Super Fake Love Song
Author: David Yoon
Publication Date: 17 November 2020
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin Teen
From the bestselling author of Frankly in Love comes a contemporary YA rom-com where a case of mistaken identity kicks off a string of (fake) events that just may lead to (real) love.
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.
After seeing all the love for Frankly in Love, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to read Super Fake Love Song.
Yoon does an incredible job of taking a light hearted rom-com and infusing it with deep social themes such as race, class, identity, and role expectations (parental and sibling).
17 year old Sunny Dae is a Korean American and a HUGE nerd. We are talking DnD and LARPing. Sunny’s character shows us the many struggles that teens face with balancing school, one’s identity, and relationships (familial, friends, and love).
I loved Sunny’s relationship with his two best friends Milo (Guatemalan American) and Jamal (Jamaican American). The three of them together was just a ton of fun to watch. They had amazing banter and were always there for each other through everything (even the really bad decisions).
I really appreciated the complicated family dynamics in the Dae household. Sunny’s parents want more to life than what they had, but there’s definitely a cost associated with that. And Sunny’s relationship with his brother Gray is tense to say the least, but the tension was so authentic and refreshing to see.
I do think that the romance of this story takes a bit of a back seat, not that it’s a bad thing. I actually found Cirrus’ character to be the least developed of all of the characters presented in the story, so I wasn’t that invested in her. Rather, I enjoyed Sunny’s personal growth and development as well as watching him navigate his relationship with his friends and brother. I think that ended up being more important to the story line.
Overall, I do think that this is a good story that will resonate with a specific audience. I say this with the caveat that I am not a music fan (so all of the music references went over my head) and I know nothing about gaming.
Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.