An NPR Book Concierge Pick of the Year
“The fun of this engrossing read is that underneath the slapstick lies a finely nuanced meditation on how we perform as ourselves.” —New York Times Book Review
From the New York Times bestselling author of Frankly in Love comes a moving young adult novel about friendship, identity, and acceptance. Perfect for fans of John Green and To All the Boys I've Love Before.
When Sunny meets Cirrus, he can't believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakenly thinks Sunny plays guitar, he accidentally winds up telling her he's the front man of a rock band.
Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He gets his best friends to form a fake band with him and starts dressing like a rock star. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he's cool, right?
Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp.
Now there's only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it.
Yoon's (Frankly in Love) endearingly winning coming-of-age novel begins when 17-year-old self-described nerd Sunny Dae, who is Korean American, meets the girl of his dreams: Korean American Cirrus Soh, the well-traveled daughter of commercial real estate developers. After her family moves to Rancho Ruby, a "99.6 percent" white community in Southern California, tongue-tied Sunny doesn't correct Cirrus when she mistakes his older brother Gray's room for his, leading Cirrus to believe that Sunny is a budding rock star. Desperate to impress and avoid being caught in the lie, Sunny recruits his best friends to join his fake band, the Immortals. Together, they learn to play instruments and work on perfecting one of Gray's unperformed songs. But when Gray moves back home, and the bully who has tormented Sunny for years figures out the scheme, Sunny's plans may all come tumbling down. Through Sunny, who feels conflicted about his parents' obsession with money and his older brother's choices to abandon music for a more stable career, Yoon challenges stereotypes and tackles the age-old theme of being true to oneself, whether that self is a rock star or a nerd. Ages 14 up.
It was a very cute and fun book. A little predictable but also it was at some parts very unique. Some references I didn’t get though.
YA Coming of Age
I thought this was a fun (though predictable) read for YA fans. Sunny considers he and his two friends to be nerds. They enjoy LARPing and have a YouTube series about their DIY LARP projects. Sunny meets Cirrus, the daughter of his parent’s friends, and is immediately attracted to her. Through some confusion during their initial meeting, he ends up pretending to be in a band and you can guess where the rest of the story goes.
Overall I thought it was a cute read. I enjoyed the “coming of age” aspects of Sunny’s character and the theme of being true to yourself. Sunny’s friends Milo and Jamal were so adorable and were the best friends anyone could ask for. I was kind of annoyed at times with Sunny’s self-centered nature around his friends and family, but I still enjoyed seeing his character grow. This was somewhere between 3 and 4 stars for me. I enjoyed the book as a whole but there were certain parts that seemed to drag for me. If you’re a fan of YA I would definitely recommend checking this one out!