Review - Pretenders by Lisi Harrison

Pretenders by Lisi Harrison
Series: Pretenders #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Date Read: May 15, 2020
Length: 304 pages
Source: Publisher
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.
My Review

This one didn't work for me at all.  I hate writing less than favorable reviews.  If I am not enjoying a book, I will usually not finish the book and don't spend any time writing a review for it.  This was one of those books that kept me reading and things were heading towards a generous 3-star rating before I got to the last parts of this book.

This book is told through journal entries from a group of high school students.  It took me a while to really remember what was going on in each of the kid's lives.  The two male students were a little more distinctive but the three female students tended to blend a bit in my head.  I did eventually get a better feel for each of the characters and it helped that their lives started to become more connected as the book progressed.

My biggest problem with this book is the ending.  I should really say the lack of an ending.  I have read books that end in cliffhangers and while it is not my favorite, I have learned to deal with it.  This was worse than a normal cliffhanger.  This felt like someone ripped a book in half and only gave you part of it.  There was no resolution whatsoever when this book came to an abrupt stop.  Instead of making me want to rush out and grab the next book in this series, I am completely turned off from this series. 

I am not recommending this book to others.  I liked the concept of following this group of students through their journal entries but considering the fact that there is no resolution when the book comes to an abrupt stop, I found it to be a very unsatisfying read.

I received a digital review copy of this book from the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - Poppy via NetGalley.
Pretenders Series
Book #1 - Pretenders
Book #2 - License to Spill


  1. I am not used to seeing negative reviews from you because as you said, you usually stop reading! I am sorry the ending was so terrible and I hate when things get abruptly cut off like that as well. I hope you'll enjoy your next read a lot more...

  2. This must have been really bad. I will be avoiding this one.

  3. I hate when this happens too. I just recently reviewed Redemption Prep and it was headed to a three till the end too!

  4. Oh bummer. I hate writing a review on a book I didn't end up liking, but there's no way we can love every book we read. I usually DNF too, but I'll keep reading if it seems like the story will take a positive turn. I've been burned by holding out for that and then discovering that ending made things worse. Hope your next read is amazing. Great honest review, Carole! :)

  5. Thanks for calling it like you see it. One of the potential problems with telling a story from multiple POV's is that they can blend together. It sounds like these characters weren't distinctive enough to warrant the separation of perspectives.

  6. How disappointing. I'm sorry the ending was so bad. I appreciate that you still wrote the review. It's hard for me to know or trust a reviewer's thoughts about books if everything is happy-happy, joy-joy. I need to see what you like and what does and doesn't work so I can better judge if that book will work for me. So, YAY! for sticking with the book, and writing the review. Boo that the book wasn't worth the time.

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  8. Thanks for telling us how you really felt. Great review! Not every review has to be a high rating. You told us what you liked and didn't and that is fair. It is not mean or unfair to the author.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  9. Sorry this didn't work for you. Don't know that I had it on my wishlist but I won't be reading it now. I think you did a great job explaining your thoughts.

  10. Do not recommend to others, noted! Yikes

  11. A less-than-stellar review from you definitely means I should avoid this one! Thanks for the heads-up, as I have seen this elsewhere and was thinking of reading it at some point.

  12. This an an honest and fair review of how the book made you feel. Sorry it let you down.

  13. I like the concept of this too but I think I'll take a pass. I don't love the unresolved ending and I think I'd end up being frustrated with this one.


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