Reviewed by Amber Gibson for TeensReadToo.com
Alyson Noel took me for a joyride in FAKING 19 into the oh-so-fabulous, wild party life of two beautiful high school seniors in SoCal. At first glance, Alex may seem like she has it all. She's pretty, smart, and her best friend is the most popular girl at school, M. But the truth is, Alex has some pretty hefty family problems and she's undergoing a major identity crisis. Oh, and on top of all that, she's failing all of her classes and might not graduate from high school, never mind college.
Alex wasn't always this way. Freshman and sophomore years, she was on top of her game, a straight-A honors student. Those were her glory years. Now, she'd much rather hit the L.A. club scene with M every night instead of worrying about something trivial like her grades. It doesn't matter anyway; her dad won't pay for her to go to college, so what's the point?
One day, when Alex and M are out on the town, they meet a couple of cute, older British guys. Connor and Trevor are attractive and charming, and the girls immediately fall for them. Connor owns a record label and is filthy rich. Alex thinks that he just might be her ticket out of her dull life, and then she won't even need that college education her counselor so desperately wants her to achieve.
But when everything doesn't go exactly as Alex fantasizes, she realizes that the only person she can count on is herself. Ultimately, Alex discovers that there's more to life than who's wearing the prettiest dress or who snags the hottest guy.
Even though this book is about gorgeous teenage girls going clubbing in L.A., Alyson Noel still manages to create characters that I can identify with. Underneath the glamorous exterior, Alex is just another girl struggling to get through her high school years. Along the way, she learns an invaluable rule of life: Success is a gift that you give to yourself.