Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book Review: Famous in Love

Famous in Love
Published By: Poppy
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

The bookworm in me couldn't resist this novel. I had to read it. The story is all about Paige Townsen, a teenager from Portland, who lands the role of a lifetime playing the female lead in a popular YA book series turned movie franchise. As someone who fell in love with the Twilight Saga prior to the movies being cast, I can remember how much anxiety I had about the films being made. I wanted the perfect actors and actresses playing my beloved characters. I wanted key scenes to make it onto the screen. Seriously, the whole process seems silly to me now, but at the time I was completely caught up in the whirlwind of activity and the wait for the last book in the series. I had to know who Bella would choose and the wait was excruciating. It was impossible not to make connections with the Twilight book/movie craze as I was reading this one. In fact, I think remembering that time in my life fondly while getting to know Paige, Rainer, and Jordan made me enjoy this novel all the more.

The novel opens with Paige in Portland. She is a typical teenager with big dreams and a desire to shake the dust of her hometown off her feet. Paige has a seemingly normal existence: two best friends, a large drama filled family, and the acting bug. While visiting the famous Portland bookstore, Powell's, with Cassandra and Jake (the aforementioned best friends), Paige notices a flier for a casting call for the popular YA book series, Locked. Cassandra urges her to try out even though it's a long shot that an unknown like Paige would be chosen to play August, the female lead. Paige decides to read the novels and becomes hooked on the story before her audition. Sparks fly when the male lead, the handsome and famous Rainier Devon, reads with her during the audition and Paige lands the role of a lifetime.

Things change quickly for Paige as she leaves behind the high school dreamer and steps into the shoes of the Hollywood starlet. The film begins shooting in Hawaii and Paige has to grow up quickly. The world of show business isn't all fun and glamor. Paige learns that not everything is what it seems.

Like her character in the film, Paige finds herself drawn to two very different guys. She first meets Rainer Devon, a blond heartthrob who graces the cover of almost every teen magazine. Rainier is everything she ever wanted in a guy, but his age and costar status make Paige a little uneasy. I have to admit that as much as I loved Rainer, the age different did bother me. Four years isn't that big of a deal when you are 20 and 24, but 17 and 22 are worlds apart. Things get even more complicated for Paige when the rumored bad boy of Hollywood, Jordan Wilder, joins the cast as the other love interest. Paige finds herself drawn to the handsome, brooding newcomer. In the end, Paige's heart can only belong to one guy, but who will she choose? I found myself torn between the two love interests - unsure of which one was best for Paige. I lean a little more towards Team Jordan. Paige captures my thoughts on the subject when she states, "But now it's like Jordan and Rainer are fighting it out inside my heart. And I don't know who to root for because just thinking about one makes me feel like a traitor to the other" (Kindle Location 3428 - ARC Edition). 

I thought the love triangle aspect would bother me, but I found it wasn't as annoying as it could have been since I was expecting it. The book's blurb makes it clear that Paige's heart will be torn in two different directions. I preferred knowing ahead of time than having to discover it half way into the story. 

In addition, I also loved the Hawaii setting. It was a nice mental vacation. Rebecca Serle does a beautiful job of capturing the essence of Hawaii. Her descriptions conjured images of white crested waves, humid breezes, and the scent of tropical flowers.

Overall, I enjoyed this one, but I do have one minor complaint. The story is narrated by Paige and at some points she goes off on tangents that mimic a stream of consciousness. I know the mind of a teenage girl is often like a hummingbird flitting from one topic to the next, but there were moments when I craved more details. I felt like I missed out on some of the story. I also wanted this to include multiple narrators. I want inside the minds of Rainier and Jordan. I felt like only getting Paige's story limited me in many ways. 

Lastly, this one is the beginning of a new trilogy. I'm looking forward to the other novels. I was pleased that this one did feel like it had a true ending while it left plenty of room for the story to grow in the next installment.

One Last Gripe: I was frustrated with Cassandra and felt like she should have made more of an effort.

Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the characters.

First Sentence: Listen.

Favorite Character: Paige

Least Favorite Character: Greg

The romantic story of a girl who gets plucked from obscurity to star in the next major feature film franchise based on a book and the ensuing love triangles she gets entangled in on—-and off screen. 

Meet Paige Townsen, Rainer Devon, and Jordan Wilder…

When Paige Townsen, a young unknown, gets cast in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a crowded movie set on the shores of Maui, and is spending quality time with her co-star Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life gets even crazier.

In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is – and who she wants – while the whole world watches.

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