BLACKPLUME

lover of written words

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

on February 29, 2012

“If you don’t learn to carpe the diem, you will be, while most certainly not Nobody, something less than a Somebody.”

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?

Personal Thoughts:

After reading the sampler of The Fine Art of Truth or Dare from the amazon, I instantly like the first chapter. So I grab a copy right away to continue reading the whole book. The first chapter is written in a unique way wherein Ella Marino, the main character is declaring her undying love for Edward Willing. It contains a list of facts about Edward, and Ella’s dreamy criteria of her prince charming. Since I haven’t read the synopsis of this book before diving to actual reading, I assume that Edward Willing is the male character lead. So when Ella pointed out in the last sentence of chapter one, that Edward Willing is in fact dead since 1916, I can’t resist checking out the story.

When I continue reading, I found out that my assumption is wrong. Edward Willing is not the lead male character. Though he is part of the story there is another guy that holds Ella’s interest. The guy is Alex Bainbridge, a typical Mr. Perfect who is almost unattainable like the long-dead artist.

Ella has a quirk of talking to Edward Willing self-portrait. And in her subconscious, Edward Willing actually talk back to her. So they have this conversation in between chapters. At first I found it as a unique addition but after a while I honestly get bored reading them. Though there are some interesting topics in those conversations like the concept of undying love and arts, in the end I find them unnecessary. Even the research and excerpts from books chronicling Edward Willing’s life and art works are not that important in the story. Those are the parts that drags the story for me.

Now lets talk about the two real main characters, Alex and Ella. These two are total opposite in terms of status in life. Ella is a scholar kid who loves art. She draws almost everywhere – on her sketchbook, on walls, on her bed and even on her jeans. She mostly draws architectural structures like doors and windows. Not the most enticing subject to draw but she surely got talent in art. One of the reason why she loves Edward Willing is because of art. Ella belongs to the non-popular kid in school while Alex is in the top of the elite group. A popular guy who is also smart, good-looking, talented and rich. A typical Mr. Perfect with a cliché life background. Someone whose life is already planned by his parents, complete with a map, instructions and a goal. But also someone who wants to be something else than what his parents wants him to be.

Alex and Ella’s world collides through french lessons, when Alex was assigned to tutor Ella. Later on they become a couple and confronted with different relationship issues. Ella struggles to tell her friends about her relationship with Alex so she ends up lying about their real status. Alex also can’t tell to his friends about them which later results for more misunderstanding between them. Then everything is thrown in the way. The story tries to deal with a lot of things that somehow it didn’t work all properly. Between the battle of truth and lies, family issues, friendships, self-acceptance, art, and love, the story struggles to focus on the plot. The in-between chapters about Edward Willing doesn’t help too. Basically the structure of the novel doesn’t work for me.

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare is a lighthearted read. Disregard some unnecessary information about the dead artist, this book is still enjoyable.

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6 responses to “The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

  1. Yiota says:

    Hmmm…i totally had the wrong idea about the book in my mind. I’m not really sure i will manage to keep up with those conversations with the dead guy too. I think i will be moving it a little down at my TBR.
    Thanks 🙂

    Like

    • blackplume says:

      no problem Yiota. I just hope that you’ll love this one more than I do. It has potential though I really don’t enjoy those extra information about Edward Willing. I think the book can go without all those stuffs.

      Like

  2. This sounds like a book I would like. Thanks for the review!

    Like

  3. oh oh oh!!!
    I LOVE LOVE the ART AND LOVE thing! I’m in….I soooooooooo need this book right now!

    Like

  4. Your review is sooo awesome! haha! I’m now more excited for this book!

    Like

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