I received this book for free from NetGalley, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
Published by Scholastic Press on April 29th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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A deliciously charming novel about finding true love . . . and yourself.
Nothing ever happens in Little, CA. Which is just the way Carter Moon likes it. But when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned PR mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. Carter's town becomes a giant glittery set and, much to her annoyance, everyone is starry-eyed for Adam. Carter seems to be the only girl not falling all over herself to get a glimpse of him. Which apparently makes her perfect for the secret offer of a lifetime: playing the role of Adam's girlfriend while he's in town, to improve his public image, in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Her family really needs the money and so Carters agrees. But it turns out Adam isn't at all who she thought he was. As they grow closer, their relationship walks a blurry line between what's real and what's fake, and Carter must open her eyes to the scariest of unexplored worlds - her future. Can Carter figure out what she wants out of life AND get the guy? Or are there no Hollywood endings in real life?
Summer is upon us and Catch a Falling Star is the perfect beach read. Our main character, Carter Moon, lives in a small town called Little (get it?), California. Her life is ordinary and nothing interesting ever happens around Little. That is, until bad boy movie star Adam Jakes arrives with his crew to shoot a movie. Then, because this is a book, Carter is enlisted to pretend to be Adam’s girlfriend as part of a publicity stunt. Totally realistic, right?
Even though Catch a Falling Star sounds like a romance novel without any substance, it isn’t completely loaded with meaningless instalove and unrealistic events. Carter’s older brother is an important character and his struggles keep the story from being too cheesy. He’s a compulsive gambler and every decision his family makes revolves around his addiction. I think this raised the novel to another level and contributed to Carter’s character development.
Speaking of characters, Carter is not fantastic but I loved the fact that she is content in her town. She considers herself lucky to live in Little and she’s not actively seeking an escape route. She’s confident and would do anything for her family. Even though the plot sounds more like a bad Disney movie instead of something that could actually happen in real life, I felt like all of her character traits made her very realistic and relatable. I did think that her character was a little bit flat as a whole but I liked her enough to care about her story.
I was on board with this novel until the last few pages. I’m not going to spoil the end for you but I hated it. I was under the impression that something else was going to happen but it ended up being very cliché instead. Also, I had a huge issue with Adam. He’s so annoying! Since he’s a celebrity, he plays the room according to the image he wants to present. This makes getting to know him nearly impossible. Is he genuinely nice? Is he an entitled former child star? Or is he really just a chameleon who changes personality depending on the situation? There are so many version of this guy that I grew so sick of him. All I saw was a manipulative dude who needed a reality check.
As you can tell, I am not a huge fan of the romantic interest in this novel. However, I really enjoyed everything else. While Catch a Falling Star might be a little fluffy at times, it also deals with some serious issues. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick summer read!