Review: Pretend by Stacey Nash
One of my favorite writers, Stacey Nash, is back with another entry into the Oxley College Saga! I am so excited to have had the opportunity to read an ARC of Pretend. I hold these books very close to my heart and it’s no secret that I think Stacey is a fantastic writer—and person.
Pretend… by Stacey Nash
Series: Oxley College #3
Category: New Adult, Contemporary
Publication: November 26th, 2015
Life’s easy when everything’s fake.
Savannah West had it all: popularity, good grades and a family who loved her, but how quickly things can change. Living half a state away doesn’t stop the painful memories of her past ripping her heart in two. And sometimes lies are easier than coping with the truth.
The thing she didn’t bank on was Dane Beaumont. A blast from her horrendous past, he’s the last person she expected to run into at college … and it’s not just because he knows the truth. Hot as sin, he’s more off limits than generic brand clothing, but staying away isn’t easy when he insists on looking out for her. Dealing with the reality of finding her place in the world, Savvy must face the guy who tears down all her carefully placed walls and pull herself together. It’s time to grow up.
Pretend is the third story in Stacey Nash’s Oxley College series, though it could actually be considered the second book because the timeline parallels that of Shh!, which features Olivia and Logan. This story centers on Savvy and Dane. If you’ve read Shh!, you know grew to love Savvy as Olivia’s best friend. She was supportive and sassy. In Pretend, we get to see the real side of Savvy, the one she kept secret from everyone outside of her hometown.
I am such a fan of Stacey’s Oxley College series. When I read these, I’m transported back to my days at college, and I can’t help but picture my own dorm room or classrooms as Stacey writes about the characters’ experiences. I also love reading about Australia and I really, really want to move to the Australian coast. Pipe dream, I know, but . . . Anyway, my point is, Stacey’s writing is powerful enough to plunk me right into the middle of the action.
This is another excellent installment of the series, filled with humor, sadness, and sexiness. In my opinion, Dane is the hottest of the series’ boyfriends—he’s a surfer, so he sort of has the edge. There were scenes when I was laughing out loud, and there were scenes when I was tearing up (there’s a particular scene at the end of the story that had me a bit gutted). All of the characters in the series have experienced or do experience a traumatic event, and you can’t help but ache for them. Stacey is a fantastic writer and easily slips into each characters’ persona as she switches POVs.
I really also enjoyed how it echoed Liv’s story, and that we got to see Savvy’s point of view when things happened to Liv in Shh! There were a few times when I read Shh! that I thought, umm, where is Savvy? Now we know where she was! It must have been hard to go back and fill in the blanks, and Stacey did a great job.
Pretend: 4.5/5 stars. Strong characters, descriptive and realistic writing, and laugh-out-loud snarkiness make this book a winner! I don’t have to pretend to like it . . . see what I did there?
“The best thing about not going to the ball was having the entire dorm to ourselves. It didn’t matter how loud or how quiet we were—no one was around to hear. That was probably why I was feeling a little sore and a whole lot sated as I sat in the front seat . . . the next day.” –Savvy
Just as I stood up, my shoulder slammed into a rock-hard . . .
Papers fluttered everywhere, but I straightened up, glancing into the same cool green stare I hadn’t stopped thinking about for the past three weeks, even if I had pretended to totally ignore it just a half hour ago.
Shit. Sorry, Sav.” Dane’s mouth curved around my name like he was happy it had passed his lips. Lies . . . all lies . . . The guy knew how to make a girl swoon.