Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

(Review copy from Edelweiss)

Release Date: October 21, 2014
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Poppy
Age group: YA
Pages: 336
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

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.


Paige Townsen has wanted to be an actor since she was little. She has had roles in school and community plays, but hasn't had her "big break" yet. That is before she is cast to the play the lead in a film adapted from a best-selling young adult book series called Locked. She travels from Portland to Hawaii to the set of the film and begins her new life as one of the most buzzed about young stars of Hollywood. But the job does not come without complications; the director is difficult, Paige finds it hard to just let go with her acting, and for the first time in her life she finds herself falling for two different guys at the same time. 

I desperately wanted to live Paige, but throughout I felt like she's quite bland. She's the "girl next door" who very quickly changes from a nobody to somebody. Since the process of her getting the role is not established with detail in the book, it feels like getting the role for a film like Locked (which clearly is Serle's version of The Hunger Games) is just a piece of cake. I felt no connection towards Paige, none whatsoever. I did not hate her, but I did not particularly like her either. I felt nothing except annoyance. And that's not really because Paige and the way she is, but because I wasn't given a chance to really get to know her. 

The guys, Rainer and Jordan, are alright, but neither made me want to scream from excitement. Rainer seems like a complete douche for most of the times, but occasionally he's given this "good and sensitive guy" treatment that justifies Paige's attraction towards him. And of course his fit, handsome and extremely rich. But it also seems like he gives Paige attention only when someone's there to witness it and when he can gain something from it. 

Jordan is the cliche "mysterious guy with a mysterious past that's actually a complete lie" character. I think I could have fallen from him if he's story would have been established more because I always end up falling for the damaged guy everyone sees as a bad boy. Unfortunately the novel focuses more on Rainer.

So the love triangle... It's bland and tiring and annoying. And since the guys are boring, the love triangle feels useless. I do not mind love triangles when they are well established and when it feels like it is justified for the character to be in love with two characters at the same time. But with this one it felt like Paige likes Rainer just because he's handsome, a film star and the only guy around her age at the set. Then Jordan shows up and she falls for him because he's mysterious. 

The ending of the novel is so weird. I probably would have liked an ending like that otherwise, but with this one it just felt like the author suddenly decided to seem all philosophical and deep and it just does not fit at all here because the rest of the novel is fluff and bland and to be honest, quite crappy. If the character names would have been changed from Paige, Rainer and Jordan to for example Jennifer, Liam and Josh or Kristen, Robert and Taylor, this would read like highly edited fan fiction without any of the perks of fan fiction (sexy times I mean). So if that's your thing, check this out. Otherwise, maybe you should just read something else.

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