Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare
Author: Melissa Jensen
Publisher: Speak: an imprint of Penguin Group
Age Group: Teen
Source: Barnes & Noble
Amazon     Barnes and Noble     IndieBound
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends – the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art – and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

My Thoughts

Okay, first off, the description saying this is a romantic comedy, well I disagree.  This is not a comedy.  Secondly, this book was not at all what I thought it would be.  Not that that is a bad thing.  I really enjoyed this book, but I was expecting a light, sort of fluffy read (I love those types of books).  This book, however, was not all sweetness and light.

The MC, Ella, is a scholarship student at an expensive private school in Philadelphia.  Not only does she have issues at school because she is a scholarship student, but she also has a terrible scar on her shoulder, arm and chest from an accident when she was a child.  Ella has pretty much has no confidence in herself, and this book is really about her gaining confidence in her self, particularly with her body.

I liked this book, but sometimes Ella did get on my nerves.  She keeps calling herself poor, but she isn’t.  She just isn’t ridiculously wealthy like the majority of the kids at school.  But, I guess, being in a school with such wealthy people could make her feel like her family had no money.  But overall, I did like Ella, and she certainly grew a lot during the story.

Something interesting about Ella is that she is in love with an artist.  An artist who died in 1916.  I thought that was an interesting trait to give Ella.  It also helps to show how much she loves art.

One thing that I LOVED was reading about Ella’s big, Italian family.  I am an only-child, so reading about this kind of family was fascinating.  Jensen did a wonderful job creating such a wonderful family, and showing how much this family loves each other.  It was fascinating.

The boy in this book, Alex Bainbridge, is pretty awesome.  Maybe a little too awesome?  I’m not sure.  I liked him, but I couldn’t quite believe in him.  What I mean is that I couldn’t picture a boy (especially a high school boy) acting like he did.  But, honestly, that didn’t really bother me that much.  I could totally see why Ella was crushing on him.

Anyway,  I definitely recommend you guys check this one out.  But don’t expect a light, fluffy read.  Although this is not as good as Anna and the French Kiss, I do think this has a similar feel.  So fans of Anna and the French Kiss should give this one a try.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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4 Responses to Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

  1. Liesel Hill says:

    Great review! Thanks! 😀

  2. Candice says:

    Who is a huge fan of Anna and the French Kiss? THIS GIRL! I have been WANTING to read this one oh so badly but just never do. Really must make myself read it since I’ve been wanting to for so long!

    • Quinn says:

      Yeah, this one is pretty good. I don’t think it is on the same level of Anna and the French Kiss (but what is?? 🙂 ) but it was enjoyable and I am glad that I read it.

  3. I think, given your review, I will check this out. I am glad to know about one of my pet peeves ahead of time — basically that the main character is definitely not poor but calls herself poor, that bugs the heck out of me.

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