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Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare

Author: Melissa Jensen
Release Date: February 16, 2012
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 380
Source: Bought
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Summary:  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?
My Favorite Line(s):
He grunted. "What is it you want, Ella?""What you had," I answered softly, "with Diana.  That once-in-a-lifetime connection that makes everything good."

"Fine.  But you do realize that in order to be loved like that, you have to let the lucky gentleman see you.  I mean truly see you, scars and all."
Why I Loved It:  I have to say that I truly did love this book.  There is something about a girl that is head-over-heels for a dead man that is kind of irresistible.  What better form of “forbidden” love is there?  I figured I would get a little freaked out by that obsession, but really it was such a big part of the book for me.  As someone who can be a serious fan girl, I totally get that relationship.  Some of my favorite authors are dead, and I would be thrilled to have met them.  For a long time, I was very much in love with John Steinbeck.  And of course Mr. Darcy and Cricket, neither of which are even real people.  I can’t say that I am one to judge when I look at my literary love affairs.

Ella is witty and charming, all of which you see in her “love affair” with Mr. Willing.  She's also about my height, so I can relate to her fun-sizedness.  Her best friends are ones many of us would die for.  In a lot of the summaries, people said the book was Anna and the French Kiss meets Pretty in Pink.  At first I didn’t get the Pretty in Pink connection, but other than the rich boy/poor girl aspect, her best friend Frankie could totally be Ella’s Duckie minus the hopelessly in love part, of course, seeing as he plays for the other team.  That is a shame, my reading dears, for there is just something about a gorgeous Asian who has a sense of style.

Apparantely I’m on a BOOKS-INVOLVING-FOOD kick since three of the books I’ve read lately have had a strong food influence.  In this book, Ella’s family has an Italian restaurant that made me drool just a little a few times.  I’m definitely craving Italian right now.

Why You Should Read It:  I read this book over the weekend.  I was so excited to get it on my Nook that I stopped reading everything else, and I got interested enough that everything stayed untouched until I reached the last page.  The book is not the most well written YA book I’ve ever read, but it’s worth your time.  You’ll fall in love with Ella as she discovers the beauty in love in the world of art and her own world as well.   

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