The Fine Art Of truth and dare ideas is one of the best of Jensen’s works.
It’s based on Ella, who is a very unpopular girl in school but Ella isn’t particularly craving popularity. In fact, she hates the social divide and is very content with her life. That is until she falls in love with the most popular guy at school, Alex, and that changes her life in a classic chick-flick romance, and many sweet kisses that will make you blush and sigh.
That’s not all there is to the book, though.
Yes, it’s for teenage audiences, it is full of tingling romance and, like most books of this genre, it has a largely predictable ending.
However, it has quirks that make it different and a very enjoyable read:
Ella has a dreadful scar from a fire. It is one of the reasons she loves not being in the limelight. But instead of spending all her time moping about it – she deals with her self-esteem issues with humor, something we can all relate to.
Ella has two best friends – Sadie, the quiet and sweet one, and Frankie, the vivacious and loud lesbian.
Ella also has Willing, who is the artist their school is named after. He is long-dead, but art is Ella’s passion and she staunchly believes he was vastly underappreciated. She talks to him a lot, which is in truth just her talking to herself – and their banter is hilarious, quirky and very entertaining.
Alex ends up tutoring Ella in French, a subject she is absolutely dreadful at, and he ends up crushing on her too! The unpopular girl ends up with the school star.
Instead of flaunting their new love, they keep it a secret – because Alex still has a girlfriend! And she is not a girl you want to cross. Also, Alex’s social circle is full of mean people, who have bullied Ella’s best friend Frankie in the past.
Ella’s lies catch up with her in a Truth or Dare game and she’s forced to choose between Alex and her besties.
Will Ella ever end up with Alex? Will they ever bridge their social differences? Will the truth game be the end of the girls’ friendship?
This book is great for many reasons. It talks about themes that are relevant to the genre and emphasizes the importance of friendship while touching a little on self-acceptance. We all have scars we need to learn how to cope with. All of these issues add a sense of depth to the novel.
It completely fulfilled the promises it made in the cover, with additional side-dish information of the history of art – very nice.
The characters were pretty well developed, especially Ella. She’s very easy to relate to. Her friends are great too, but more work could have been done with the way Alex falls in love with Ella. It was too easy, considering how big their social differences were. Sure, the book covers it up by making Alex out to be a sweet guy, but surely love doesn’t come that easily in real life. And he never talks about her scar – that part is very weird.
All in all, their beautiful romance and friendships make up for the book’s faults, and it is definitely worth a read.