Title: Famous in Love
Author: Rebecca Serle
When Paige Townsen gets plucked from high school 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 film 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.
In this exciting tale of romance and drama, both on-and offscreen, Paige must adjust to a crazy new life without the daily support of her friends and family, while figuring out who she is–and who she wants–as the whole world watches.
I wanted to love this book – behind the scenes Hollywood drama is right up my alley! – but then the mixed reviews started pouring in. On the one hand, I’m glad for all those reviews since they definitely lowered my expectations, but even with the lowered expectations, I wasn’t a big fan of this book.
Things actually started off really well and I thought I might be one of the people who really enjoyed this book. There was some interesting stuff happening with Paige’s family, and her love of acting seemed so genuine and interesting. I was reading other books at the time so I wasn’t spending a lot of time on this book, but I was enjoying myself whenever I picked this book up – at first, anyway.
If the plot for this book had been focused on the Hollywood drama, then I would have enjoyed myself a lot more as the book continued, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The romance seemed to come first and everything else came after it. Paige’s insecurity about her acting, her family, some friendship drama – it was all there as background noise that would show up every once in a while to give me a bit of hope before disappearing again.
I had trouble caring about the characters because I didn’t care enough about the story. I can’t say much about the characters as a result – I spent quite a bit of the book just skimming to see what would happen rather than forcing myself through everything, so the characters seemed flat to me in a way that they might not have been. Paige just didn’t seem intriguing enough to have a love triangle revolving around her, and it seemed like the two love interests had sparks of interesting personalities that never really got to shine because they were too busy being involved in romantic drama.
Most of the book takes place in Hawaii, where the movie is filming, but I didn’t get a sense of the beauty of the setting because I was too busy skimming past all the romantic drama. Again, that’s on me, but it’s frustrating when one bad element distracts from anything else that might work for me.
The Adult Situation
Um, what adults? I get that Paige is on her own since her parents are back in Portland while she’s filming in Hawaii, but there was not a lot of adult supervision from anyone else. There were some adults around, sure, but it didn’t seem like they were there half the time. They weren’t that necessary, though – I feel like so much of this took place in a world of angst and drama. Paige didn’t really do much at all beside film, swim at the nearby beach, or occasionally go somewhere else, so I guess the supervision would have stifled things more than it already was.
As you can probably tell by now, this was the main problem for me. The romance wasn’t bad necessarily, it just wasn’t interesting. It was full of instalove, especially when it came to the “bad boy” love interest, Jordan. She was inexplicably drawn to him and it just didn’t make sense. She sometimes chalked it up to the bad boy appeal, but he really wasn’t that bad a boy. And of course there was already drama between Jordan and the other love interest, Rainer, and of course the love triangle made things even worse, but it just didn’t make sense. We find out near the end why they have a bad relationship, but the mysteriousness surrounding it was just frustrating. The instalove made me want to just be done with the book already, but I kept forcing myself to finish it – which is why I ended up skimming a lot of it.
By the end, things were looking up, but it was just too late for me at that point. I skimmed a lot of it, reading the last 100 or so pages as quickly as possible. I still got a full sense of the story itself, but I missed out on a lot of details because I just wanted to be done with it already. I didn’t care so much that Paige was back home and there was less romantic drama to deal with because I had already kind of given up. And then there was some last minute drama to keep you reading the series: for example, Paige reads the final book in the trilogy she’s filming and she knows who her character ends up with, but we don’t, because I guess it ups the drama? (or I missed it, which certainly could have happened); and Paige makes a “decision” about the love triangle that will surely unravel in the next book. I feel like the ending really did try, and I enjoyed it more than the rest of the book (other than the beginning), but it just wasn’t enough for me at that point.
I did want to enjoy this book, I swear, but it just didn’t work for me. The instalove and annoying love triangle just left me so bored and uninterested. The book didn’t offend me or anything, otherwise it might have gotten a rare one star rating, but I just didn’t care. It’d take a lot for me to check out the second book.