Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Available Through The Book Depository: Fake It Till You Break It
Summary: Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives. They’ve endured summer vacations, Sunday brunches, even dentist visits together. Their mothers, who are best friends, are convinced that Mia and Jake would be the perfect couple, even though they can’t stand to be in the same room together.
After Mia’s mom turns away yet another cute boy, Mia and Jake decide they’ve have had enough. Together, they hatch a plan to get their moms off their backs. Permanently. All they have to do is pretend to date and then stage the worst breakup of all time—and then they’ll be free.
The only problem is, maybe Jake and Mia don’t hate each other as much as they once thought…
*Requested an ARC from the publisher*
My Rating: ★★★★☆
My Thoughts: Fake It Till You Break It is a YA Contemporary Romance that you need to add to your TBR! Mia and Jake can’t stand one another, they’ve even been told they’d be the perfect couple! So, to get their parents off their backs they pretend to be in a relationship, but soon find themselves falling for each other!
Fake It Till You Break It is one of those books where I just read the summary and said “Yes! I need this book in my life!!”
I adored this book, fell in love with the main characters, Mia & Jake, and recommend this book if your looking for a good YA Contemporary Romance with dual POV, really good romance, and exploration of a variety of themes from friendship, grief, to family!
Mia Le & Jake Adler are childhood friends–mainly because their mothers are the best of friends. For years, they’ve endured dentist visits, brunches, weekends together, but the thing is, they can’t stand to be with each other! Their moms are convinced they’ll be the perfect couple & the fact that Mia’s mom disagrees with every new guy Mia is interested in, doesn’t help either.
So to end this once and for all, Mia & Jake pretend to be a couple and get their parents off their backs for good–but the more time they spend with each other, the more they realize they may be falling in love! ❤
As I mentioned above, Nguyen’s latest YA Contemporary is told through dual POV! It honestly made the book even more fun because I was able to better understand the dynamics of this relationship from the both points of view! It really allows you to understand both Mia & Jake fully as characters (their personalities, personal journeys, etc.) while also connecting all these different pieces to where you can see that although they really don’t like each other now, they really used to be close. We see how although they leave it unsaid, but its clear they don’t want to continue being on opposite sides!
Through Nguyen’s writing, you get so much humor, exploration of family/relationship dynamics and this energy that’s delivered into both of the main characters! I just adored both Mia, Jake, and their dynamic a whole lot! They just felt so realistic, I could really picture them so clearly in my mind as I was reading!
Also–the banter between Jake & Mia was so good!! They really don’t like each other, but through each POV its clear to see that they really keep a close eye on each other and care for one another even if they have trouble admitting it. ❤ They also have a lot of history, its impossible for them to avoid it during their fake relationship because they’ve just grown up with each other for so long.
There’s also a focus on self as Mia & Jake learn more about themselves and one another as they delve further into this relationship in ways they weren’t really expecting– they learn more about how present they’ve been in each others lives and what it can mean for them now and after they end this fake relationship (considering they gave themselves a 2-week window to trick their moms and break-up to be out of each others lives for good).
Following Mia & Jake’s journey throughout this book was also just fun because of their vibrant personalities and delightful banter!
Though this relationship also encounters other obstacles they face along the way–Mia has a crush on her theater classmate Ben and struggles to come to terms with her complex feelings between her crush and mortal enemy Jake! Jake also struggles with these feelings for Mia and we learn more about the estranged brother who abandoned him and his adoptive mother years ago.
I loved how this novel explored this fake-relationship dynamic and the complexities that come with it! For example, throughout the book while its obvious Mia & Jake have chemistry, we see that because Mia has also been interested in her theater classmate Ben for sometime, Jake helps set up a double-date so Mia can go out with him! Because they aren’t really a couple, both Mia & Jake confront this question if they can still keep the charade up & what is their relationship exactly??
Fake It Till You Break It also explores the complexity of family, the dynamic between Jake, Mia & their mothers, even the distance of Jake’s estranged brother Finn.
I loved that there was such a focus on mother relationships in this book!! Its something that isn’t always explored in YA Contemporary and it was just so great to see these important familial relationships explored with such depth. I personally found Jake, his adopted mother (who was his Aunt Lily), and their relationship to be another one of the strongest explored throughout the book. Jake knows that his uncle left a while back and with Finn gone, the novel explores how Lily just wanted them to be happy and nearing the end worried she wasn’t being the best mother she could–I loved this mother/son dynamic explored throughout the book. There’s also messages and themes Nguyen subtly weaved into it–while really exploring it near the end!
I also loved the female friendships that both Mia & Jake have–they were very present throughout the book and it was great their friends were such central parts of their school life & throughout the story.
There’s also Vietnamese rep (Mia & her mother)! I don’t know if its ever explicitly stated, but that’s what I gathered from other reviews & context!
Nguyen also has this underlying theme of grief that is shown through Jake’s POV as he mentions the passing of his parents in an accident and his brother Finn who distanced himself years later. This theme was also explored subtly but it felt realistically portrayed because he still had those emotions close to him.
My only critiques that have me rating this 4-stars is the plot point revolving the mother’s and them finding out about the relationship (I wont spoil it, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting-it did feel a bit rushed too), and Jake’s reaction towards certain plot points that get revealed later on felt kid of like a bit of a step backwards for his character to me personally!
But overall, Fake It Till You Break It was a lovely YA Contemporary that surprised me and kept me so invested in the delightful main characters! So on an enjoyment scale it was definitely a 4.5! 💞
Fake It Till You Break It is a fantastic YA Contemporary Romance and you need it on your TBR! There’s fake-dating, dynamics of family, female friendships and relationships explored throughout this book! There’s also a focus on self as both Mia & Jake find themselves falling for each other and growing throughout the book! Fake It Till You Break It is YA Contemporary that needs so much more hype–its so good & I can’t recommend it enough!