*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Entangled Publishing via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be on sale on Jan. 11, 2016.*
Synopsis from Amazon:
Emma has been best friends with Eli since she moved to his neighborhood ten years ago. Tired of being cast in the role of the girl next door, Emma creates a fake Facebook profile in the hopes of starting an online friendship with Eli, which would hopefully lead to more. Like…way more. From friend request to In a Relationship–it all seemed so completely logical when she’d planned it.
Eli can’t figure out what Emma is up to. He’s pretty sure she’s the one behind the Facebook profile, but then again, why would she do something so drastic instead of just admitting she wants to be more than friends? And who the heck is this new guy he saw her with? Eli starts to think that just maybe…he missed his chance with the girl next door.
Two best friends, one outlandish ruse. Their status is about to become way more than It’s Complicated…
I have so many mixed feelings about this book.
First of all, when I read the synopsis I was hesitant because in my head I already knew Emma’s plan was terrible and destined to fail. However, I figured I’ve read a bunch of good books where the protagonist doesn’t have the best plan but that’s what makes it funny and interesting and I was curious how this would all play out.
Before I go into what I didn’t like let me say what I did. I liked how the author, Jodie Andrefski, decided to write this in both Emma and Eli’s point of views. Granted it’s mostly Emma’s point of view but we also get chapters of Eli’s perspective. I thought that was a great way to do it because that allowed this story to go in a different direction than I was expecting.
Moreover, I liked the addition of another love interest for Emma. I thought that was another good twist to an otherwise cut and dry romance novel because, let’s face it, we all know how this story ends based on the blurb.
And that’s about it, unfortunately.
I really wanted to like Emma because I get it. It’s hard to tell someone you’ve been friends with for a while that you have feelings for them and on some crazy level I understood her whole “fake profile” idea. I thought it was a bad idea, but I understood.
But Emma just made way too many mistakes for me to forgive. And then on top of that I was excited to get Eli’s point of view but it turns out I don’t actually like Eli. I don’t understand why Emma went through all this trouble to “take their relationship to the next level” because he’s not that great. He doesn’t handle things with Emma well at all. Instead of being clear about what he wants he’s very cryptic about his feelings and yet somehow expects Emma to just know how he feels.
Truthfully, I liked Emma’s other love interest better until I didn’t because his personality suddenly took a nosedive for what I can only assume to be plot reasons.
Overall, I honestly think the concept of this novel isn’t as bad as I’ve seen others make it out to be. Yes it’s crazy but that’s what makes fiction great. Fiction’s allowed to be crazy. If you don’t believe me just read Fake Boyfriend by Kate Brian. That’s a good crazy book.
I was more disappointed in the characters and how they were developed. I also didn’t really believe Eli and Emma’s relationship and found it confusing. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been in love but I can’t understand how Emma believes what she feels for Eli is real love when it’s really just a very long, drawn out infatuation, which at one point she does say but then dismisses the idea entirely.
I wanted to like this book because it seemed like a cute, simple romance. Sadly, although it was simple and took me less than a day to read, it didn’t leave me with the butterflies in my stomach that I have come to expect from a good romance novel.
Borrow or Buy: On the one hand, this book is only $2.99 on the Kindle. On the other hand, you probably won’t be rereading it. Borrow it.