This modern day rom-com where Instagram culture and the coaching industry collided was a surprise treat I couldn’t put down after I started it. I finished She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway in two days, and I’m still basking in its glory.
It’s fitting that I was introduced to this book by #bookstagram because the book actually mentions the hashtag and does a deep dive into Instagram culture. It would have been easy for this one to read as judgy and condescending as it takes on Instagram influencers and chasing likes and followers, but it wasn’t like that at all. Instead, it was relatable, funny and endearingly cringeworthy.
Bree Bozeman is like many 20-somethings still trying to find her path in life. Although I identify more with her Type A older sister (I did go to law school and become a lawyer in my 20s, after all), it was impossible not to root for Bree. She’s clearly a hard worker, and someone who wants to find her way in life, but she’s her own biggest enemy. Even if that doesn’t sound like you, I bet it reminds you of a friend or sibling.
I think this one was so much fun because it was all so relatable. As Bree hunts through hashtags, admires influencers and struggles to make her reality look like the perfection she finds all over Instagram, I think all of us who have spent any time on social media know exactly how Bree is feeling. The irony wasn’t lost on me as I tried to get the perfect shot of my iPad on the beach when I finished reading the book so I could post it to my own Instagram feed. #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #beachread anyone?
In case you were wondering, no you can’t get the cover of a book to look like that in a photo taken on the beach. Nope, not even shaded under an umbrella. Adobe Lightroom and Canva to the rescue!
Back to the book…
There is, of course, a love story in this rom-com too. Hot pro-surfer-next-door Trey is a real treat too. He’s sworn off social media after dating a prototypical influencer who cheated on him with another pro surfer, which makes Bree’s efforts to become an influencer on Instagram a big red flag for him. Although I thought it was nice to see their relationship develop, I was far more hooked by everything going on in the rest of Bree’s life.
As if taking on Instagram culture wasn’t enough, Rockaway also takes on the coaching industry, which was particularly interesting to me. Five years ago, I struck out on my own to become an entrepreneur and was immediately inundated with coaches who wanted to teach me how to make “$10k in 90 Days” or encouraging their audience to “Follow Your Passion for Profits.”
Rockaway absolutely nails so much of what I’ve seen in the coaching industry over the past five years. Sure, there are some fantastic folks out there in the coaching industry who are using their expertise to help others, but there are also a lot of people I’ve met who are just like Demi DiPalma, the self-help guru Bree’s sister turns her onto to help get her life in order.
From the books and courses that don’t really teach anything to the essential oils and crystals and the summit that doesn’t live up to the billing, it’s all an accurate depiction of more than one “guru” I’ve witnessed in real life. The only thing missing was the dry ice and video montage that should have introduced Demi to the crowd at the summit, followed by her dancing on stage to blaring music and encouraging everyone else to stand and dance along with her. Instead, Demi barely bothered to show up at her own event, which unfortunately is also borrowed from real life events I know people have attended.
Rockaway nailed absolutely everything she tackled in this modern day rom-com. What are you waiting for? Add this one to your To Be Read list right now! You won’t be sorry.
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