Friday, September 18, 2015

Book Review: Famous in Love

Title: Famous in Love
Series: Famous in Love
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: October 21, 2015
Paperback Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Source: Poppy for Review
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"A must-read for anyone curious about life and love behind the scenes."--Bella Thorne, actor and author of Autumn Falls

When Paige Townsen gets plucked from high school obscurity to star 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 bustling film set on the shores of Maui, and she is spending quality time with her costar 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 begins to resemble her character's.

In this exciting tale of romance and drama, both on and off screen, Paige must adjust to a crazy new life without the daily support of her friends and family, while figuring out who she is--and who she wants--as the whole world watches.

My Review

Rebecca Serle's Famous in Love, the first book in the Famous in Love series, is a young adult novel about a life that many young teenagers can only dream of. When teenage dreamer/actress, Paige Townsen is chosen to play a character in a YA-book-to-movie adaptation, her whole life changes. It's a surprisingly addicting read that will have readers guessing as to what Paige will do, and like her character, who she'll choose in this romance-heavy novel.

The book is told from Paige's point of view, and readers are quickly swept up in her story. From her audition to the premiere of Locked, Paige's voice comes through in a way that will reach teenagers (and lovers of YA). I liked Paige's voice. She's a very to-the-point narrator. There's not a lot of extra to go along with what she's saying. The novel is not hard to read, and it's actually a very quick read. There aren't a lot of complicated vocabulary words, but the way that Serle wrote it just works for its intended audience.

The plot had a lot of potential, but I'd say it had a lackluster finish. There's just so much going on in the book (Paige's audition, drama with her Portland friends, drama on the set, etc). It felt like Serle rushed through it to hit as many points as she could. It wasn't bad, but I feel like a few more extended scenes would have bumped this one up to four stars had they been included. Sometimes I felt like I was moving on to the next important thing without really seeing what happened in the last scene.

The characters in this book weren't all too memorable, but they were entertaining. Anyone who is a fan of young Hollywood will be entranced by Paige. She's new to the scene, and her ignorance shows in a cute and quirky way. Then there are her on-screen and off-screen love interests. Spoiler alert! (And not really because it's on the cover!) They're the same guys! Yes, you read that right... Paige finds herself in a love triangle with the two actors who play her love interests in the movie! Rainer Devon stars as Noah, and while he's nothing like his character, he's just a charming guy. He knows how to make people fawn over him, but it's not annoying. It really seems like he has everything under control. Then there's Jordan Wilder, rumored Hollywood bad boy. At first glance, he seems like a bit of an idiot, but he really grows on readers as the novel progresses. My only complaint about these three is that I felt like I really didn't get to know them, but I hope that changes with the sequel, Truly Madly Famously.

For the most part, Famous in Love is set in Maui, Hawaii, the filming location for Locked, which is the highly anticipated film starring newcomer, Paige Townsen, and established actors, Rainer Devon and Jordan Wilder. I've never read a book set in Hawaii before, and while I found that some parts were well-researched, I just wish that the scenery of the island was more prominent in Serle's writing. When I think of Hawaii, I think of lush, green landscapes and gorgeous beaches. Most of that is brushed over in this book, and to be honest, it disappointed me. There's just something about reading a book set in one of Earth's most beautiful places that screams imagery, but sadly, it's not there. However, I did enjoy the part of the novel where Paige describes Hawaii's hot spot because I learned about that in school. It's accurate, and it adds a little bit of education to the novel.

So if you're interested in a book about what it's like to star in an ├╝ber popular movie (or just a huge fan of book-to-movie adaptations), consider picking up a copy of Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle. It's a lighthearted and fluffy read that will have readers smiling during Paige's rise to fame. I'd recommend this book to fans of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows, but I'd also recommend it to fans of Kiera Cass' Selection series because of the fluff and quick pacing.

Rebecca Serle is the author of When You Were Mine, The Edge of Falling, Famous in Love, and its sequel, Truly Madly Famously, and is an obsessive lover of all things teen entertainment - a trait she tracks straight back to the WB, and Pacey Witter. She grew up in Maui and Los Angeles, and now lives in Manhattan.
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