[REVIEW] License to Spill

Series: Pretenders #2 | REVIEW of #1
Lisi Harrison
young adult, contemporary, realistic fiction, romance, drama
June 24, 2014
License to Spill (Pretenders, #2)
Five Noble High freshmen fell to the bottom of the high school food chain and decided to claw their way to the top. They wrote in their journals the secrets to their success 
Now one of their own is exposing the private entries as if granted a license to spill. 
There’s no Delete button on the Internet. What kind of future do we have if we can’t escape our embarrassing pasts? I must come off as quite the hypocrite, complaining about our overexposed lives in a book of secret journals I’ve leaked. But these pages hold proof of how this pressure affects the “best” of us… So until the heat’s turned down, keep reading. –X

*             *             *
“It’s like if we’re not perfect we’re nothing, you know.” I sniffled. “But who’s perfect? I mean, everyone tries, but who really is? Why is that even the goal?”
*             *             *

License to Spill is that PERFECT sequel for Pretenders. It answered questions, developed the five Noble High freshmen, and showed their way to fame.

License to Spill gave out answers to that freaking cliffhanger at Pretenders. When I said cliffhanger, it really kept me hanging. It’s like the announcer preparing to state the winners but all you’ll hear is the drumming background for excitement. You’re gripping but never getting anything.

I said in my review of Pretenders that this is about whinny kids trying to look cool but maybe the better description would be desperate kids trying to make it to the ‘in’ crowd and lying kids trying to please people. Yeah? That’s the gist of it and that’s what’s fun about License to Spill and maybe Pretenders in general.

License to Spill caught my interest right from the very beginning. I reread Pretenders a couple of months back so the EPIC cliffhanger was quite fresh in my mind. I read License to Spill in a breeze. It’s a quick read with only a few pages per chapter (or per journal entry). There were so many things going on and they were always fun (kind of the Clique fun, if I have to describe it) full of teen desperation, whining, and small and quick happiness/sadness/panic. This is perhaps one of those books I read in less than 24hours. I was that quick (it’s a big deal because I’m a really slow reader). It’s difficult to put down if you get so into it!

The characters became more enjoyable to read this time around especially with all the interaction going on among them. My favorite reads were Jagger, Sheridan, and Duffy (especially Duffy’s). Jagger just had so much revelation about his life in here (but sometimes, he just sounds so feminine to me. I mean really. What kind of guy says words like chexting? It sometimes makes me think that he’s a fusion of Duffy and Sheridan minus all the varsity and acting talk and much, much more pretending and lying) . There were so many revelations about Jagger in here. Sheridan’s story became more fun to read because she shares it with Duffy (who’s still my fave among the five of them). And Duffy is just being Duffy, complaining about stuff he doesn’t understand especially things girls do. Lily had many down moments but how she picked everything up in the end was woah!. and how Vanessa's life will proceed is rather plain for me... grade conscious kid being super grade conscious is kind of off me (keeping up with Vanessa's crazy panic wasn't and will never be my fave part in here).

Final Tip! This is for you if you: (1) like the Clique (or anything Lisi Harrison wrote for that matter), (2) want a contemporary story about lying to fit in or be liked, (3) like a plainly fun and amusing read (seriously NO hard dramas in here!) This is NOT for you if you: (1) want something dramatic, (2) don’t like contemporary stories, (3) don’t like teens struggling to fit in or be liked, (4) want a serious and uplifting story.

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What I Like: (1) the same journaling kids being amusing, (2) the many revelations!, (3) the answers from that cliffhanger in Pretenders, (4) the development in the relationship among the Phoenix Five as well as their relationships outside of Phoenix Five, (5)Duffy, (6) Jagger, (7) Sheridan, (8) that happy but still very intriguing ending for everyone (especially for Jagger!)

What I Didn’t Like: (1) Jagger’s few feminine voice moments, (2) Vanessa (well not so much... maybe just somehow... or there were times...)

development of the relationship among characters + enjoyable voices in journal-style writing + soo many things going on = GREAT SEQUEL!

*             *             *

I kind of want to add this to my review now :3 (the 69 Test / Book Teaser!)
Mr. Pratt asks if they have a deal… Dad mumbles… Logan says, THANK YOU, SIR!
They’re coming.
To Be Continued…
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