- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Speak; Original edition (Feb. 16 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142420905
- ISBN-13: 978-0142420904
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.9 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 363 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,051,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare Paperback – Feb 16 2012
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About the Author
Melissa Jensen (www.melissajensen.com) lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top customer reviews
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Would rate it 2.5/5
The book is told from Ella's (Fiorella Marino) point of view. She is a scholarship student at a prestigious Philadelphia high school where all of Philly's elite go. She is basically invisible and doesn't even mind. She loves art and in particular one artist, Edward Willing, though long dead she still has conversations with. When she is not hanging out with paintings she's with her best friends Frankie and Sadie, flunking French or crushing on Alex Bainbridge. Alex is one of the popular boys at her school and also happens to be her French tutor.
This book was touted as 'Pretty in Pink' meets 'Anna and the French Kiss' so of course I wanted to read it. I randomly found it at my local library and picked it up hoping it would live up to that comparison. Well let's say that I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would. Don't get me wrong I thought it was a cute story, but the first part of the book was laggy and slow. I pushed through and the ending was better!
Ella was kind of annoying, but I did like her friends Frankie and his brother Daniel. I wish that they would have been more prominent in the story. I think Alex was a nice guy and definitely crush worthy, but that wasn't enough to make me really enjoy the book. Not sure that I would recommend this book to many people though I think the story will appeal to lots of people. For me personally the story was just ok and quite forgettable. I don't regret reading it but would never pick it up again. It's just nowhere near Anna and Lola!
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I'm finding I enjoy the novel more now that I've read it, than I did while was actually reading. I've thought about it a lot since reading the last page.
I enjoyed the book while I was reading it, but the entire time, I kept wishing the action would pick up, it seemed to take a very long time for anything to happen. I never lost interest but I did get frustrated from time to time. Slower paced books tend to give my mind time to wander which isn't a good thing.
I quite enjoyed Alex. He's an interesting guy with a good head on his shoulders. Though he did seem just a bit too perfect from time to time, the story is told from Ella's point of view which makes his perfection understandable.
I have mixed feelings about Ella. She is relatable, and she does act like a typical teenager, but during more than one occasion, I wanted to hit her across the back of her head and tell her to get over herself. I kept waiting for Frank, her friend, to do just that. She's a bit whiny and feels sorry for herself. I could take that, but she doesn't ever seem to take the initiative to take control of her life. Instead of being pro-active, Ella responds to changes in her environment. I understand this is typical of teens, but it's frustrating in a heroine.
I will warn people, if you think that this novel is going to be a comedy it's not. To me it read like a dramatic teen romance. I don't recall a single laugh aloud scene. The Fine Art of Truth and Dare is a book I'll keep and probably reread from time to time. I liked it well enough that I'll probably buy the other novel Jensen has published, but it isn't a novel that knocked my socks off.
Really, all I feel like I can say is that it was adorable! Sometimes I get so swept into a story that I forget I have to review it. Haha. That's kind of what happened here.
1. I went into this book expecting "Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss" since, well, that's what the book said it was. While I certainly would not measure this book up to Anna (because it falls short in comparison), it was a sweet read that I'm glad I took the chance on.
2. I really enjoyed the wacky humor. Ella has this crush on Edward Willing, a painter from the 19th century. Obviously he's no longer living, but she has a bust of him that she talks to about her life and inner thoughts. And he talks back and gives advice. I found that to be rather weird at first, but the idea kind of grew on me. I ended up enjoying their conversations. Ella also has this hilarious Italian family who all work at their Italian restaurant together. Their conversations and loud personalities kind of reminded me of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
3. Ella is really easy to relate to. She's got all the normal traits of a high school girl: a meddling family, a few best friends, a crush she is sure will never ever like her back, and some insecurities (especially regarding some severe scars leftover from a boating accident when she was younger). At the same time, though, she shines and gains the attention of that certain unattainable guy.
4. I love Ella's two best friends, Frankie and Sadie, who go to Willing School with her. They are the misfits of their class, and have bonded together. Frankie is gay, Sadie is rich but has low self esteem, and Ella is there on scholarship. Clearly, they don't fit in among the elite students (phillites) that surround them. Together, they help instil confidence in Ella, and help her grow as a person. Frankie is extremely flamboyant and confident, always bouncing around and voicing his opinion. Every girl needs a guy like Frankie in her life.
5. Alex is such a sweetie. He's appointed Ella's math tutor, and even though he's a phillite, he is so sweet and caring towards her. They form this really cute relationship. There was no insta-love, just a simple, sweet teenage love story. They have a very real connection.
In short, I loved this book. It was cute, sweet, and light, but at the same time it touched on some of the deeper issues that teenagers face like self worth, body image, and feelings of inadequacy. I enjoyed everything about it, and would definitely recommend it to people who enjoy contemporary YA.
Ella, the main character, is not too bad. She's shy and damaged and very self conscious about a scar she got as a child. Her best friends and her family are even better - Frankie and Sadie and her grandma are all awesome. Ella and her friends attend a private school and are the outcasts. She's had a crush on popular boy Alex Bainbridge for a long time.
Eventually (not until about 30% of the way through) Alex becomes Ella's tutor. I enjoyed most of the Alex/Ella interaction, but they were too few and far between. I think Ella spent more time interacting with a picture of a dead painter (who TALKED BACK). This is where the novel got so boring. I couldn't stand Ella's infatuation with "Edward Willing." She had long in depth conversations with him and spent pages and pages and pages researching him. I got so bored I ended up skipping most of it.
The ending was also kind of abrupt. I think Ella had a valid point about Alex hiding their relationship. He had excuse after excuse about why and the way it's written, we're made to believe that his hiding her is okay.
I enjoyed the parts of this book where Ella was with her friends/family/Alex. Hated the parts where she was obsessing over the painter. Because of that, I wasn't overly impressed by it, but I would read something else by this author