Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
Released: March 7th 2011
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Fans of romance don't need to look any further than the fauxmance brewing between teen idols Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers—known on their hit TV show as Jenna and Jonah, next-door neighbors flush with the excitement of first love. But it's their off-screen relationship that has helped cement their fame, as passionate fans follow their every PDA. They grace the covers of magazines week after week. Their fan club has chapters all over the country. The only problem is their off-screen romance is one big publicity stunt, and Charlie and Fielding can't stand to be in the same room. Still, it's a great gig, so even when the cameras stop rolling, the show must go on, and on, and on. . . . Until the pesky paparazzi blow their cover, and Charlie and Fielding must disappear to weather the media storm. It's not until they're far off the grid of the Hollywood circuit that they realize that there's more to each of them than shiny hair and a winning smile. (from Goodreads)
Charlie and Fielding (know by their character names Jenna and Jonah) have been faking their off-screen relationship for what seems like forever. So when they’re finally outed by the press, they can’t help feeling relieved – it’s hard pretending you’re in love with someone you can’t stand. But with the threat of their careers being flushed down the toilet, Jenna and Jonah have to escape the public and hide out until everything blows over. With just the two of them away from the public eye, Jenna and Jonah realise that maybe they don’t know each other as well as they thought. But with their performance of Much Ado About Nothing just around the corner, the only thing they have time for is rehearsal – and they need to work hard, because they’re nothing like Beatrice and Benedick. Right?
Jenna and Jonah’s Fauxmance was a very cute, light-hearted read, guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Both Jenna and Jonah (or Charlie and Fielding-slash-Aaron) were very likeable characters; you would think famous people would be so different to the general public, but Jenna and Jonah seemed like nice, normal people just trying to deal with their rather more hectic lives, and were very relatable. I absolutely loved the interaction between the two; there were some seriously hilarious one liners there, and both characters were witty and knew just how to get on one another’s nerves (I did enjoy the sarcastic ping-pong). The alternating POVs really helped flesh out both characters as well, and it was good to see the same situation through two different pairs of eyes. I liked all the scenes they spent together, because as they gradually realised they didn’t actually know that much about each other, they were simultaneously learning more about the real Charlie and Fielding along the way. I also liked how what was going on in the book sort of coincided with the play Much Ado About Nothing, and how Jenna and Jonah were completely oblivious to how like Beatrice and Benedick they really were.
The plot is a bit predictable, especially for anyone who has read Much Ado About Nothing, but I don’t think this takes away from the story. There were definitely a few laugh out loud moments in this book as well, especially when the entire Jenna and Jonah fanbase assumed Jonah was gay (including his parents, who were so happy and accepting, Jonah just couldn’t bring himself to convince them they were wrong :P). The only things I wish had been further explored were some of the supporting characters, and the ending, which I felt ended a bit suddenly.
Overall, Jenna and Jonah’s Fauxmance was a quick, funny read, great for those sunny days. Pick this up if you’re looking for something cheerful and summery, or something to take your mind off your last serious read!