Monday, November 03, 2014

Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

Title: Famous in Love
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Poppy
Release date: October 1st 2014
Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: BEA 2014
When seventeen-year-old Paige Townsen gets plucked from 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 movie 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.
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Famous in Love didn't really sound like my kind of read, but since I loved Rebecca Serle's previous two books, When You Were Mine and The Edge of Falling, I thought I'd give this one a try. And although the whole fame-thing isn't my favorite thing to read about, it can work when it's well done (i.e. Open Road Summer), so I thought I might enjoy Famous in Love, too. Sadly, though, this one did not work for me. The story is cliched and underdeveloped, making this a very disappointing read for me.

The main problem I had with this story is the romance. In short, there's a love triangle with lots of insta-love - such a great combination. If it had been well-done, Paige living out the same love triangle as her character could have been kind of entertaining. But it's not. Rainer and Jordan have an interesting background, but that's about all they have going for themselves. When Paige arrives on set, she and Rainer are immediately together, just because. They have no chemistry, he has no personality, and we never learn what she sees in him (other than the fact that he's famous). Jordan is a slightly more interesting character, but things between him and Paige also happen instantaneously, with no build-up or chemistry. So no, I did not enjoy the romance. And considering it's the main storyline, that kind of ruined the book for me.

The fame-and-glamour aspect could have been interesting, but I found it to be kind of underwhelming. It's not horrible - but it's not really anything new. It didn't make me feel the glamour of this world, so it didn't work as any kind of guilty-pleasure entertainment, either.

What's going on at home is what had the most potential, in my opinion. I love the set-up with the big, working-class family, and I thought Paige's sister was a very intriguing character. The set up with Paige's two best friends and their drama is interesting, too. But since most of the book is set away from home, these storylines are never fully explored, unfortunately.

And then there's the ending. I can't really talk about this without spoiling anything, but... what? I was really confused as to what this decision was supposed to mean; it really didn't make sense to me. Is there supposed to be a sequel or something? I just didn't get what the point of that was, at all.

This book really just wasn't for me. With underdeveloped characters and lackluster romance, I really couldn't find anything to love about Famous in Love. It might be better suited for the younger set of YA readers, but I wouldn't particularly recommend it.


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