Jenna and Jonah’s Fauxmance is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, specifically about the characters of Beatrice and Benedict. I loved it! Jenna and Jonah are the television character names of these two teen actors who also “play” like they are in love with one another for real. This is simply for the media attention and publicity for their show. They kiss, hug, hang out together…and can’t stand one another in the real world. Aaron can’t wait to get out of the deal but Charlie isn’t so sure what she really wants to do with her life.
Then, while they are supposed to be promoting a fake script for season five of their show, Aaron is photographed with a gay friend and the media assumes that he too is gay. Aaron grabs Charlie and they escape to one of Aaron’s beachfront properties. While they are there, their relationship becomes more real. But when the media show up, they just can’t seem to follow through with their real feelings. It is going to take some live stage acting as Beatrice and Benedict and some outside help if these two are ever going to become a real couple.
The book is written from both points of view (the benefit of having two authors, male and female) and the characters have depth and you really can get into who they are and how they got to this point. The dialogue is funny and sharp. It is evident from the beginning that they have a love/hate relationship. It is also telling that they are the only ones who understand one another – professionally as well as personally.
What did this book have to do with my faith? Charlie learns from another actor that the best actors must understand themselves. A great actor has to really see who they are so that they can get back to it when the cameras stop rolling or the lights are dimmed. I have re-discovered recently that it is only when a Christian understands who they are and works on their own relationship with Christ that they can reach out to others and assist them with their relationship. Christian leaders need to work on their own prayer life and be grounded in who they really are in order to be truly effective. Without self-understanding, it is difficult to really love others much less lead them.
I highly recommend this book!