Review: Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon

“But I would never let such a limitation stop me. I loved limitations. Limitations set creativity free.”

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Notice: I received an eARC of this book from Penguin Teen in exchange for an honest review.

When Sunny Dae—self-proclaimed total nerd—meets Cirrus Soh, he can’t believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakes Sunny’s older brother Gray’s bedroom—with its electric guitars and rock posters—for Sunny’s own, he sort of, kind of, accidentally winds up telling her he’s the front man of a rock band.

Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He ropes his best friends into his scheme, begging them to form a fake band with him, and starts wearing Gray’s rock-and-roll castoffs. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he’s cool, right? Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp.

Now there’s only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it.

Sunny goes all in on the lie, and pretty soon, the strangest things start happening. People are noticing him in the hallways, and he’s going to football games and parties for the first time. He’s feeling more confident in every aspect of his life, and especially with Cirrus, who’s started to become not just his dream girl but also the real deal. Sunny is falling in love. He’s having fun. He’s even becoming a rocker, for real.

But it’s only a matter of time before Sunny’s house of cards starts tumbling down. As his lies begin to catch up with him, Sunny Dae is forced to wonder whether it was all worth it—and if it’s possible to ever truly change.

On the surface, Super Fake Love Song is a light-hearted story of a boy who goes to great lengths to impress a girl. It is the classic example of what happens when one little white lie leads to another, and another…and how pretty soon, you’ve woven yourself into a pretty tangled web. I appreciated the story for its boyish, nerdy, endearing humor.

For a more critical analysis, this book holds themes of broken families and emotionally absent parents, peer pressure and bullying, and what it means to “fit in” while being your authentic self. Sunny Dae and his family being Korean Americans also bring dialogue about how Korean Americans (and other POC) are usually held to a higher standard of success in order to be notable:

“Being a minority in a crowd of majority meant having to prove yourself worthy, over and over, for you were only as credible as your latest divine miracle.”

All in all, the story is easy to get through, has fun humor, and would be great if you’re looking for a light read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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