though it is the second in her Dating Dilemmas series, I wasn't overly confused by the happenings surrounding Lisa and Matt's story. I felt a part of these young people's lives and had so much fun reading it! I definitely recommend this book with 4 stars and am looking forward to reading book 1 and other books by this author. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley, Entangled Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
Adorable! Lisa and Matt were both very sympathetic characters--what book-reading girl can't identify with a nerdy book-loving heroine who sometimes feels a bit less-than when confronted with confident, bubbly blonde maybe-rivals? Both Matt and Lisa weren't 100% sure at all times who was the right one for them--though it might be a bit unusual for a romance novel, IRL it's realistic at any age, especially when you're in high school and still figuring things out. They managed to find their way to a satisfying HEA (Matt's book for Lisa was fantastic) and though they made annoying mistakes along the way, they weren't over the top unbelievable or ones that they couldn't realistically come back from. There were many LOL moments along the way to their happy for now and hopeful for the future ending, which more than overshadowed any facepalm ones :) 99% Faking It is the second book in Ms. Canon's Dating Dilemmas series, but it worked just fine as a standalone. Nina (Lisa's BFF) and West were totally cute here, though, and I'm looking forward to going back and giving their book a read too--and crossing my fingers for more in the future! Rating: 4 stars / B+ I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
The friend zone is a difficult place to be! Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review 99% Faking It by Chris Cannon! Lisa has a crush on Matt but she’s tried to change her feelings about him since he put her in the friend zone. Now, to help them both get dates, Matt has asked Lisa to pretend to be his girlfriend because a taken person is much more attractive. Lisa bothered me with her insecurities and I understand that everyone is allowed an opinion and should take care of themselves but she seemed self-righteous at times. The comment that Matt made about not caring if Lisa isn’t cool and how he likes that she’s into books annoyed me too. It’s like he’s trying to convince himself to like her. I think I needed a bit more happy relationship events between Matt and Lisa so I could actually root for everything to work out with them but I didn’t feel invested in their relationship. I enjoyed Chris Cannon’s fantasy series, Going Down in Flames, but 99% Faking It feels rushed and lacks depth. I give it three stars for a cutesy, cohesive story. * I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration and all opinions and thoughts are my own.
I like Chris Cannon’s writing style. She really knows how to suck you into the story with witty banter and loveable smart chicks. Lisa is Matt’s nerdy best friend. He friend zoned her as soon as they started being besties. Now Lisa wants a boyfriend and a new guy is on the scene. He has caught her attention and Matt doesn’t like the idea of sharing his BFF. Matt is in denial. He’s in love with Lisa and doesn’t even realise it. After a discussion about the wedding ring affect Matt and Lisa decide to fake date. They already hang out all the time and their relationship should be the same. Their fake relationship is more complicated than the real one. What starts out as a friendly offer complicates everything. Even after a fake relationship, there is no going back. I really liked the main characters in this book. It can be read as a standalone but I’ve read book one and it’s worth the read. 99% faking it is a little frustrating with a slow burn romance. Matt takes a long time to realise Lisa is his perfect match. This book has great Witt and a lot of geeky sass. 4 stars out of 5. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
As a huge Harry Potter fan, any book that says a character is a Gryffindor is immediately going on my TBR. I am obsessed with all of the HP references in this book. I loved Lisa and Matt in the first book in this series and their story was amazing. Once I started this book, I couldn't stop. I lost quite a bit of sleep rooting for Lisa and Matt and it was worth every second of it. This book rolls some of my favorite tropes into one fantastic story. I love the maturity of these characters but it's still believable that they're in high school. Fingers crossed that there's more to this series!! I want all of these characters to get a HEA!! *This is my voluntary review of an advanced reader copy*
Chris Cannon just keeps getting better with each book! Every time I think I have a favorite, a new book comes out and takes its place. I was so excited to read Matt was getting his own book. I had been a fan of his since he and Charlie first appeared in "Blackmail Boyfriend." Matt is the quite, shy type that just goes along with whatever until nerd-girl Lisa throws him in a tailspin. I enjoyed this book so much. Not just because of all the Harry Potter references, but the world and characters that brought it to life. While this book can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading "The Dating Debate" as it tells how Nina and West got together.
In 1999, there was a movie called Drive Me Crazy with Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier. They played neighbors/friends whose significant others had dumped them, and decided to “fake date” each other to try to win back their former loves. In the end, it backfired and they fell in love with each other. Chris Cannon uses the same trope in 99% Faking It. Lisa, a self-proclaimed nerd-girl, has had a crush on Matt since they met, but Matt has friend-zoned her. Matt is crushing on his little sister’s best friend, Jane, but Jane has a boyfriend. At a party, Matt observes that his best friend receives way more attention from girls now that he is in a relationship. This inspires Matt to ask Lisa to be his “fake girlfriend” to make Jane take notice. In the meantime, new boy Trey has caught Lisa’s eye, so she agrees to try Matt’s plan. Matt’s plan backfires when he realizes he actually might WANT to be with Lisa, not Jane, but Lisa does not want to be his second choice. And a subplot involving Lisa’s absentee father helps bring her closer to Matt. Overall, this was a cute story, a light, fluffy romantic read. Chris Cannon drops a lot of nerd-girl references (Lisa’s big into Harry Potter, Doctor Who, etc.) and the storyline is fun if a little clichéd.
99% faking it by Chris Cannon a five-star read that you wont need to fake enjoying. This is the second novel in the Dating Dilemma series, but they can be read as stand-alone as I read this one first not realising it was a series, I will be going back to check the first one out. I loved Lisa through the whole story, I loved her in all her nerd girl awesomeness. Matt, I struggled with at times, but in the end, I realised he is a dog lover so he can’t be all that bad, and you just know once he grows up a little, he will see what’s really important. Throw in some amazing secondary characters including one with amazing hair and a couple addicted to minty’s and some teenage drama and you have a great story.
"99% Faking It" is a quick read that follows self-proclaimed nerd-girl, Lisa, and the guy who immediately friend-zoned her, Matt. Lisa lives with her mother, a family/relationship counselor; her father left her mother when she was pregnant and sent divorce papers from afar. Lisa has never met him, but that doesn't mean she doesn't feel the echoes of his leaving. She has had a crush on Matt, but as she knows he has firmly placed her in the friend zone, she is intrigued by the new, cool guy, Trey, who is happy to flirt with her. Matt has had a crush on his little sister's friend, Jane, who, before he could make a move, started dating someone else and seems really happy. When he notices his newly taken friend is getting hit on a lot, he starts thinking about the "wedding ring phenomenon" where people who are taken are considered more desirable. He proposes to Lisa that they fake date to attract Jane/Trey respectively. Lisa almost immediately declines, but ends up reluctantly agreeing. As they spend more time together, they first have a lot of conflicts- Matt has some odd ideas about relationships and it's hard to decide where to draw the lines- e.g. kisses- with a fake relationship. Then, after Lisa needs some emotional support, they find themselves drawn together and spending more time alone. Matt starts to realize that Lisa is special and he might actually be attracted to her, but Lisa is tired of not feeling like a priority and likes that Trey liked her right off the bat without needing to be convinced that she is special. Cannon is a great writer and always pulls you right into the story. I liked the characters and getting into their heads. However, I was concerned by all the extreme gendering/stereotyping of boys vs. girls. For instance, Matt's father says "Women go on and on about soul mates or finding that one person you can't live without. For guys it's not about finding someone you can't live without. It's more like you can't live with the idea of her with anyone else." I think this is more about people rather than men vs. women. Lots of women do not go on and on about soul mates. And I am not sure how I feel about someone only wanting to be with someone else just because they are territorial or don't want to let them be with anyone else (why not someone you can't live without?)- this seems pretty yucky and super stereotyped (also completely unnecessary in my opinion). Later, one of the friends says "teenage boys are a little slow when it comes to relationships." Except, not all teenage boys- even within the book- are so slow. There were a lot of these stereotyped statements in the book, and I found them unnecessary. I know that I am a little more sensitive to these things than others would be, but this, for me, tainted an overall sweet and cute friends turned more/fake relationship turned real story. Overall, the writing, characters, and plot is fantastic, and I loved the development of the relationship. I wish there were less sweeping generalizations about women/girls vs. men/boys and stereotyping, which did not seem necessary for the story. Please note that I received a ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Miss Overachiever: Let me get this straight. You want to fake date me. Man Candy Matt: Uh huh. Miss Overachiever: But you know that I have a crush on you. [Damn it! He won’t notice that Freudian slip, will he?] Man Candy Matt: Have? Miss Overachiever: [Damn it!] Had! I had a crush on you. Man Candy Matt: So, fake date me? Then the girl I have a crush on who’s perfectly happy with her perfect boyfriend will get jealous and decide she wants me instead. Miss Overachiever: What’s in it for me? Man Candy Matt: Well, you like Mr Cool Hair. Maybe he’ll pay attention to you if you’re with me, the boy with hair that’s not as cool. Miss Overachiever: Hmm … You make an interesting argument. I’ve already tried to get him to notice me by wearing more makeup, even though when he originally noticed me I was hardly wearing any at all, but — Man Candy Matt: See? So is it a deal? I mean, what could possibly go wrong?! Book Buddy Nina (who already did her own whole boy drama thing in ‘The Dating Debate’): So … Books? Miss Overachiever: Books! Book Buddy Nina and Miss Overachiever wander off to go find some new book boyfriends. Man Candy Matt: Um, hello? We first tagged along with Miss Overachiever and Book Buddy Nina to Friday night Nerd-Girl Festivities in ‘The Dating Debate’. I really enjoyed this book. I smiled my way through the banter and fandom talk and the only thing I craved as much as the yummy delectables was an invitation to Friday night Nerd-Girl Festivities. I wanted to be friends with Book Buddy Nina and Miss Overachiever. I loved that Miss Overachiever is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who doesn’t waste time in front of a mirror when she could be reading instead. She’s smart and fluent in sarcasm and while she loves ‘Harry Potter’ (who doesn’t?!), she’s a multi-fandom girl. While I liked Man Candy Matt I didn’t feel I got to know him as well as I did Miss Overachiever. The standout minor character for me was Matt’s father and naturally I adored the dogs. I consider it borderline cheating for any author to include dogs in their book since I’m such a sucker for fur babies. I can’t believe how invested I became in this couple. I got frustrated whenever Man Candy Matt and Miss Overachiever’s romantic stars didn’t align. Favourite sentence: “I love the smell of freshly baked carbs and coffee.” Favourite sentence (it’s a tie; I couldn’t choose): “Best friends don’t let best friends date anti-Potter people.” Thank you so much to NetGalley and Entangled Crush, an imprint of Entangled Publishing, LLC, for the opportunity to read this book.