Review of Pretender

Posted December 23, 2013 by Stormi in Book Reviews, Review Archive / 2 Comments

Review of Pretender

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Pretenders Pages: 293
Format: eARC

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Three girls, two guys, five secret journals.

The five most popular students at Noble High have secrets to hide; secrets they wrote down in their journals. Now one of their own exposes the private entries...
I am leaking these because I'm tired and I know you are too. The success bar is too high and pretending has become the only way to reach it. Instagrams are filtered, Facebook profiles are embellished, photos are shopped, reality TV is scripted, body parts get upgraded like software, and even professional athletes are cheating. The things we believe in aren't real.
We are pretenders.


Pretenders is the first book I have ever read by Lisi Harrison. I have heard of her other novels but I have never read them, so I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into. I have also never read a book in journal format and I am not sure if I really like books written this way.

It starts out with a letter from the person who stole the journals from what they call the Phoenix five, or the popular kids. The journals were stolen by one of their own. The one who stole the journals wants everyone to know that even the popular kids are not what they seem that they are really just pretenders.

So this story is told through the journals of five different people. Three girls and two boys. They are suppose to be Elite?

Sheridan sees herself as an actress and it is reflected in her journal entry’s. She wants to be popular but she is finding high school is a lot different than middle grade.  She doesn’t seem to know how to be herself much she is always trying to channel some sort of actress to get her through the day. Her best friend Audri is actually fitting in better than she is and I think Sheridan is a bit jealous.

Jagger is emancipated from his parents because his parents are in jail.  They went a little overboard in helping a neighboring kid who was being bullied. Jagger now lives in the back of a pet shop and I thought it was pretty good of him to continue to go to school. He comes off as a bad boy and everyone is curious about him. But is he really what he seems?

Lilly, is a little on the strange side and a bit of a stalker. She has a major crush on the boy next door and she steals his things. I am not really sure how she becomes a Phoenix five because she is just strange. She is really smart because she was home-schooled before going to public school. She only started going to Pub school because her best friend Blake had to start going and she didn’t want to see her friend have to do that alone.

Duffy, is a jock. He is trying out for the varsity  basketball team with this two best friends. Being on varsity means coming up with $2500 which he thought he could get from his parents but finds out they are broke.  He gets a job, but it seems a bit sketchy but all he cares about is the money for basketball.

Vanessa, she thinks she has to be perfect at everything. I mostly comes from the fact that if she does good then her parents don’t fight and they go and eat at Beni’s. If she gets good grades on her homework they go and eat there, if she doesn’t something great like wins an award they eat there and while they are there they act like a normal family. At home all her parents do is fight and that makes her itch. It’s like she is allergic to shouting. Her favorite hobby is winning awards.

I just didn’t feel pulled into the characters or invested in their time.

Altogether they seem like very shallow teens, If this is what the  in crowd was like when I was in high school I think I am glad I wasn’t in a clique. I was happy just getting through school under the radar.

It’s always those who seem to have it all and try to act like the world owes them that seem to have the most problems.  I just didn’t really feel that sorry for any of them, they are going through rough times at home and at school but that is a part of life. What makes them so special?

Yes, I am sort of curious to know what is going to happen with them but there is a part of me that just doesn’t really care either. I am interested in knowing which one of the five is outing them to everyone.  The one who stole the journals. I have never read Clique  series but I am going to guess that if you like that type of book that you will probably enjoy this book more than I did.

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2 responses to “Review of Pretender

  1. Awh man, journal format? I’d cry.

    I’m trying to stay away from anything written in a different way, since it might annoy me and then that reflects on my rating, though the book could be amazing. Though, by your review, it doesn’t sound all that good. And ugh, I can’t stand shallow characters, and undeveloped ones since you just don’t give a crap about them.

    “If this is what the in crowd was like when I was in high school I think I am glad I wasn’t in a clique. I was happy just getting through school under the radar.” <- so with you there. Great review, I think I'll be giving this one a miss. 🙂

  2. i totally agree with you on this book. i ended up skipping through the book to find out who stole the journals. in the end i borrowed the second book from the library and it nevers says who stole the journals. thats pretty much the only reason i attempted to read the book though.

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