Saturday, 18 October 2014

Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

Title: Famous in Love
Author: Rebecca Serle
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication date: 23rd October 2014
Pages: 309
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Fame comes before a fall...

When Paige Townsen gets picked to star in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month she's thrown into a world of gossip, rumour and deceit. The only people who know what she's going through are her two male costars, but her feelings for them are getting complicated. Paige knows it's a mistake to fall in love on the set of a movie, but days of on-screen romance 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?

Famous in Love is one of those books that you finish and think...'okay, I'm done. Now what?' In other words, it was good and I enjoyed reading it, but it was lacking whatever it is that makes a book completely and utterly amazing. After finishing the book I didn't feel any strong emotions towards it; to me it was just another page turned.

I think the main issue I had with this book was the love triangle. I usually have no problem with them, and generally I enjoy choosing who to ship (because if you know me, I ship everyone and everything) but I've discovered it really, really sucks when a love triangle is the plot. Famous in Love had some great points and I'll get to those later, but there wasn't much of a story outside of the love triangle - it was just Paige trying to pick between Rainer and Jordan, and obviously this got pretty tiring after a while.

Luckily there was something I really loved about this book: the fact that it's about a normal girl who auditions for a role in a YA book-to-movie adaptation. We didn't get to go as in depth with this as I wanted to, but obviously I'm a fan of the fact that it was simply there - this is a YA blog, after all! - and I found it really fun to read about the process of shooting a film. One of my favourite scenes was when Paige and Jordan went to a signing event at Barnes and Noble:
"That's when I hear it - the screaming. It's sharp at first - a few voices - and then louder and louder, like a stereo system that's been cranked up to full volume. But it's not melodic. It's manic. Loud and shrill and high and raging. I suddenly have the desire to jump under my seat and beg Scotty to turn the car around. But he's outside, too, and before I can dive into the trunk, my door opens."
We fangirls can be very loud! It made me wonder how stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley felt when they were told they'd got the parts of Katniss and Tris. They weren't hugely known before The Hunger Games and Divergent, just like Paige and the fictional 'Locked' trilogy, and even though Famous in Love obviously isn't a true story it was really insightful.

Unfortunately, not only did I not agree with what Paige did in the end, but I also felt that the ending was extremely rushed and a bit confusing. It was very disappointing and underwhelming, so much so that I just had to deduct a star from the rating I'd originally planned to give.

Do I recommend this book, though? That's a tricky one. I'd say if you're interested in seeing behind the scenes of film-making and experiencing fame from the point of view of a complete newbie then you'll enjoy this as it's really detailed (understandable, with Serle's own experience of being on a film set), but if you're not keen on love triangles and slight insta-love then I don't think this is for you. Always worth a try though, right?


  1. ugh I totally get what you mean when the love triangle IS the plot! pretty annoying. I had an ARC of this and was mildly interested (I think I even read a chapter!) but gave it to a friend who probably would like it more. it DEF seems like a book I'd read and go, well there's that. it does seem enjoyable overall though!

  2. I'd planned to read this and I think I'm going to muscle through the love triangle because I love the famous people/film set stuff. Thanks for the great review!

  3. I don't know how I feel about insta-fame. It feels kind of odd with someone with NO experience suddenly becomes a household name. The concept of the book looks interesting.

    Amelia @ YA Bookologists (