Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Reading on a Theme: Fame, Celebrity, Romance

There is something fascinating about fame. All of these books throw an average girl into a relationship with a famous celebrity. My favorite of the bunch, by far, was Open Road Summer. I can't say enough good things about Emery Lord's debut novel.

The Star's Best Friend: 
Reagan's spending the summer on tour with her best friend Dee, otherwise known as Lilah Montgomery teen country star. It's suppose to be a girl's only summer, then a PR disaster forces the tour to bring on Matt Finch, formerly of the Finch Four, to open for Lilah. I absolutely adored Emery Lord's debut novel Open Road Summer. Reagan is the type of character that I don't usually like, but Lord makes me love her. Dee is adorable; she's like a younger, sweeter Taylor Swift. Dee and Reagan have a friendship that's deep but not idealized, and it feels real. I love how Lord lets us see fame from the inside and how she handled its trickier aspects. I think that readers will think Matt Finch is pretty dreamy.  Open Road Summer is out April 15th. Review copy from NetGalley.

Filming on Location:
Catch a Falling Star is a fun summer read. Carter Moon lives in the sleepy town of Little, CA. It's cute and quaint, and she loves her little world. Then Hollywood arrives along with Adam Jakes, former-child star trying to remake his image. Somehow Carter gets roped into being Adam's plus-one for publicity purposes, but the line between fantasy and reality is not exactly crystal clear. Kim Culbertson's book is a lovely mash-up of a bunch of irresistible topics--movie star romance, Dicken's A Christmas Carol, stargazing, dance. It's also kind of a love letter to a small town. There's enough deep stuff to balance out the fluff, such as Carter's issues with her brother and fears about moving on. Catch a Falling Star is out April 29th, 2014. Review copy from NetGalley.

Reluctant Muse:
I love the premise of Robin Benway's book. Audrey breaks up with her boyfriend Evan. That very day he writes a song called Audrey, Wait! about their breakup, and he and his band play it at their gig that night. And the song is really good. So good that months later Audrey starts hearing it on the radio. Evan's little band has hit the big time, and they have brought a very unwilling Audrey with them. Suddenly Audrey is hounded by fans, paparazzi, and other rockers looking for a muse. The attention is not all it's cracked up to be. I have a confession. I have never really followed popular music. Never. So I'm afraid Audrey and I would not be friends. She says as much in the second chapter, but I still really enjoyed her story

Celebrity Pen Pal:
Ellie O'Neill and Graham Larkin are accidental pen pals, but they've come to look forward to the messages and appreciate the budding, anonymous friendship. The things is, Graham is a famous movie star and Ellie has good reason to shy away from the public eye, so when Graham comes to Maine to meet Ellie things don't exactly go smoothly. I only felt so-so about Jennifer E. Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I liked This is What Happy Looks Like a lot more. I really enjoyed the first half of the book. It was a little like "You've Got Mail the Celebrity Version." The second half of the book, however, lost me a little. Still, the characters and setting are charming.

Rockstar Boyfriend:
Ethan Cross has always wanted to be a famous rockstar, and Sterling fully supports her boyfriend's dream. Now and Forever is Sterling's story of what happens when that dream comes true. Each chapter begins with a tally of Ethan's growing fans which is a fun little addition. This is the first book that I've read by Susane Colasanti. I enjoyed it. It was a really fast read. There's nothing particularly new or deep about this book as far as its treatment of fame. However, for a fluffy, summer read, I think it's okay. Sterling narrates the book, and I think her voice might annoy some people. She tends to think in short, choppy sentences. Now and Forever is out May 20th, 2014.


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