Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

Expected publication: April 29th, 2014 (review copy received from Netgalley)
Info about author: Goodreads - Twitter - Facebook
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Age Group: YA
Pages: 304 (hardcover)

Rating: 3/5

Description (from Goodreads):

A deliciously charming novel about finding true love . . . and yourself.

Nothing ever happens in Little, CA. Which is just the way Carter Moon likes it. But when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned PR mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. Carter's town becomes a giant glittery set and, much to her annoyance, everyone is starry-eyed for Adam. Carter seems to be the only girl not falling all over herself to get a glimpse of him. Which apparently makes her perfect for the secret offer of a lifetime: playing the role of Adam's girlfriend while he's in town, to improve his public image, in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Her family really needs the money and so Carters agrees. But it turns out Adam isn't at all who she thought he was. As they grow closer, their relationship walks a blurry line between what's real and what's fake, and Carter must open her eyes to the scariest of unexplored worlds - her future. Can Carter figure out what she wants out of life AND get the guy? Or are there no Hollywood endings in real life?

My thoughts:

If someone where to ask me what type of stories/people always get me, my list would look something like this: fictional guys who seem like assholes but who actually are sweet and somehow tormented, guys who like nerdy stuff, stories related to films and film-making, ice-hockey players with amazing butts, funny guys and fierce female characters... The list goes on, but already from the synopsis of Catch a Falling Star several of the items from my list can be spotted. Also, since I loved both This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith and The Distance Between Us by Kasie West, which kind of have a similar type of premises (small town girl, rich boy), I knew that I had to give this one a go. 

Carter lives in Little, California, a small town filled with Victorian houses and cute little cafes. She's enjoying her summer holiday before her senior year in high school, working in her family's cafe and spending nights stargazing with her best friends. She is content with her life in Little, enjoying the little things in life and envisioning her future in the town she had called her home for the whole life. 

Everything changes for Carter when Adam James, a Hollywood heart-throb with a messy past comes to Little to film a modern adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Parts of the town are covered with fake snow in the middle of the summer for  a Christmas shoot and suddenly Carter is pulled right into the center of the action. By making a deal with Adam and his agent to pretend to be Adam's sweet girl-next-door, small-town girlfriend to bump up Adam's public image, Carter becomes part of Adam's glamorous world of body guards and publicity stunts. But as she spends more time with Adam, she starts to wish that not all between then was just play for the photographers.

The relationship between Carter and Adam is one used in literature and film for ages. She's not interested in celebrities and glamorous lifestyle and makes the decision to pretend to be his girlfriend just to help her family. He is famous, handsome, and bit of a dick. But as they spend more time together, the opposites start to attract and we learn that these characters are not all what they first seemed to be. Yes, it is a bit of a cliche, but hey, when you pick up a book like this, what do you expect? Probably something sweet and romantic? That this book can deliver to you.

I think the major issue I had with this novel was the fact that though Carter is an interesting character, she occasionally seems almost too perfect. Everyone around the town loves her, she helps the poor and the elderly and just in general she seems to do no wrong. I guess there might be people out there who are actually like that, but I constantly kept waiting some type of flaw to appear. I had some issues with Adam as well, mainly just with the fact that though he is charming and all, I never really felt any type of connection to him - there was not really any swooning involved while reading this one. 

I really liked the stargazing scenes of the book and the little blog posts between the chapters. The book is generally well written and though the characters remain somewhat two dimensional at points, I still found myself enjoying most of it. I feel like this is the type of book you can bring with you to the beach or the pool and enjoy it there. 

1 comment:

  1. what are all of the character's names


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