Review: Faking Reality by Sara Fujimura

Review: Faking Reality by Sara Fujimura

Faking Reality by Sara Fujimura is a feel-good story following the daughter of HGTV stars. With an extravagant Sweet 16 party and a main character who is secretly in love with her best friend, this one contains plenty of drama. I especially enjoyed the portrayal of friendship, an aspect I’m sure will appeal to fans of the friends to lovers trope.

Review: Faking Reality by Sara FujimuraTitle: Faking Reality
Author: Sara Fujimura
Also by this author: Every Reason We Shouldn't
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genres: Contemporary
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Rating: three-half-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Some Kind of Wonderful meets Kara McDowell's Just for Clicks with diverse characters, perfect for readers looking for feel-good YA romance and those who like "clean teen" reads

Dakota McDonald swore after "The Great Homecoming Disaster" that she'd never allow her romantic life to be a plot line in her parents' HGTV show again. But when the restaurant run by the family of her best friend (and secret crush), Leo, is on the line, Dakota might end up eating her own words.

Leo Matsuda dreams of escaping his small town Arizona life and the suffocating demands of working in his family's restaurant, but the closer he gets to his goal--thanks to the help of his best friend (and secret crush) Dakota--the more reasons there are for him to stay.

Amazon “Book

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


Review: Faking Reality by Sara Fujimura

When Dakota, the daughter of HGTV stars, has a homecoming disaster go viral, she swears off letting her love life become a plot in her parents’ show. When the show reaches its final season, however, the network plans an extravagant Sweet 16 party for Dakota, complete with a list of potential dates. What no one knows is that Dakota is secretly in love with her best friend, who also happens to be camera shy.

❀ Likeable Main Character

The main character is likeable, although I had some trouble connecting with her. As the daughter of reality TV stars, Dakota grew up in the spotlight, and I really felt for her as her private life leaks into the public eye. I love reading about reality shows, and the behind the scenes access we get through Dakota is interesting, but it’s a little hard to believe that Dakota is as famous as the book claims. However, I enjoyed reading about her skills with tools and construction, and this brought some originality to her character.

❀ Book about Friendship

What I especially enjoyed about the book is the way the author explores friendship. It’s easy to feel Dakota and Leo’s connection, and I loved the unwavering support they have for each other. The two make each other stronger, and I liked the way Dakota is able to use her HGTV experience to help Leo with his family’s restaurant. Friendship is one of my favourite things to read about, so I was glad to see it well portrayed here.

❀ An Upbeat Story

Faking Reality by Sara Fujimura is an upbeat story about friendship, and being stuck in the friend zone. I loved the HGTV show elements, and the main character is enjoyable, if a little hard to connect with. The book’s depiction of friendship is one of my favourite parts, and I am sure that fans of the friends to lovers trope will enjoy this one.

About Sara Fujimura

Sara Fujimura

SARA FUJIMURA is an award-winning young adult author and creative writing teacher. She is the American half of her Japanese-American family, and has written about Japanese culture and raising bicultural children for such magazines as Appleseeds, Learning Through History, East West, and Mothering, as well as travel-related articles for To Japan With Love. Her self-published young adult novels include Tanabata Wish and Breathe. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and children.

12 thoughts on “Review: Faking Reality by Sara Fujimura

  1. Sam@WLABB says:

    I gave the same rating as you. I really liked the way the life-in-the-public-eye stuff was handled, and I enjoyed all the family stuff too. I struggled a little with the pining and longing and the two people who were collateral damage as these two worked out their romantic issues. I think being let down a bit with the romance kept me from loving it, though I enjoyed many parts and thought the ending was cute.

  2. Soozle says:

    This sounds interesting – but I can understand the impression of not fully believing she would be as famous as she is! Still sounds like an easy read, but maybe not my type!

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