The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen (Book Review)

Posted July 2, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 8 Comments

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen (Book Review)The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
Published by Speak on February 16, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 380
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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5 Stars

Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

Here we have another cute contemporary romance, and it was just what I needed for a summery day spent reading on my cruise ship’s balcony. Oh, and I was sick. Who else loves reading cute love stories when you’re sick? They are like comfort food. :) Really, all I feel like I can say is that it was adorable! Sometimes I get so swept into a story that I forget I have to review it. Haha. That’s kind of what happened here. So, this review will most likely be short and sweet, just like the book itself! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I went into this book expecting “Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss” since, well, that’s what the book said it was. While I certainly would not measure this book up to Anna (because it falls short in comparison), it was a sweet read that I’m glad I took the chance on.

2. I really enjoyed the wacky humor. Ella has this crush on Edward Willing, a painter from the 19th century. Obviously he’s no longer living, but she has a bust of him that she talks to about her life and inner thoughts. And he talks back and gives advice. I found that to be rather weird at first, but the idea kind of grew on me. I ended up enjoying their conversations. Ella also has this hilarious Italian family who all work at their Italian restaurant together. Their conversations and loud personalities kind of reminded me of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

3. Ella is really easy to relate to. She’s got all the normal traits of a high school girl: a meddling family, a few best friends, a crush she is sure will never ever like her back, and some insecurities (especially regarding some severe scars leftover from a boating accident when she was younger). At the same time, though, she shines and gains the attention of that certain unattainable guy.

4. I love Ella’s two best friends, Frankie and Sadie, who go to Willing School with her. They are the misfits of their class, and have bonded together. Frankie is gay, Sadie is rich but has low self esteem, and Ella is there on scholarship. Clearly, they don’t fit in among the elite students (phillites) that surround them. Together, they help instil confidence in Ella, and help her grow as a person. Frankie is extremely flamboyant and confident, always bouncing around and voicing his opinion. Every girl needs a guy like Frankie in her life.

5. Alex is such a sweetie. He’s appointed Ella’s math tutor, and even though he’s a phillite, he is so sweet and caring towards her. They form this really cute relationship. There was no insta-love, just a simple, sweet teenage love story. They have a very real connection.

In short, I loved this book. It was cute, sweet, and light, but at the same time it touched on some of the deeper issues that teenagers face like self worth, body image, and feelings of inadequacy. I enjoyed everything about it, and would definitely recommend it to people who enjoy contemporary YA.

5 Stars
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8 responses to “The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen (Book Review)

  1. I’ve been meaning to check out this book for ages!!! One of my best friends’ mom is super close with the author! This definitely sounds like a super cute, light contemp that I need to check out. I really liked the point you made about insta love vs. a teenage love story. I loved how you had your main points in bold, and then expanded on them. Great review, thanks!!

  2. I’ve been dying to read this book, especially now that summer’s coming up, but my library doesn’t have it. So frustrating. I’m glad to hear it’s enjoyable, maybe I’ll break down and buy it at some point.

  3. I have been wanting to read this. Sorry you were sick but at least you had the book to get you through it :) Talking to a bust? haha Hmm… that does sound weird but humorous. Good to hear that all the characters were likeable and that she was easy to relate to. It is hard to get into a book if you can relate with the characters on some level. Anyways, great review :D

  4. Hi there! I just discovered your site and am super psyched to follow along. I just finished Thirteen Reasons Why and *need* a cute story! Impeccable timing. Thanks for the good rec! -Maddy

  5. I was so excited for this book and for the most part, I found it charming! I really loved Sadie and Frankie too. I actually thought Frankie’s twin brother would be explored a bit more and was disappointed when it wasn’t. I really enjoyed Alex though and they did have a cute relationship. :)