Tempting Fake

Young Adult - Social Issues
249 Pages
Reviewed on 10/10/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite

Tempting Fake by Tracey Morait is a YA novel about growing pains. Adam and Cherry are two boarding school students living at opposite ends of England. Cherry's mother is newly married to a womanizing rich pedophile, and Cherry is glad to be away from him at Helton Manor. Adam's father is posted to the Air Force in England, and making friends is hard for both Adam and Cherry at their new schools. Initially, both seek out friendship on social media and look forward to their frequent chats, until one of Adam's school friends at The Priory hacks his account and floods private images of Cherry throughout the whole school. Although Adam is innocent in the deed, he slowly transforms into Cherry's stalker and does anything possible to be near her. When Cherry moves on with a new guy, Danny (Adam's new fake account), Adam's obsession with Cherry comes to a halt when Adam finds love with one of the male students at The Priory. Determined to prove to himself he is not gay, Adam goes to Cherry's home and drama ensues.

I can hear the music to Law and Order playing in my head after each sentence I type - how bizarre is that for a Deaf reviewer? Tracey Morait's riveting story packs so much of today's truths into it, with the risks involved in seeking out love and friendship on social media. Tempting Fake so often feels like a victimless crime, as if what we cannot see won't actually hurt us. However, when obsession steps into play, there soon seems no uncrossable line. Innocent chat turns into stalking, rape, drugs, and thoughts of committing murder to justify the deeds done. I guess I can almost see this story as it is in reality, having lived it. There are so many different aspects to this story, whether it be young love, seeking friendship online, seeking revenge, or determination for the ends to justify the means.... mystery, drama, love, and more... all by the age of fifteen. I highly recommend Tempting Fake to all users of the internet who use social media, as it can be more dangerous than you think. I found this book incredible and feel it would do well in all school and public libraries.

Alma Boucher

Tempting Fake is a young adult coming-of-age novel by Tracey Morait. When Cherry's mother marries Lord Milborne, her world becomes lonely and isolated, and she is sent away to Helton Manor. It is challenging for Cherry to live there, and she is determined to get a reputation for being a nuisance and a troublemaker. Cherry seeks comfort and friendship on the app Pictapost, where she meets Adam. Adam, who was born in the United States, was raised by an English mother and a U.S. Air Force captain. Being the only American student at the distinctly British Priory School, Adam does not have friends and is bullied. Adam connects with Cherry on Pictapost and falls in love with her. Their problems began when Adam's account is hacked and Cherry's photos are tagged.

Temping Fake by Tracey Morait left me speechless and taught me many lessons. It was an amazing story about teenage love, true friendship, and family. Sensitive topics like sexual consent, bullying, and drug and alcohol abuse were covered. It was a page-turner with so many twists and turns that I never knew what to expect next. There was always a surprise waiting around the corner. The characters were realistic and relatable. The way Cherry and Adam act and talk and the issues they face are the same as those of real-life teenagers. This story had me hooked from the start and was excellently written. I was disappointed when the story ended; I didn't realize I was nearing the end. The ending was fantastic, and I will look back on the story for some time.

Viga Boland

In Tempting Fake by Tracey Morait, when the somewhat rebellious Cheralyn, aka Cherry, decides to post a photo of herself on a social media post, she gets the desired attention from Adam, who, like Cherry, has been sent off to an elite boarding school against his wishes. But the initial comfort these two enjoy from texting takes a downhill turn when Adam’s account is hacked and Cherry’s alluring photo goes viral. All hell breaks loose for both teens in their respective schools and homes. Bad becomes worse when Adam decides to take revenge on the hacker by adopting a fake identity using the hacker’s photo. Things spiral out of control and what should have been a simple teen exchange becomes ugly, even sinister, reminding both the characters and readers of the dangers lurking on social media.

Tempting Fake was a very different and interesting read for me. I suspect that will be the case for other parents or grandparents if they are the least bit curious about what the young adults in their families are into…or could get themselves into…on their cell phones. Tracey Morait's novel will appeal to its intended audience: young adults. She knows and understands the interests and often highly strung emotions of average 16-year-olds and captures them very well in Tempting Fake. Through both the plot and the excellent characterization, she also addresses compelling teen issues like self-confidence, gender identity, class differences, i.e. the haves and the have-nots, and suicide. That’s a lot to cover in only 249 pages, but the author succeeds in creating a book young adults and their elders can enjoy. Tempting Fake would make an excellent book club selection. Lots of themes to discuss and analyze here. Recommended reading.