intriguing book about character development

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SUPER FAKE LOVE SONG is a YA contemporary romance about siblings, feeling like an outcast, and friendship. Sunny definitely feels like a "loser," as he is picked on by the star of the football team and he and his friends spend their time doing videos for the internet for DIY Fantasy FX. Then, he meets Cirrus, who seems so cool and is not interested in him - until she mistakenly walks into his older brother's old room and he begins lying about the guitars and band stuff, saying he is the front for the band, Immortals.

He can't let the lie go and basically copies his brother's style and life to make it his own. He convinces his two BFFs to make the band something real and falls into a spiral of lies. He is nervous about the truth coming out, but he really likes Cirrus and feels like he needs these lies to impress her. A wrench is thrown into his plans when his brother comes back home, and they are unable to connect the way they used to - but his brother sees what he is doing and knows the lie.

Sunny's struggle felt so real - he is pretending to be someone else, but where does the lie end and the truth begin? His search for belonging and coolness is one that will resonate with young readers who may also be struggling with how to define themselves in the first place. Sunny certainly doesn't know who he is yet, and his path to figuring out who he wants to be felt really genuine. I felt that the real elements that shone in this book were the friendships with his BFFs who support him in these unusual schemes and the ways that he tries to relate and connect with his older brother, who is struggling with his own life.

There are some really deep and heartfelt conversations that happen towards the end of the book with his family, about what is important in life and the importance of real conversation/understanding, and with his friends that really made this a much stronger story. That along with the themes throughout the book of trying to find your place, wanting to be more, and connecting with your own truths made this an intriguing read.

Overall, I would recommend this book for fans of YA contemporary where the focus is on character development and growth with a light touch of romance. Please note that I received a copy through Bookish First. All opinions are my own.