*I received this title on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Famous in Love
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Famous in Love is not really the kind of story that I generally pick up, but the synopsis sounded fantastic. So I gave it a try, and I (surprisingly) really enjoyed it! It’s a light, fast moving story about the struggles of celebrity: the lack of privacy, the lies that affect your personal life, falling in love. Paige is plucked out of obscurity for the lead role in a movie that’s captured the world’s attention. She shoots from her normal life, straight into stardom. She struggles under the pressure of meeting the expectations of the thousands of fans, as well as the cast and crew. In all of this stress she finds love. Rumours cloud her judgement of others, but when the truth comes out, Paige questions where she’s placed her affections, realizing that she was too quick to write certain people off.
I really like how Serle focused on Paige’s struggle and stress. She delves into the demanding and isolating lifestyle that Paige lives, uncovering the strain of her workplace and the effort it takes to be “on” all the time. Paige, a 17 year old far removed from her family and friends, is brave in this new world, but she relies on the kindness of others like Rainer to show her the ropes and to help her adjust. I usually take issue with the young women in young adult novels who find themselves in the inevitable love triangle, but I actually enjoyed Paige a lot. She doesn’t throw herself at the boys, but instead is somewhat uncomfortable in Rainer’s public displays of affection. Paige’s first concern is her work and performing to the best of her ability.
I would have liked to see Serle spend more time on the character Jordan. Paige severely misjudges him, but he’s not the person she expected. He’s actually one of my favourite characters in this whole story. He’s passionate about his lifestyle and his work. He’s endured hardship and is grateful for the fortunate world he’s living in. He works hard for his family and himself. He wants to share his passion with everyone he works with. Jordan is painted by the media as the bad boy and nothing could be further from the truth. He does reveal the truth to Paige eventually, but I would have loved to see more of him. He’s so interesting, there wasn’t enough of him in the book for me.
I was also slightly frustrated with the ending of this story. Paige’s final decision didn’t sit well with me entirely. I wasn’t particularly in support of the reason behind her decision, but things do work out for the best and the story has the happy ending that we all want to see in light novels like this one.
Overall, Famous in Love was a surprisingly enjoyable read and I’d definitely recommend it. Serle’s writing is captivating. I started and finished this novel in the same day. Serle is observant and thorough, while keeping things light and enjoyable. I hope you’ll give it a try!