I was lucky enough to receive this ARC from Penguin Teen and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This has not impacted my opinion of this book – all thoughts are my own.
Thanks again Penguin for allowing me to review this title early (even though I was a little late in getting it out). I was so excited to read this new book from David Yoon and it did not disappoint!
Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon
Published: November 17, 2020
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary
From the bestselling author of Frankly in Love comes a contemporary YA rom-com where a case of mistaken identity kicks off a string of (fake) events that just may lead to (real) love.
When Sunny Dae—self-proclaimed total nerd—meets Cirrus Soh, he can’t believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakes Sunny’s older brother Gray’s bedroom—with its electric guitars and rock posters—for Sunny’s own, he sort of, kind of, accidentally winds up telling her he’s the front man of a rock band.
Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He ropes his best friends into his scheme, begging them to form a fake band with him, and starts wearing Gray’s rock-and-roll castoffs. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he’s cool, right? Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp.
Now there’s only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it.
Sunny goes all in on the lie, and pretty soon, the strangest things start happening. People are noticing him in the hallways, and he’s going to football games and parties for the first time. He’s feeling more confident in every aspect of his life, and especially with Cirrus, who’s started to become not just his dream girl but also the real deal. Sunny is falling in love. He’s having fun. He’s even becoming a rocker, for real.
But it’s only a matter of time before Sunny’s house of cards starts tumbling down. As his lies begin to catch up with him, Sunny Dae is forced to wonder whether it was all worth it—and if it’s possible to ever truly change.
The beginning of this book is a little rough. Okay, more than a little. It reads like someone is trying to write a stereotypical high school nerd character. The way Sunny talks, especially with his friends, seems over exaggerated and it was hard to look passed as we’re introduced to our characters. Then, of course, you have the stereotypical bully character, Gunner, who lives to torment Sunny and his friends Milo and Jamal.
It’s pretty average. Until Cirrus arrives.
Once we meet Cirrus and Sunny’s older brother, Gray, things take a turn from the predictable to the unknown. While Sunny and his friends still make predictably nerdy jokes, we see them transform from unbearable geeks to somewhat confident rock stars. As a self identified nerd myself, I hate the geek stereotype. I think it’s so overrated and overdone, but while it appears that this book makes the same mistake, Yoon turns this stereotype on its head and shows us that everyone has an inner nerd.
As Sunny continues his roose to impress Cirrus, I was really surprised how much his self confidence grew. It was so cute to be able to see him go from self doubt to self assured in the span of 300 or so pages, even when met with some difficult moments. And Sunny counts himself lucky because Milo and Jamal are the best friends anyone could have who are there to help him out. One of my favorite things about their friendship is that they’re open about their love for each other, which I loved to see between high school boys. It’s not often writers include male characters actively saying “I love you” to other men who aren’t their lovers. The fact that these friends can admit they love each other was such a great change.
And while there are some stereotypes that Yoon eventually smashes, every character has a character arc in this book. Even the ones you think wouldn’t change, change. Yoon does an amazing job making every character fleshed out and real or go through a process to make them more relatable. It made the experience of reading this story that much better. I was genuinely surprised how much I found myself loving this story, especially after the rough beginning.
In the end, I ended up enjoying myself and now I wanna go rock out! This was a cute book and I think it’s a solid // 5 stars.