DNF Review » Pretenders by Lisi Harrison

About the Book


by Lisi Harrison

Three girls, two guys, five secret journals.

The five most popular students at Noble High have secrets to hide; secrets they wrote down in their journals. Now one of their own exposes the private entries...

I am leaking these because I'm tired and I know you are too. The success bar is too high and pretending has become the only way to reach it. Instagrams are filtered, Facebook profiles are embellished, photos are shopped, reality TV is scripted, body parts get upgraded like software, and even professional athletes are cheating. The things we believe in aren't real.

We are pretenders.

My Review

First I have to say that I was genuinely looking forward to reading Pretenders. The premise is promising and intriguing and I thought that it had so much potential but unfortunately it didn't live up to that potential and it was quite a let down from the very beginning.

The pretext note from one of the journalists, though you aren't sure which one it is, catches your attention at first. You think, hey, this is going to be interesting. Seeing how all of these people react to their deepest secrets being spread throughout the school... but nope. Not at all. What you actually get instead of seeing the outcome and consequences of these actions and how the characters deal with it is the journal entries themselves. And that's it. Of course, I only got through 21% of the book.. so who knows? Maybe that changes, but all it is is journal entries from 5 different characters and their day to day lives. And I couldn't keep up with a single one of them. And they're not even in any kind of order between the characters. They're random. And I can't even remember their names, that how little I connected with them. There's nothing interesting about them, in my opinion, and their stories just couldn't hold my attention.

Not only did they not hold my attention, but their were completely unrealistic and very cliche. It was like the author was trying too hard to make diverse and interesting characters that she overcompensated, and it just didn't work. One of the characters wrote in her journal as if she was part of a play or a film. One of the characters was completely obsessed with one of the others and that's all she could talk about. One of them was living alone at the age of 14? 15? I can't remember but it was super young. And I can't even remember anything about the others except one liked basketball and the other is an academic over-achiever. And none of it really felt much like journal entries. They didn't really read like journal entries, and it was hard to think of them as such.

I just couldn't read anymore. I couldn't connect with the characters, the writing; the story itself didn't hold my attention and I just couldn't continue on with reading it. And if you know me, you know I HATE DNFing a book. I always feel awful about it. I wanted so much to like the story and give it a chance, but sometimes you just have to move on to the next.


  1. Bummer!! I really liked this book and the next one in the series-- it was a guilty pleasure thing. But the 2nd book ends on a cliffhanger, and I don't think that she's writing a 3rd book, so...... yeah it's probably for the best that you didn't connect with the characters since we'll never get to find out who the person is who stole the journals.

    1. I really hated not finishing it! I wanted so bad to like it because I had been looking forward to reading it, but I couldn't connect to the characters at all.


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