EDIT: Well I’m a big butthead and didn’t realize this book was a FREAKIN SERIES. I thought it was a standalone and let myself get so pissed off about the ending that it affected my entire review. Here’s my review with some edits and changes. Same overall score (because I somehow rated it much higher than my review made it seem.. just a nicer review)
Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle
First impression: Signed up for this ARC on a whim but it sounds like the kind of book I’d enjoy (or used to enjoy)
Last impression: W T F
Format: ARC Paperback / 336 pages
Publishing Info: October 21st 2014 / Goodreads
Other books read by author: None
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.
I’m trying out a new format for some reviews. I’ll probably use this for books I don’t have TOO much to say about, but have more to say than my occasional 200 word review.
- The first half of the book was good. It really worked for me. I was interested to see what happened to Paige, how her life changed, and what it was like on a movie set. I think the premise was really spot on with the kind of books I enjoy.
- The main character had some realistic emotions and actions. When she learned what was going on with her friends from home, she reacted selfishly… but I think most people (including myself) would have that same reaction.
- It kept me interested. Despite the flaws I talk about below, I enjoyed getting lost in a fluffy story about a girl becoming a movie star and dealing with her first real acting gig.
- I liked some parts near the middle/end of the book. I thought the real reason Jordan and Rainer were enemies was interesting and understandable. I was happy to see Jordan get explained out a little better and see that his “bad boy” persona wasn’t exactly true. I think, honestly, he was the most characterized person in the book somehow.
- There’s a really cool book-in-a-book concept going on here. The book is centered around a movie adaptation for a book series called Locked. Apparently, Rebecca Serle is masquerading as Parker Witter and Locked is actually a real book series. I’m really intrigued by this concept and can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of these books!
- The writing style was full of fragments and jumping to later scenes then rehashing what the reader missed. For example, they went to a book signing and the plot included the car ride there. Suddenly, in the next chapter, it’s the next day and the character is just in her condo thinking about the previous day. That format just didn’t work for me. I like to see the events as they’re happening instead of having the character reflect on them.
- I’m not the kind of person who gets TOO bent out shape about love triangles and/or “insta-love” like a lot of other people do. If it can be done correctly, I don’t mind it. Paige was instantly involved in both here. It was kind of working for me at first, but as the book progressed I just didn’t get where it was coming from. She was attached to both of them for pretty much no reason… which brings me to my next issue:
- The relationships were superficial. We heard all of these things about her friends and family, and they were constantly brought up, but their role was really not important to the plot at all. None of it was fleshed out. Beyond that, her relationships with Jordan and Rainer were stupid too. They scratched the surface of what she was feeling but there was no real proof of it. She kept repeating things like “Jordan makes me feel like never before” and “Rainer whispers funny stuff in my ear” …that was it. That’s why she liked them both??
- Pardon my language, but fuck that ending. I won’t spoil it, but jesus. I really don’t understand how that happened. It’s like the book started out great at the top of a mountain and then slowly slid its way down, getting worse as the plot progressed, until finally it exploded into awfulness at the end. I’m a little confused and a lot pissed about what “happened.” (What did happen???)
- EDIT: Yeah…now that I know it’s a SERIES, you bet your ass I’ll be reading the next book so I can figure out exactly what happened. Still not too crazy about how it ended and what the ending implies is going to happen next, but I have to admit that she has me certainly intrigued.
I had really mixed feelings about this book. The first half was good. I was able to look past the fragmented writing style, the boring and barely fleshed out characters, and I was overall interested in the story. I’m not sure where that ended, but I suddenly didn’t have tolerance for any of it. The love triangle coupled with the insta-love for both guys (mostly Jordan) was okay until I really started to think about it. If it was explained WHY she actually liked them, or even showed REAL scenes of them together, I would probably understand. For me to buy into the love triangle, I have to see the characters spending time together, developing their relationship, and explaining why the feelings are there in the first place. I think the bottom line is that I successfully made it through the book and kind of cared what happened with the characters. Overall I did enjoy reading this book as it was happening. The ending is what completely crashed and burned more than anything else. [Again, EDIT: cliffhanger ending for the next book in the series. I get it now. Kbye] Would I recommend it? Yeah probably. If you’re a fan of romance and aren’t overly upset by love triangles or instalove, you’ll really enjoy this book.