Release Date: October 21, 2014
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.(courtesy of Goodreads)
Hollywood and celebrity YA fiction are basically book crack. Try as I might (and I don't try hard at all), I cannot resist a young Hollywood book. Famous In Love was one of the books I was most excited about at this year's BEA. I wouldn't say it's the best Hollywood themed book I've read, but I did enjoy it.
Famous In Love is equally about filming a movie, the celebrity scene, and being a new actor and a romance. The romance starts off fairly standard and then begins delving into love triangle territory, but can't decide if it fully wants to go there. That's both a good and bad thing. On the down side, it felt like things weren't fully developed. On the bright side, it didn't get overly melodramatic and seemed fairly realistic.
Paige is a pleasant 17 year old girl. She feels very normal, which sometimes comes over as bland. Isn't it funny that realistic portrayals of teenage girls often seem dull? At any rate, I liked that it was easy to put myself into her shoes. She wasn't overly confident or overly submissive. She seemed naive but only because she was in a new experience; she seems like the kind of person who catches on quick. Acting doesn't come easy to her, despite being a lifelong film and theater geek. I like that better than having a preternatural genius who is perfect at everything she does. I particularly liked the relationship between Paige and her two best friends, Jake and Cassandra. This was wonderfully developed and showed Paige at her best and at her worst. Overall, I thought Paige was a great lead character. I didn't feel as strong a connection to her as I do some characters, but she was impossible to dislike.
Now for the boys. Rainer is our first and standard love interest. He is the charming, outgoing, alpha male, romantic type. I did not like him. While he comes off as a nice guy, there was a hint of smarminess behind him that I couldn't get beyond (think Ben Affleck). He seemed like the type of guy a typical 17 year old would *want* to date, but not necessarily who she *should* date. That being said, I can see why Paige wasn't able to resist him. The best thing about Rainer is his name. That is such a cool name! Kudos to the author for coming up with it.
Then there's Jordan. He is the typical brooding bad boy with a heart of gold. That's the type of book boyfriend I prefer. I thought Paige would be better off with him than with Rainer. But Paige was in a tricky situation in choosing between the boys. If she was smart, she'd choose neither of them and maintain a sense of professionalism since she's new to acting - but then the book would be boring. I liked that Paige considered the situation and feelings of the boys when making her decision. It speaks well of her that she is capable of looking beyond herself. On the other hand, one can be too selfless.
If you're looking for hot smexy times, this is not the place to go. The romance is very subtle. It's more sexual tension than anything else. Things like brushing a hair back or standing an inch apart. It's the romance writing I like best and often like much better than make-out scenes. The writing itself is good. My only complaint is that it drags. It took me longer than I wanted to really get into it, and even though I always enjoyed it, it was never a page turner.
Famous In Love is a must read if you're a fan of young Hollywood books. It's not the best of its genre, but offers something different from many of the other books I've read. Paige is a realistic character and both of her romantic interests/co-stars have something to offer. Plus the filming process and the cast of side characters are fascinating. It makes you feel like you have inside knowledge into Hollywood.
Recommendation: Probably borrow unless you're a big Hollywood fiction fan like me. Then you should buy.
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