(U.S. link: Friday Night Alibi )
Advanced Reading Copy
To Be Published: July 29, 2013, Flirt
Sundale is a wealthy, church-going community, complete with country club, and Kelli Pinkins looks like the town's poster child. But there is a little more to this buttoned up miss goody two-shoes than meets the eye! The smart-mouthed and business savvy high school grad is raking in the money, by being the 'perfect' but very fake, girlfriend or BFF for anyone willing to pay the right price. In Sundale trust funds are a parents' favorite tool to control their children's non-discriminatory hormones, and Kelli was the purest of anti-dotes!
It's not as if she has much of a social life anyway. Kelli's parent's were so absorbed in each other, they aren't even aware of her existence, and most of the time they spent on trips away together. Kelli usually hungout in her room, fully decked out in everything she could possibly need. Complete with XBox LIVE, which is what she spent her Friday nights on.......gaming online! Not a bad deal, hanging out playing games in the comfort of your own home, while getting paid a nice chunk of money! And then she meets Chase.
A sleaze ball college brat, is just about the first thing she thinks of Chase when she meets him. He is obviously older, early twenties or something, a bit of a grunge dresser and full of the cheesiest pick up lines she has ever heard come out of one person. And he is constantly on her case, playing pranks on her and giving her a hard time, every chance! Not that she doesn't give as good as she gets. Too bad he is kind of cute, because he really isn't her kind of guy at all.......really!
Chase doesn't scare off that easily and relentlessly comes back for more abuse, it seems. But there is something about him that starts making her feel a ease with him. As opposed to everyone else in her life who want something from her, all he seems to want is be around her and get to know her. It's a bit of an alien feeling to Kelli, to have someone actually interested in her....for HER.
Friday nights become their hang-out night, but eventually Kelli know she has to face a choice. She can go to college and continue on living a fake existence and hide and deny herself a social life or........she can give up pretending she is only helping others, and step out to start living the life she should have, with Chase?
Ok, so....this is a totally cute book! Like....really!!!
Let me say this first: This book is completely PG-rated and utterly safe for teens! Other than kissing and mooning, there is not even any discussion of male or female procreative parts.......so to speak. Nothing worse than you would hear standing in line at the grocery store. (Not talking about Wal-mart!!)
Cassie Mae has done well capturing the somewhat immature phase between high school and college, and has been able to add an innocent component a bit out of the norm this day and age, but refreshing and has done this with a slight edge of sarcasm and a keen sense of humour.
My one big hang up, is Kelli's relationship with her parents, the one thing that a lot of this story balances on, is "resolved" only between Kelli and her father in one itty bitty conversation and a hug..........really???? After years of virtual neglect?? Sorry, I've raised four teenagers, not buying into that one. Teenagers carry the meanest grudges of any creatures on the face of the earth and if parents do them wrong, the parents will work HARD, to make it right........and a little talk and hug ain't gonna cut it!!
There were some things I absolutely loved about this book: The banter back and forth was hilarious at times and reminds me of my siblings and I when we are together, teasing, sarcastic, but with an undertone of caring. I also absolutely adored the concept of the First Kiss Contract!! I wish I had been that creative with my kids and had brought in the ice cream comparisons when it came time to open up to momma!!
A great overall pace to the book. I had no problem whatsoever, to keep on reading once I started, and the story kept me well entertained.
A fabulously teen-appropriate, creative and fun read!!
**ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Flirt/Random House Canada in return for an honest review.**