Monday, 26 March 2012
Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare
Author: Melissa Jensen
Publication Date: February 16th, 2012
Genre: YA, Romance
Ella is practically invisible at her elite private school in Philadelphia. The only thing that stops her from going completely unnoticed by the school elites is the scar on her shoulder that earned her the nickname Freddie (as in Krueger.) With her best friends Frankie and Sadie, Ella spends her free time playing truth or dare and hanging out at a karaoke bar, even if she’ll never actually perform. While being a South Philly scholarship student is enough to stop Ella from fitting in at Willing, the fact that she’s in love with Edward Willing, a 19th century artist, doesn’t help things. However, in Alex Bainbridge Ella finds a crush that, while alive, is almost as unattainable as Edward. To Ella, Alex is practically perfect and how could she possibly deserve him? Will Alex be able to accept the dare to take a chance on Ella?
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare follows Italian South Philly girl, Ella, who attends a posh private school on scholarship. Ella is quite insecure and doesn’t fit in at Westing, which isn’t surprising since at night she talks to her dead artist crush. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare is one of those books that doesn’t benefit from the tagline, which compares it to Pretty in Pink and Anna and the French Kiss. I know a lot of people felt let down by that comparison, which didn’t exactly fit. This book was fun, although I have to admit I was a bit disappointed by the truth or dare part of the plot; there weren’t as many fun and exciting dares as I imagined there would be. It was still a fun read that’s full of art, truths, dares and typical high school stuff, from dances to crushes. I loved Ella’s friends, and liked Ella as a narrator but sometimes she could be much too whiny. I never completely fell in love with Ella and Alex, which is how this book differs from Anna and the French Kiss the most. I never felt the chemistry, and Alex was a bit too perfect. However, I saw the book as more about Ella being comfortable with herself enough to be with someone, rather than being solely about her relationship with Alex. Perhaps the reason I never loved the two of them together was that the writer skimmed over the first two weeks of their relationship. All that aside, I got caught up in this story. The writing was good, and I think the strongest part was Ella’s voice. As a narrator, she is witty and helped make this book enjoyable. While it wasn’t Anna and the French Kiss, this book was fun and I’d actually be very interested in picking up a sequel, if there ever was one. While I would recommend readers to ignore the tagline and come in free of expectations, this fun book about taking chances is worth checking out for fans of YA realistic fiction.
“Ella. If you don’t learn to carpe the diem, you will be, while most certainly not Nobody, something less than a Somebody.”