M’s drunk review of She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway
**We received an advanced copy from Graydon House in exchange for an honest review. We’d like to thank Kristin and Graydon House for the opportunity. This book came out on June 30. Purchase links are at the bottom of this post**
What I drank prior: It was our Disney watch night and tonight was Beauty & the Beast! Love that movie so feeling great–the bottle+ of wine definitely helps.
You can’t put a filter on reality.
Bree Bozeman isn’t exactly pursuing the life of her dreams. Then again, she isn’t too sure what those dreams are. After dropping out of college, she’s living a pretty chill life in the surf community of Pacific Beach, San Diego…if “chill” means delivering food as a GrubGetter, and if it means “uneventful”.
But when Bree starts a new Instagram account — @breebythesea — one of her posts gets a signal boost from none other than wildly popular self-help guru Demi DiPalma, owner of a lifestyle brand empire. Suddenly, Bree just might be a rising star in the world of Instagram influencing. Is this the direction her life has been lacking? It’s not a career choice she’d ever seriously considered, but maybe it’s a sign from the universe. After all, Demi’s the real deal… right?
Everything is lining up for Bree: life goals, career, and even a blossoming romance with the chiseled guy next door, surf star Trey Cantu. But things are about to go sideways fast, and even the perfect filter’s not gonna fix it. Instagram might be free, but when your life looks flawless on camera, what’s the cost?
Drunk Overview: Bree Bozeman doesn’t love her life. Her boyfriend left, she can’t pay rent, her professor chased her out of college, and her car won’t start. Some of which is her fault, some of which isn’t. Eventually she takes the advice of her sister and turns to famous self-help guru, Demi DiPalma, who’s catchphrase is #ChooseHappy. With Demi’s help, Bree learns that ‘faking it til you make it’ may have some truth to it–starting with her Instagram account. As she grows her influencer status, her life improves with it, including meeting the guy of her dreams who so happens to hate social media. But when does faking it become just a fake life?
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I adored this book. It was right up the alley of what I was looking for–a beach read with substance. I initially picked up the ARC because it related to social media (my chosen field), but it ended up coming at just the right time. Obviously there is a lot going on right now in the world and it felt good just to escape somewhere else for a bit. 100% own that that is my privilege, but it’s true.
Characters: I am incredibly in love with this cast of characters. Bree, @breebythesea, was very relatable and I understood her journey. Bree’s story is great imo. Her older sister, Natasha, was the true gem of the book though. Girl put her education on hold to take care of her younger sister when she was 19 and she’s smart and organized with the sweets test family. The love interest, Trey, and Bree’s best friend, Marisol–a YouTube star–were also great characters. Rob, her ex who represented her past, was also a great add and while I disliked him immensely, I definitely know some Robs. And we can’t do without mentioning Demi. Fucking. DiPalma. Just… girl… please.
Plot: I did not want to put this down. The plot kept at a good pace–it starts with her being super depressed, but quickly ramps up. For the most part, the resolution was perfect. One slight issue I had with the plot is that it sorta downplays how hard it is to actually grow an IG account and how much work actual influencers out in. The author alludes to some of that, but there’s still a lot of language around taking ‘a quick selfie’ and that’s just not how it works.
Writing Style: TBH it was a little basic, but I loved the writing. Everything felt like something I would actually say and do.
World Building: This category is always a bit of a stretch with contemporaries, but as far as the scene (SoCal) and where the lead was at in her particular life journey, I totally felt it. Loved the Pacific Beach descrips.
What to pair it with: A locally brewed beer–something you’d drink on the beach of San Diego.
Rating: 5/5, seriously loved this book
Totally random, but was anyone else concerned about her sister’s Lyft rating slash bill? PB is NOT close to Encinitas… I looked it up.
About Kristin Rockaway: Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and planning her next big vacation.