Book Review: Pretenders, by Lisi Harrison

pretenders_coverPretenders is an extremely interesting book, the first in a new series by Lisi Harrison. It’s about the lives of five high school students, but it’s not a typical drama. It’s a story with an unexpected twist…

The book focuses on five freshman students who attend Noble High School: Sheridan, an aspiring singer and actress; Duffy, an athletic boy who loves basketball; Vanessa, a motivated, brilliant, but uptight girl; Jagger, whose parents are in jail; and Lily, a clever, smart girl who is in love with Duffy. Their English teacher has them write in journals every day, then keep them in locked safes that only they know the codes for. The book starts off with a note from someone who has stolen the journals from the English teacher and has revealed them to everyone. The person says they are tired of the lies in high school. Pretenders is written as a collection of random diary entries from each person’s journal.

I found this book very intriguing, but there were definitely a few things I didn’t like about it. For instance, Lisi Harrison makes several references to books she has published previously, such as the Clique series and the Monster High series. This bugged me a bit because it made me think that she was advertising her other books in this one. Also, Lisi Harrison spends the majority of the book building on the characters. I found the ending to be quite a let down because every single character was left dangling with a full-stop cliffhanger. I was really disappointed that so much of the book was taken up with the characters’ lives. However, I loved how different each character was. I also liked how the book is humorous.

So if you enjoy stories about high school experiences with plot twists, I think this series is for you.

-Rabani S., 9th grade

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