Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Reading on a Theme: Fame, Celebrity, Romance

This week's Reading on a Theme is our second devoted to books about fame and romance. (first here) I think these books are so much fun because fame throws a whole new complication into the already tricky negotiation of dating and romance.

The Newbie:
Paige Townsen went to an open casting call never dreaming she would be chosen to portray the main character from a popular book series turned Hollywood blockbuster. She forms a connection with co-star Rainer Devon, but things are thrown for a loop when Jordan Wilder comes in to complete the film's love triangle, and creates one for Paige. Rebecca Serle captures the challenges of love and fame. Motives are called into question and I found myself just as confused as Paige about the choice she should make. Famous in Love is a fun read with a great view of behind the scenes, not just of the actors, but of the production process.

The KPOP Star:
Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout sounded so promising. A daughter of a famous music producer, seeking an escape from her family's fame, attends a boarding school in Korea. There she meets a famous KPOP singer. First they hate each other, then they are best friends, then hopefully something more. Tons of potential right? Unfortunately, this one fails of all counts. My biggest problem (among many) with this book is that I felt like absolutely nothing was happening. Also because Grace and Jason are so closed off from each other I felt like I barely knew them at all. There was no spark or sizzle between the two. I wish I could recommend this to my KPOP fan friends, but I just can't. Hello, I Love You was out June 2015. Review copy from NetGalley.

The Reality Show Star:
Sinner is a companion novel to Maggie Stiefvater's Mercy Falls series. Cole St. Clair is in LA to film a reality show with his newly formed band. At least that's what the outside world thinks. In truth, he's there for Isabel. Isabel is dealing with the separation of her parents and trying to survive her job at a trendy boutique. Now that the two are in the same city they will have to decide if this could work. Isabel and Cole were not in healthy places when last we met, and I thought Maggie allowed them to grow and change in this book beautifully. Their better sides emerge as the book progresses, and I liked them more, which is great because they were already my favorite characters in the Mercy Falls series.

The Boyband Heartthrob:
Stella Samuel is not a fan of her sister's favorite band, The Heartbreakers. But, because Cara is in the midst of another round of cancer treatments and can't make it herself, Stella agrees to wait in line for the boys' autographs. What starts as just an autograph turns into a whole evening of fun, and, Stella quickly discovers that she may not like their music, but she sure likes these boys. Especially Oliver Perry. The Heartbreakers is completely implausible but incredibly fun. I am a sucker for a book with a well-written group of boys (see my love of The Raven Boys), and I loved Xander, Alec, JJ, and Oliver. Ali Novak's story is my favorite fame, celebrity, and romance story since Emery Lord's Open Road Summer. The Heartbreakers is out August 4th, 2015. Review copy from NetGalley.

The Teen Heartthrob:
Small town girl, Annie Shelton, is in for the ride of her life. Upon moving to LA, she and her mom find themselves on teen heartthrob, Graham Cabot's, tour. Annie gets thrown into press junkets and public appearances while her mom does Graham's make-up. The trip is full of things Annie never expected, including falling for Graham Cabot. Their potential romance is hindered by photographers, fangirls, and Graham's press team. Jen Malone captured the small town girl in Annie's character and narration. I especially liked her love for architecture. I really liked the way Annie and Graham they played off each other. Map to the Stars was out July 2015. Review copy from Edelweiss.

P.S. More Fame, Celebrity, and Romance

Famous in Love, Sinner, and Map to the Stars reviewed by Paige.
Hello, I Love You and The Heartbreakers reviewed by JoLee.

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