Charade by Nyrae Dawn

Summary: Cheyenne is nineteen, and has strived to live the perfect life in order to hide from her past. But when she walks in on her “perfect” boyfriend with another girl, that perfect world is shattered. Colt is twenty-one, his mom is dying, and her dying wish is that he goes to college. Cheyenne and Colt meet, and then come to an agreement: for two or three weeks, he’ll be her fake boyfriend to show her ex that she doesn’t need him, and she’ll give him money. But what will happen to them once this charade is over?

I definitely do not recommend this book for anyone under the age of 13. Maybe even a little  older. There is alcohol, non-explicit sex, drugs, tragic events, and a LOT of cussing.

I really really liked this book. While most romances are cheesy (since they all basically follow the plot line (boy meets girl, something happens, they fall in  love, and maybe something bad happens) and this one was by no means an exception), it was also cute and showed that love isn’t always an easy road. It has ups and downs and sometimes pitches curveballs at you. This book, I think, really brought that out. Yet, at the same time, it made love seem cute and fun, and it was obvious reading it that the characters 1) had never been in love before and 2) were clearly in love, even if they didn’t want to admit it. It was also pretty funny, and beautiful, and, well, tragic. There was no way for it not to be tragic (think about it: one of the characters has a dying mom), but the way that Dawn portrayed death was both beautiful and terribly sad, and it reminded me of this show that I love, when one of the characters said something like, “Death…can be beautiful if you let it be” (Heroes s1e23). Which is what Dawn does. She takes this extremely sad moment and turned it into something beautiful. I think that might have been my favorite part of the book, that the author could take something as sad and terrible as death, and, keeping the sad part, turning it beautiful. That’s what I liked most about this book.

I also liked how the characters didn’t just meet and fall in love; it took time, and a lot of argueing, not to mention yelling and hating (Well, hate and love are two sides of the same coin, so I wonder if everyone who falls in love with the person they hate is really having love at first sight?). I especially liked how the characters are not perfect, but are perfect to each other. How they were beautiful in appearance, but messed up on the inside. It really does show that everyone has problems, everyone. Nobody’s perfect.