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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.