I received an ARC from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Just Friends
Author: Tiffany Pitcock
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Summary (from Goodreads): A new spin on the classic smart-girl-and-bad-boy setup, this witty contemporary romance shows how easily a friendship – even one built on an elaborate lie – can become so much more.
Jenny meets Chance for the very first time when she is assigned as his partner in their Junior Oral Communications class. But after they rescue a doomed assignment with one clever lie, the whole school is suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever. It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow―especially when you really, really want it to be the truth.
With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that TV shows and movies have always promised. Through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are “just friends.” But that might be the biggest lie of all.
Debut author Tiffany Pitcock delivers a spot-on depiction of first love and the high school rumor mill in Just Friends, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads.
Just Friends is a cute and quick read about two teens who fake being friends since childhood after they are brought together because of a school assignment. The opposite personalities of the two main characters are interesting to read about, and both Jenny and Chance visibly transform as the story progresses. I still enjoyed this book, but I found it to be a bit too clichéd for my taste.
This book is so adorable! It tells the story of Jenny and Chance, two teens who meet in an Oral Communications class. On a whim, they successfully convince their class, and the entire school, that they have been best friends for years. However, as the two become closer and actually get to know each other, they slowly become more than friends. I loved how Jenny and Chance make up cute stories about their childhood together and how they are able to create such an intricate backstory even though they just met. The way that all this happens so spontaneously is also enjoyable and makes their interactions so believable. This book may seem like pure fluff, but it actually gets pretty deep, so this is a good one for those looking for a mix of cuteness and seriousness.
One of the aspects that I especially enjoyed about this novel is the fact that Jenny and Chance are complete opposites. Jenny is the good girl who does well in school, and Chance is the bad boy with a bad reputation when it comes to relationships. The book is split into dual POVs, which I really enjoyed. Reading about the two characters pine for each other and getting both sides of a misunderstanding is so entertaining for the reader. Jenny and Chance also really change each other throughout the book, and it is so interesting to see how much they both transform from the beginning.
While I enjoyed the book, I still had one main issue with it that lowered my rating. The story is so unrealistic and hard to believe that it becomes a bit frustrating. For example, no one, not even Jenny’s best friend, thinks to question this friendship that has supposedly been going on for years. I just found it a bit strange how Jenny’s friend doesn’t seem too hurt by this new “best friend” that Jenny never told her about. There are also some aspects later on in the story concerning Chance that I can’t really describe because of spoilers, but his whole family situation seemed a bit far-fetched to me. There are also so many clichés, which I kind of expected, but it becomes a bit cringey after so long.
Just Friends is a cute read about two strangers who fake years of friendship after a school assignment bring them together. I enjoyed the main characters’ differences and the use of multiple perspectives. This book is still enjoyable, but the pacing and countless clichés weren’t for me.