Super Fake Love Song is one of those books that feels instantly relatable. While we may not be able to identify with Sunny’s family’s wealth, or his love for DnD, we all know what it’s like to pretend. The feelings of discomfort under our skin, shame bubbling to the surface. Keep reading this book review of Super Fake Love Song to find out what I loved!
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
What I loved the most about Super Fake Love Song is the exploration of identity. What pieces of ourselves do we hide from the world, and what kind of bravery does it take to unfurl these pieces of ourselves? Part of growing up becomes trying on new hobbies, opinions, and pieces of our identity, but what drives us? Is it curiosity? Fear? Shame? How much of this process becomes growth or a lie we know is wrong before we even put it on?
This search for a sense of belonging, to be accepted, is one that hits a universal chord. The beauty of Super Fake Love Song is that not only are the readers wondering who the real Sunny is, so is Sunny. It’s a story focused on character development, on exploration, and Sunny’s journey. Because of that, the side characters can sometimes feel like they fall to the sidelines because of how much attention is given to Sunny. I loved some of these side characters, so I would have loved more scenes and detail to them, but I also appreciate that this story is firmly focused on Sunny.
We become so focused on ourselves, on our problems, we lose track of our friends and other goals. Caught up in a game of trying to figure out the last lie, the next thing we have to organize, it’s difficult to come out of that fog. Super Fake Love Song delves into the idea of pretending. Of being fake. How, in some ways, we all kind of feel that way. Constantly pretending to be okay, to have everything together, to be the perfect daughter. Yoon illustrates this conflict in a variety of side characters which only increases the feeling that sense of universality. Our lives become a series of balancing acts.
And sometimes there’s only so far we can be pushed until all these cracks finally fracture. The lies we tell ourselves and the fronts we put on to the world, shattering in the wake of disaster. Because it’s terrifying to be ourselves. Never mind the shame and fear that meets us. It’s the knowledge that when you’re your true self to the world, and they reject you, call you names, that pierces with a glancing blow. The danger becomes if we start to believe versions of those lies, of the things people say about the people we are pretending to be. And the kernels of truth in ourselves, in the people around us, are mocked while inside our secret selves scream with kinship.
Super Fake Love Song is a story that I have no doubt with resonate with readers. Because at the heart of the story, is a deep sense of fear that we all share in some ways or another. Super Fake Love Song is full of beautiful nostalgic music references and heart. Find Super Fake Love Song on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.