Fake It Till You Break It

Swoon Reads/Feiwel & Friends/. May 2019. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250308016.
Gr 7 Up–Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives, going to everything from dentist appointments to Saturday dim sum trips together with their mothers. Now that they’re older, their mothers think they would make the perfect couple, but there’s one problem: Mia and Jake can’t stand each other. After yet another of their mothers’ schemes, Mia and Jake concoct a plan of their own to get their mothers to drop the idea for good: they will date, and then they’ll stage a dramatic breakup so that their mothers see what a terrible idea it’s been from the beginning. At first, it seems to work well, and Mia is excited to finally be able to date someone who isn’t Jake without her mother making a fuss. But then things start to feel strange; Mia and Jake wonder if their mothers were right all along. To make matters worse, Mia has started dating someone else even before their fake breakup. Now everything seems hopelessly complicated and neither Mia nor Jake knows how to sort everything out. The book hits predictable plot points and is told in indistinguishable alternating viewpoints. Nevertheless, it is a cute, simple romance that will appeal to fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.
VERDICT While it’s refreshing to read a romance with an Asian American lead, this novel reworks old tropes with no new twists.

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