Faking It (The Intern #2)
Harper Collins AUS
Purchased personal copy
In a short time, Josie Browning has come a long way. She has a cool new writing job at the brand new indi, an online magazine. She has a lovely boyfriend named James. She’s left the country behind and moved into an apartment in the city.
But it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. indi is about to launch and at the worst possible time, Josie’s colleague Sia is put mostly out of action. Suddenly so much more is resting on Josie’s shoulders and her boss is really riding her to produce the goods and counting on her. Josie is out of her depth for a lot of her new duties, including press junkets about beauty items and attempting to book a megastar for the indi launch party. Josie still has the obligations of her long distance university course to make also and she’s being stretched further thin by the day. It seems that each event she attends brings about new and exciting ways to humiliate herself – she’s dealing with a bitchy cohort of writers, a flatmate who is obsessed with the cleaning schedule and a travel writer named Alex who seems to show up at precisely the moment her dreamy boyfriend James begins to show that he might not be so perfect after all.
Josie has become a master of faking it but it’s all starting to come undone. With everything including her job and her relationship hanging in the balance she’s going to have to pull out all the stops to extricate herself from the mess.
I read The Intern last year and really enjoyed it so I was pretty excited when I found out that Josie would be getting a sequel in Faking It. It took me a while to find it locally, it came out last month I think and when I bought it I ended up reading it straight away. I did enjoy it but not as much as the first one.
I really like reading about characters who feel real, are awkward and have embarrassing moments but sometimes it can be difficult to read a book where that seems to be all that happens. The cringeworthy factor is so high that sometimes I get so embarrassed for them that I have to put the book down and take a break. It’s like these things are happening to me and I can’t bear to go on. At times it feels like Josie’s life is basically one big cringeworthy moment and it’s really hard to plow through it.
I felt sorry for her in this book because I think she got chucked in unfairly at the deep end in a way that shouldn’t really happen to someone of her inexperience. I’m not just talking about industry inexperience – she’s barely 18, she’s still a student and she’s really not got any of the contacts or pull to do half of what she’s being asked to do. But she’s also lacking in life experience as well, which makes it difficult for her to deal with social situations that crop up in the job she’s doing for Sia. She’s basically a sitting duck for the pack of fashion bitches who are already locked and loaded. I try to remember what it was like to be 18 and utterly out of my depth – heck I’m 32 and I’m still out of my depth most days. But there were times where I just wanted to shake Josie until her teeth rattled and say “Go to your Boss. Tell her what is happening. You’re frickin’ 18 years old. This is insane.” Instead Josie just buried everything away and attempted to soldier on. Most other times I wanted to shake her boss for precisely the same reasons. Her boss was ridiculous throughout pretty much all of this book except the ending.
Thankfully for Josie, she’s nice. She’s so nice that even the people who want to hate her can’t even do it. She’s a total dork but she also embraces that part of herself as well. To be honest, being nasty to Josie strikes me somewhat as easy to do as going out and kicking tiny guard-dog-in-training puppies or shooting yellow fluffy ducks. Even the fashion bitches’ hearts don’t seem to be in it after they get to know her. She and James are really cute together and I didn’t mind her friendship with Alex either. James did show some cracks in his perfect exterior in this book – he did something pretty douchey and then a combination of Josie’s inexperience coupled with James’s issues over his previous relationship ended up blowing it into something huge.
There’s some deeper messages hidden behind Josie’s utter awkwardness, such as the whole sex thing – when is the right time? As well as saying I love you and how wanting that moment to be utterly perfect can lead to it being anything but. There’s also the titular ‘faking it’ concept which is explored quite well but perhaps could’ve gone just a little bit deeper. Josie has been faking it for a while and her attempts to keep up the facade have led to her into nothing but stressful situations and disaster. I think a lot of people would’ve cracked under the pressure that was put on Josie and that she ended up handling things pretty well, considering. There were things she certainly could’ve done to ease the load on herself but there were also other people around her that really should’ve been more concerned about her ability to cope as well.
I did enjoy this – it’s a fun read and it’s really lovely to see Josie work her way out of these terrible situations but sometimes it made me super frustrated. It’s quite possible that had I been Josie’s age reading this, I’d have been able to identify with it so much more. Josie has sixteen-year-old me’s dream job basically!
Book #12 of 2015
Faking It is book #2 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2015