ARC Review – The Sweetheart Sham by Danielle Ellison

Oh heyyyy – check it out, I’m part of another blog tour! Today, I’m reviewing The Sweetheart Sham, which is a fun YA romance from Entangled Teen. Check out my review below, and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post!


In The Sweetheart Sham, Georgia Ann Monroe knows a secret about Will Montgomery that no one else knows – he’s gay. And until he’s ready to come out to his family and the small town they live in, she’ll do anything she can to protect him. Even pretend to date him. Will proposes the idea so that he can go on secret dates with Mystery Guy – another closeted guy from their hometown – in nearby Charleston. Georgie agrees, and the fakeship begins.

Meanwhile, Beau Montgomery – Will’s cousin and Georgie’s ex, although no one else knows that part – is coming back to town for Will’s older brother’s wedding. When Georgie sees him again, all of her old feelings come rushing back – her love for him, how attracted to him she is, and how angry she was when he left without saying anything to her. Beau’s feelings haven’t really changed either, but he falls for the fakeship – he thinks that Georgie is with Will now. It sets off a change of events that is both comical and heart-wrenching, all with the backdrop of a small town that is almost its own character.

sweetheart sham

3 Things I Loved

  1. Beau. Of the two central characters, I loved Beau the most. His love for his mom and his devotion to Georgie just won me over immediately. I’ve been all about grumpy love interests lately, and he wasn’t that at all, but I still enjoyed him immensely.
  2. Lyla. Georgie’s best friend is described as the smartest person in the room, and I’m always here for that. I’m #TeamLyla, if we have to pick teams in this book.
  3. The town of Culler, South Carolina. Like I said, it’s basically it’s own character in the book, and it was weird and closed-minded and relatable. It reminded me a little of my own hometown in the way the families started intertwining and all. It felt real to me.

Dislikes/Problematic Content

You may have noticed I included neither Will nor Georgie in my list of things I loved. Well, I have good reason. While I enjoyed the writing in this book, I felt the plot had some pretty big flaws, as a whole. First and foremost – Georgie is constantly trying to convince Will to come out.

Now. I’m going to say this once and I hope it gets heard loud and clear – it’s never okay for anyone to force another person to come out. Ever.

So that made me not like Georgie very much on the whole. She’s overall a good friend, but when it continued to happen? It’s one thing to support your friend – it’s another to beat them over the head with the same thing over and over. That’s what it felt like. But at the same time, Will was also objectively selfish in asking Georgie to give up the summer before her senior year of high school to pretend to date him.

Yeah, I didn’t really like either of them.

Content warnings in this book include the aforementioned straight person constantly trying to convince her friend to come out, along with cheating spouses and homophobia discussed in the text.


A reminder of the rating scale:

  • Red = DNF, I hated everything
  • Orange = Ugh, no thank you
  • Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
  • Green = This was good! 
  • Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
  • Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!

This was a hard one to rate. I liked the voices a lot, and the writing was engaging and entertaining. But there were some things I truly had trouble with the entire time. All of these things taken into account (and with my Goodreads rating of 3 stars), I’m going to give The Sweetheart Sham a YELLOWISH-GREEN rating. It wasn’t perfect, but it was cute. As this one ruminates, my rating might still change.

Thank you to the publisher, to Chapter by Chapter blog tours, and to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinions in any way.

About the Author

danielleellisonDanielle Ellison is a nomad, always on the lookout for an adventure and the next story. In addition to writing, she’s the founder and coordinator of the NoVa TEEN Book Festival. When she’s not busy with books, she’s probably watching her favorite shows, drinking coffee, or fighting her nomadic urges. She is newly settled in Oklahoma (for now) with her cat, Simon, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads


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Happy reading!


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