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Friday 9 January 2015

Review: Faking It

Josie Browning returns in this entertaining sequel to Gabrielle Tozers’ 2014 hit The Intern (KBR review).

Josie’s world is just about perfect. She has her dream job as a junior writer for the website indi, she is living in the city and has a wonderful boyfriend. Looks like Josie is finally a bona fide ‘grown up’.

Of course, if she really was all grown up, she probably wouldn’t be bothered that her mother seems to be too busy to chat, or stressing about whether she should or shouldn’t do ‘it’ with her boyfriend. She’d know exactly how to go about securing the star attraction for the indi launch and she’d be able to work out how to stop making a fool of herself in front of her work colleagues and associates.

Friends, frenemies, family, relationships, work – there are so many things Josie is still working out. How long before someone discovers that when it comes to being grown up, Josie is just faking it?

Gabrielle Tozer has delivered another relevant, contemporary fiction novel for teens with Faking It, as we once again experience the world of glossy magazines and all the angst involved in transitioning from dependent teenager to independent adult.

Josie Browning is such a fun character and it is easy to get caught up in her seemingly never-ending series of misunderstandings and mishaps. Her accident-prone life could actually make for quite a tragic story if it wasn’t for her optimistic attitude and ability to overcome her often self-inflicted difficulties. It is this ability to bounce back that makes Josie such an inspiring character. Despite her insecurities and doubts, she doesn’t sit back waiting for someone to come along and fix her mistakes. She takes responsibility and gets to work getting her own life back on track.

The glossy magazine setting, including indi’s online format, reflects author Gabrielle Tozer’s own extensive experience as a journalist, writer and editor and therefore it isn’t surprising that it has such an authentic feel. Modern teens will relate to both Josie’s tech mishaps (sending a private email to work colleagues by mistake and mobile phone issues) and her insecurity as she takes her first steps in an adult workplace.

Josie’s insecurities extend to her relationship with her boyfriend James, particularly regarding the timing of saying ‘I love you’ and losing her virginity. The pressure Josie puts on herself to have everything perfect impacts in this area as much as it does in the workplace.

Funny, entertaining and engaging, Faking It also offers teen readers some very relevant messages about the importance of staying true to yourself, even if that truth is simply admitting that you have no idea what you are doing.

Both The Intern and Faking It are highly recommended for readers looking for entertaining contemporary fiction for teens that is both light-hearted and insightful.

Title: Faking It
Author: Gabrielle Tozer
Publisher: HarperCollins, $16.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 January 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780732297060
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult