Title: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
Author: Jenn P. Nguyen
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Published Date: 7th June 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis: Taylor Simmons is screwed.
Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.
Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.
Review: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen was a book I fell in love with as soon as I read the title. Suddenly I was pulling up everywhere to try and get a review copy of this one. Which was why I was so happy to snag a place on this tour here! I was anticipating it like crazy.
I recently read another fake dating kind of story which was No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista
. I’ve quickly gone from not having read any of these kind to two! This one had quite a different reason for the couple pretending to get together. I really liked the whole situation of them waking up in bed together, neither of them knowing what happened the night before. Then on top of that, everyone saw them leave together. Taylor hates the gossip trailing after her, and seeing as she is used to being the school nerd who no one dared to even talk about in her presence, she wants to have her status back again. How to do that? Start dating Evan. I loved that premise!
This book quickly became one I wanted to read all day long. The story narration switched between Evan and Taylor so that we got to see things from both of their eyes. Both of their voices were unique and I really liked that they didn’t blend into each other at all. I think I liked Taylor’s the most – she had so much attitude and even though she appeared confident to most people on the outside, she had her own inner panic moments. She was the kind of girl who really wanted her dreams to come true and chased after her ambitions. But sometimes she also doubted that they would really happen. Taylor was just one of those go-getter girls I could really appreciate.
Evan was another person who was very confident. Even though he is a player, we quickly get to know him as so much more. The best thing about him is that he never denies the whole player side of himself – he knows that’s who he is and the author makes no excuses for him. I would have thought this would have made me dislike him because there was no previous reason for him being that way, but it’s more so that he’s a guy, y’know? And he accepts that, and with his point of view we learn about there being more to him. As soon as Taylor is introduced into his life, things start to change about his life too.
This book also spotlighted family conflict. Evan and Taylor both have divorced parents. Although in Taylor’s case she loves her stepdad and thinks he is much better for her mother than her biological father was. Evan’s biological father spent a lot of time in jail and he really dislikes his stepdad. Together this contradicting portrayals of families caused a lot of turmoil in emotions in this novel. It was never quite the forefront of the novel but it did play its part in the grand scheme of things and I believe it was handled well.
Primarily, this book is a romance. As it was a clean romance, I ended up very satisfied on this front. It was sweet. It had some miscommunication and some trials and tribulations that the couple had to solve their way out of together, and it also had plenty of banter which made me one happy reader. Banter is the kind of thing I can never get enough of in a novel.
The ending was super sweet and I really appreciated the bonus chapters at the end. I won’t say what they were to do with because the pleasant surprise of what they were made them the best. It was a good way to tie up the novel.
I did appreciate the friends group that Taylor and Evan both had. Aaron, Carly and Brian all made a gang of unique but good-hearted friends that supported them both with whatever they were trying to do. I do wish there had been a bit more time to deepen our understanding of the secondary characters but that never really happened. And at times, I wished that there were more issues for the couple to overcome than the way their relationship began or miscommunication. At times it felt a little too… easy?
In general though, this was a brilliant romance contemporary that I raced through! It’s brimming with voice, character and a romance you’ll want to be a part of. Can’t wait to see what this author produces next!
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