Double Review: Famous in Love + Truly, Madly, Famously by Rebecca Serle

Special thanks to Poppy for providing me with a copy of Famous in Love and an advance copy of Truly, Madly, Famously for review!

Famous in Love

Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: September 15th, 2015 (originally Oct. 21st, 2014)
Series: Famous in Love, #1
Pages: 309
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Paige doesn’t think she’s particularly special, but after getting the starring role in a massive film adaptation of the bestselling Locked trilogy, the rest of the world would disagree. Now she’s thrown into the spotlight, and into a world of gossip, rumour and deceit. The only people who know what she’s going through are her two male co-stars, and they can’t stand the sight of each other. Paige knows it’s a mistake to fall in love on the set of a movie, but days of on-screen romance and intensity start to change her mind. The question is, can she keep what happens behind the scenes a secret when the world is watching her every move?

my rambles

Famous in Love is the perfect book to pick up when you’re feeling down, and in need of a good, fast, cute read. It’s like reading reality TV.

What really interested me was that the movie the characters are starring in is a YA book-to-movie adaptation. Cool, right? Unfortunately we don’t get to learn too much about the book itself. The story pretty much revolves around the main character, Paige, getting plucked out of her normal life and shooting to superstardom as an up and coming actress. And of course, there’s the romance. LOVE TRIANGLE ALERT! If you’re anti-love triangle, I’d skip this one. There was something about the love triangle that just didn’t appeal to me. Maybe because one of the love interests was a bit older? It just seemed really unrealistic. But then again, like I said before, it was like reading reality TV, and what’s realistic about that, right?!

I don’t really have much to say about this one, other than it’s pure fun. Super light, full of romance, and hot actors. If that’s your thing, you’ll eat this book up! I really enjoyed Famous in Love as a light pick-me-up. I’m quite excited to read the next book!

3.5 hearts


Truly, Madly, Famously

My review will be spoiler-free but read the synopsis at your own risk!

Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: October 13th, 2015
Series: Famous in Love, #2 | Famous in Love
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

In this romantic sequel to Famous in Love, new Hollywood “It Girl” Paige must navigate love with her co-stars, both on and off screen and all in the public eye.

Lights, camera, love!

After being plucked from obscurity, Hollywood’s newest starlet, Paige Townsen, has a hit film to her name and Rainer Devon on her arm. But being half of the world’s most famous couple comes with a price, and soon Paige finds herself dodging photographers; hiding her feelings for her other costar, Jordan Wilder; and navigating tabloid scandals that threaten to tear her and Rainer apart-and end her career as quickly as it began.

Rebecca Serle’s sequel to Famous in Love is filled with the kind of celebrity drama and swoon-worthy romance fit for the silver screen.

my rambles

I really, really liked Truly, Madly, Famously! I would without a doubt say that in comparison to Famous in Love, it’s a big step up. While it’s still filled with romance and drama, there’s more to the story now.

In this book, we get to see Paige’s development from the first movie to the second. I loved getting a look at how she deals with stardom, the tabloids, and just her new life in general. The story strongly follows Paige in her search for the “new Paige.” We get to watch her navigate life and begin to see her make her own decisions, and push for what she wants.

Of course the love triangle is still going strong. I liked it better in this book than the first as well. But I was really happy with how Truly, Madly, Famously made Paige make a true choice between the guys. And not one like in the previous book, where she still had feelings for the other. Paige went through a lot in this book, and I’m glad that she finally realized that her choices were forced before. I don’t know how this will work for the next book, but we’ll see what happens.

Overall, I found Truly, Madly, Famously to be a great sequel, and in my opinion even better than the first book. If you were wary of continuing on with this series, I’d recommend you give it another shot. It’s still filled with drama and romance, but there’s definitely more depth to this sequel!

7


In case you haven’t heard, FAMOUS IN LOVE is soon to be a TV show on ABC Family starring Bella Thorne! The main characters have been cast and table reads have started. Marlene King, known for Pretty Little Liars, is working on the project. I’m excited to see this brought to the small screen — it’s the perfect series for a TV show!

xo

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Review: The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill

18982137Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: December 8th, 2015
Series: N/A
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey…

With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.

Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.

But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.

my rambles

Special thanks to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book for review!

I requested The Trouble with Destiny on NetGalley way back in the beginning of the year because I had recently read Lauren Morrill’s other book, Being Sloane Jacobs (pardon the old post formatting). I knew that at some point during the year I would be in need of a cute contemporary, and after really enjoying BSJ, I thought this was a good choice. While I didn’t love The Trouble with Destiny as much as BSJ, I still found it to be a sweet, quick, and fun book.

There are two main focuses to the story: the main character Liza’s school band, and her love life. I liked both aspects, but neither left me with a lasting sense of amazing after reading the book. There’s a lot of drama and cheese, which makes me feel like this would be a bigger hit with the younger end of the YA spectrum. There are tons of lines that you just can’t help but grinning because they’re so adorable. It’s a classic case of the girl having a crush on the wrong guy, finding out the guy she likes is a jerk, and then falling in love with the guy that’s been there all along but she’s neglected to notice. While I’ve seen the storyline before in tons of other contemporaries, I still just can’t help but enjoy them anyway!

The setting of a cruise ship did spice things up a bit, but again, I wasn’t awestruck by the story. It was fast-paced, but some of the scenes were a little too over dramatic. Liza acted young for a junior in high school, but her voice wasn’t too annoying to take away from the book.

Clearly this isn’t going to be the book you pick up for a heavy, emotional contemporary romance. But, give it a try if you’re looking for a book to, say, take on a cruise? It’s a bunch of fun and the ending is REALLY REALLY CUTE OKAY?

I say give this a try if you’re a younger YA reader. And even if you’re older you could still get enjoyment and a smile from The Trouble with Destiny!

3.5 hearts

xo

Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
Series: N/A
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they’ll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions.

my rambles

Special thanks to Poppy and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review.

Anyone who knows me, knows that Jennifer E. Smith is one of my favorite contemporary authors. When I heard that she was coming out with another cutesy contemp I knew that I HAD to pick it up. Unfortunately, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between fell short of the charm that Jen normally brings.

HGaEiB was lacking the magic of the adorable falling in love romance that I can normally count on from all of Jennifer E. Smith’s books. Maybe it’s because the couple starts out the book as just that. No adorable scenes (except for flashbacks) of the couple actually falling in love. I wasn’t a fan of the characters, either. It seemed like Clare was just looking for problems between her and Aidan to give them a reason to break up.

My favorite part was the ending, which will definitely give you the feels. The “Prologue” that acts as an epilogue will definitely if the last chapters don’t. I also loved that it was told during one whole night — you’ll find that Jen is the queen of writing stories set in small time periods, random places, and almost unbelievable circumstances. But, HGaEiB is different in that it’s an all too real citation that I’m sure many will be able to relate to.

I still enjoyed the book, but it just didn’t live up to my extremely high expectations left by her past stories. As a small book, it’s an extremely short read, perfect to pick up on the trip to your first year of college, maybe?

xo

Review: Forever for a Year by B.T. Gottfred

Before I get into the review, I wanted to mention that you should keep a look out on the blog later in July for my blog tour stop where I will be interviewing B.T. Gottfred and also have an awesome giveaway of Forever for a Year!

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Series: N/A
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (part of blog tour)
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Carolina and Trevor meet on their first day of school, something draws them to each other. They gradually share first kisses, first touches, first sexual experiences. When they’re together, nothing else matters. But one of them will make a choice, and the other a mistake, that will break what they thought was unbreakable. Both will wish that they could fall in love again for the first time . . . but first love, by definition, can’t happen twice. Told in Carolina and Trevor’s alternating voices, this is an up-close-and-personal story of two teenagers falling in love for the first time, and discovering it might not last forever.

my rambles

Special thanks to Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) for providing me with a copy of the book for review!

Forever for a Year is a book that tells it like it is: the good, the bad, and the ugly included. When I first started reading this book is was unsure if I was going to like it. There’s a very distinct writing style for both Carolina and Trevor’s chapters. Both include their every detail and thought, as if they were talking to you as a friend, or to themselves in their own head.

Carolina and Trevor are young, and therefore their internal monologues could be seen as annoying, which I did feel at some points, but I really liked Gottfred’s integrity of keeping their thoughts realistic. Unfortunately, the two main characters were my least favorite part of Forever for a Year. Both seemed younger than their age, and their actions showed that, which was frustrating for me, being close in age to both of the characters. I pictured them as young teens who were attempting to fill the shoes of adults, but failing. (But if you think about, all teens do that at some point, thinking they’re adults, I mean.)

While the naïevety of the characters was something I had to overlook, the relationship between Carolina and Trevor was hard to, as it was the main storyline. That being said, after their relationship got past the insta-love, awkwardness, and silliness, I didn’t mind it that much. Their relationship was realistic of one happening in high school, and I really liked how Gottfred didn’t shy away from the serious topics.

While I was happy that Gottfred tells it like it is, there were some points where he included a little too much information for my liking. It made me kind of uncomfortable and grossed me out, which I wasn’t really expecting from this book.

At a whopping 432 pages, Forever for a Year was an extremely quick read for me. While the relationship between Carolina and Trevor wasn’t my favorite, I really loved the incorporation of the realistic and equally as difficult family dramas, friendship troubles, and high school problems such as popularity. No matter how cliché it may seem to you while reading, you know those are things that cross everyone’s mind at some point.

Overall, Forever for a Year is a difficult book for me to rate. There were certain parts that I just couldn’t fall in love with, while there were other parts that I respected for their realism. I wouldn’t recommend this for younger YA readers, but those with the maturity to handle more serious topics would certainly enjoy Forever for a Year by the pool or at the beach!

xo

Review: Adrift by Paul Griffin

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: July 28th, 2015
Series: N/A
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Genre(s): Adventure, Contemporary
Synopsis from Goodreads:

From critically acclaimed writer Paul Griffin comes a fast-paced young adult novel about five very different teens lost at sea with no one to count on but each other.

Matt and John are best friends working out in Montauk for the summer. When Driana, JoJo and Stef invite the boys to their Hamptons mansion, Matt and John find themselves in a sticky situation where temptation rivals sensibility. The newfound friends head out into the Atlantic after midnight in a stolen boat. None of them come back whole, and not all of them come back.

my rambles

Special thanks to Scholastic Press for providing me with a copy of the book for review!

Okay, wow. So Adrift is a heavy book. Heavier than what I was expecting to say the least. Not only does it deal with the struggles of survival stranded out at sea, but also the internal and mental tensions that the characters are faced with from everyday life and their actions.

I really liked the storyline of Adrift, and that there was more than just the problem of a group of kids being stranded in the middle of the ocean. The story had depth, and other side stories that made the book very realistic, but also that much darker and emotional.

While I greatly enjoyed the story, I really didn’t care for the characters. Matt was the most tolerable out of all of them in my opinion, probably because we read from his point of view for the majority of the book. John was just so stoic, that although his true emotions are later revealed, I couldn’t change my opinion on him. He was just plain cold. Dri had to be my absolute least favorite…for some reason she just made me cringe. She was the typical pretty rich girl, that had brains behind her looks and all that jazz.

But the thing that I disliked the most was the romance, UGH. Insta-love, much?! From the moment Matt lays eyes on Dri he feels something new and different, and felt this connection… And when they finally get stranded on the boat it’s like they’ve known each other forever. It was noted in the book that being put in situations like theirs can bring people together quickly, but they declare their love for each other. That’s not okay for such a short amount of time.

As I’m writing this review I’m realizing that I didn’t really enjoy Adrift as much as I first thought, when I look back at the characters, relationships, etc. But I really did enjoy the story. It was an extremely fast read, and I kept turning pages wanting to know how the tensions would defuse, and if the kids would ever be rescued. [I hope this review doesn’t turn out to sound too negative, because I did like the book for the most part!]

If you’re looking for a book heavy on the action and adventure, Adrift may not be your book. It’s more equal parts psychological, suspense, and adventure rolled into one. It’s definitely a unique and different way to look at survival stories, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of certain parts, the story is definitely worth the read!

xo