Friday, 25 February 2011
Review: Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
Released: March 7th, 2011
Grade rating: B+
Teen TV celebrities Jenna and Jonah (real names, Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers) make more money in a month than most people do in a lifetime. They can't stand to be in the same room as each other, but to boost the TV ratings their agents make them a 'real life' couple. Then the deception is uncovered by the paparazzi, and Charlie and Fielding have to disappear to weather the media storm. It's not until they're far off the grid of the Hollywood circuit that they realise there's more to each of them than shiny hair and a winning smile.
I really enjoyed Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance. It's probably the best of all the collaborative novels I've read so far, and I'm glad I have Franklin and Halpin's other book, The Half-Life of Planets, waiting patiently in my bedroom-turned-library. I've found two new authors I like here, and I hope they write lots more together!
This book is light, fun and romantic, not to mention incredibly interesting for those of us obsessed with TV shows. It gives an insight into what happens behind the scenes of teen dramas and, though some points have obviously been exaggerated for the purpose of the story, it really got me thinking about how much of what we see in the public eye is the truth. How many celebrities have rules and regulations firmly in place saying what they can and can't do, and just how many of them are hiding secrets from the media? It's so interesting to think about, and I thought weaving this lifestyle into the plot was a great move.
Although both main characters -- Charlie, who plays Jenna, and Fielding, who plays Jonah on the Jenna & Jonah TV show -- are a world away from my own lifestyle, I still identified and sympathised with them. Everyone can feel restricted, no matter what profession they're in, and Charlie and Fielding are no different. They're just normal teenagers thrown into a world of money and fame, and just because they do it doesn't mean they're completely happy with their lives and decisions. The witty, friendly banter between these two is funny and quick, and it immediately gave me an understanding of their relationship.
I'd say Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance is, like several other novels in this genre, delightfully predictable. I knew what was coming, but I still lapped up every drama-filled sentence as I neared the conclusion. I was in just the right mood to read this, and it left me with a shiny feeling usually reserved for contemporary romance books published in the throes of summer. The character development is good, the dialogue fast-paced and the romance just how I like it: believable and swoonworthy. More, please!