quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


The Fine Art of Truth or Dare (Review)

Title: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare
Author(s)Melissa Jensen
Edition: Paperback, 380 pages
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: February 16, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Library
Buy: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

The Summary

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?

My Opinion
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen is a heartfelt romance story.  The intensity that the characters express are reminiscent to a bygone age, while the issues they deal with bring the story back to modern times.  This makes a flirty read that envelopes you in the “fine art” of romance.  I devoured it!

Jensen manages to craft a girl that I want to be best friends with immediately, and that doesn’t happen often.  I usually think the character is well developed in the context of the story, but not as a real person.  Ella is different.  I can see her walking down the street, experiencing things as they happen in the book (the whole book is really realistic in tone and writing).  Ella's blossoming romance with Alex is beautifully crafted, and doesn't feel rushed or have the fake quality of "insta-love".  This was one of the best aspects of the book because I look at character development over plot development.  Jensen manages to capture this real girl with insecurities and hopes, who is shy and funny, but always tries to follow her heart, perfectly and makes her pop off the page.  

Further proof to the awesome characterization (all the secondary characters were amazingly well developed), Jensen managed to make me believe one character was an actual person in real life.  Edward Willing is a 19th Century painter with whom Ella is obsessed.  Now you are probably saying, “Eli, shouldn’t you have realized he wasn’t a real guy?” Well no, because Jensen did such an amazing job crafting his history.  There was a seriously realistic background with excerpts of letters and journals, examples of artwork, and a whole wing of a museum dedicated to him.  If I tried to do that I would have failed.  Willing was a masterful creation, and is used as a sounding board for Ella.  He is her obsession but also her confidant.  This “man” is a quirky part of the story that was very enjoyable.

Of course with great characterization usually comes great writing, and Jensen does not disappoint.  Poetic and reflective, hilarious and real, the flow is perfect.  I like writing that feels easy, but has layers.  This book has that, allowing the characters and the plot to move together in harmony.  Jensen uses an interesting technique which allows Ella’s inner thoughts to come out and parallel what is happening physically.  This is accomplished through “truth or dare”, a game that Ella and her two best friends, Frankie and Sadie, play, in which no matter the question you have to answer or be dared to do something ridiculous, embarrassing, or scary.  Ella also uses this to tell “truths” about herself, even if she may be acting the opposite.  I found it a clever writing tool throughout the book.

Overall, The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen was a fun, sweet, fast read with some real romance and heart.  The intricacies with the relationships really created a story that you become invested in.  You’ll fall in love with Ella and Alex (maybe a little bit with Edward Willing as well), and want more when the book ends!  But don’t take my word for it!  Check out The Fine Art of Truth or Dare at your local bookstore or library!


And check out her other fantastic book, Falling in Love with English Boys!

Final Rating
Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 46/50: A-

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