Saturday, April 5, 2014
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
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?" (Description from Goodreads.com)
I'll start off with that I grew up right outside of Philadelphia but haven't lived there for over 15 years. There are many things that make the place where I grew up special. Water ice, pretzels sold on the streets, Tastykakes, cheese steaks, asking for a 'slice' and they know you want a slice of cheese pizza, the honest way people talk with you so you know what they really think and feel are just a few of the things I miss. The rich culture is also another thing. I grew up surrounded by many cultures, including my own Italian family.
The Fine Art of Truth or Date got all of the things I mentioned and all the small details that I didn't mention right. The whole book from start to finish felt like I was back home, enjoying time with my crazy friends (waves hi to old high school friends). From growing up in an Italian household with loud family members to all the crazy sayings that are just Philadelphia. No where else will you hear 'whatchamacallit' and know that it's not only a candy bar but a saying for when you can't remember the name of something.
The larger story of Ella was great as well. It was nice to see the character grow slowly. Sometimes a story can be rushed through change. The story allowed Ella to change slowly and at a pace she was comfortable with. The entire story felt natural and organic. I would love to see more from these characters, see how they grow and change over time. As a stand-alone, the story was great.
I would recommend this story for those of you who would like to know what life is like in Philadelphia and for fans of a good YA coming of age story.
Posted by Carolyn Borgen