Tuesday, November 20, 2012

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Charade" by Nyrae Dawn

SUMMARY from Goodreads:
Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection. 

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom's dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it's what he wants too. 

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.

I decided to read this book after an outstanding review of it from my friends, Amber and Michael on Goodreads....And they were NOT wrong.  This is an emotionally powerful book, more than the summary above would indicate. 

Michael says that Nyrae Dawn is a master of both the male POV voice.  And for me, often in YA books, this makes the biggest difference.  Authors of YA often write the female POV well, but I'm often left with a two dimensional portrait of the male lead character.  Ms. Dawn gets into the heart of her male characters, drawing out the vulnerability, strength and the "sweet."  

The story itself is compelling with both characters dealing with difficulties in the past and present that leaves them fractured.  I kept thinking that these characters are still so young and dealing with so much pain and even though I, myself, have not had those same experiences, I felt I understood deeply.  It is the first time in a long time that I shed tears from a story.  Maybe I've become a little cynical.  But this kind of read - a well-written, heart touching story, brings me back to why I love YA books.  This book has all the right elements without too much adolescent drama.  Due to some of the mature themes, I recommend this to an older YA audience.  

I highly recommend this book for a emotionally rewarding and satisfying read. 


  1. I like knowing that there's "the sweet" in the boy! Too often we don't see that in male leads!

  2. I agree with you about male POV in YA or New Adult, it's very hard to get just right. I'm glad Dawn managed. :)
    Lovely review! And of course, I'm always happy to stop by.