Rummanah Aasi
 Truth: The tagline of the book, "Pretty in Pink" meets "Anna and the French Kiss" in this charming romantic comedy, grabbed my attention. Truth: I'm a really big John Hughes fan. Truth: I adored Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I dare you to not make any comparisons to the movie and book while reading The Fine Art of Truth or Dare. I also dare you to not smile or laugh while reading this book.

Description (from Goodreads): 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?

Review: Melissa Jensen's The Fine Art of Truth or Dare is the perfect book to read when the weather is horrible outside and all you want to do is crawl into bed or on your favorite couch to read. I had a stressful week at work it was nice to sit back, relax, and read this book. Every now and then I'd like to read a book where I didn't  have to think too hard and enjoy the moment, which is exactly what I did with this one. 
  Our heroine and narrator, Ella Marino is your average, everyday girl. She is a scholarship student at an elite Philadelphia private school. I really liked Ella, but I often thought she was two entirely different person when she was at school and with her best friends. The first Ella is the awkward, quirky girl who hates and complains about going under the radar but does nothing to make her presence known. The second Ella, the one I really liked, has a shining personality that demonstrates her warmth, kindness, intelligence, self deprecating humor, and her passion about art. The second Ella came in waves as the first Ella took over, which made me want to shake her every time she wallowed about how others perceive her.
  Although the book is deemed as a romantic comedy, all of the plot revolves around Ella's self perception. Ella's confidence issues takes center stage as her crush on Alex, one of the most popular and handsome boy in school, grows stronger after he is assigned to be her French tutor. I liked the slow burning and growing relationship between Ella and Alex for the most part. The stop and go feel to their relationship made you wonder if it would actually work and/or last. While I did like Alex, I'm not entirely sure what Ella sees in him. Sure, he's cute, rich, and artistic, but he didn't really make an impression on me and maybe that's because Ella was constantly undermining her own self worth (i.e. "he's really not interested in me because I'm x, y, z") whenever she was with him and fears she may be his dirty little secret instead of focusing on what is real and important.
  As you can see, there is a lot of self discovery in The Fine Art of Truth or Dare, which causes the story arc to meander. Though I loved witnessing Ella's life from spending time with her her loud, incredibly warm, loving, funny family (think the Portokalos family from My Big Fat Greek Wedding) that runs a local Italian restaurant and her best friends Frankie and Sadie (who I loved and wished had more page presence and depth to their characters); as well as seeing Ella at work on her honors thesis she is writing about her favorite painter Edward. While all these details may be important if the book was made into a movie, it doesn't serve much of a purpose because it has such a touch and go feel to it. There were many times where I skimmed the pages just to find Ella and Alex together. Readers, like me, may grow impatient with the wandering plot and waiting for Ella to realize that she has to look inside and not outside in order to be happy. Despite the long route to get to this realization, The Fine Art of Truth or Dare is an adorable read that is sure to induce smiles and laughter.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, a few scenes of underage drinking, and crude humor. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: books listed on my Can't Help Falling in Love book list.
6 Responses
  1. Ohhh what a sweet book for Vday...;D I love this cute little YA romance books. This one is already on my TBR so Ill for sure get to it....someday....

  2. Jenny Says:

    "Every now and then I'd like to read a book where I didn't have to think too hard and enjoy the moment"

    ME TOO! I think it's necessary to read these types of books to help balance the emotional intensity from darker reads. Despite the meandering path to self-discovery, it sounds like a cute read. Thanks Rummanah!

  3. I was hoping you would like this more. I kind of had high hopes for this book. Oh well..: sounds like there are some redeeming parts at least. There is nothing better than curling up on the couch with a blanket and a good book and watching the storm.

  4. Sounds like a perfect read when you just want to be entertained. Plus, I do love self-discovery in YA books!

  5. This sounds very interesting. I rather like that the character is kind of two people. After all, aren't all of us multiple people in different situations? Although I suppose it depends on how it's written. I want to read this.

  6. Where do I sign up for a French tutor like Alex? LOL

    Sounds sweet and easy to read. Probably not one I'd run out an buy, but one I'd definitely look out for at the library. :P

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