Review: Famous in Love (Famous in Love #1) by Rebecca Serle

Book Title: Famous in Love
Author: Rebecca Serle
Published Date: October 21st, 2014
Publisher: Poppy
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Series: Book One in Famous in Love trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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
.

Disclaimer: I read this book with On The Same Page ARC Tours.

Review:
I was honestly a bit unsure about this book. I had had so many hopes for The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle, but it hadn’t worked for me. I wanted to give the author another try, so I joined the ARC Tour for this book and boy am I glad that I did.

Normally I dislike the books that are all about the romance. I love books that are grittier in nature, ones that give me those feels. Yet as it turns out, I really needed a fluffy romance book this time around. I’ve been experiencing a bit of a slump lately, and it was really starting to drive me crazy. Once I started reading this, I couldn’t stop. It was exactly what I needed. A fluffy book with a love triangle (I don’t normally like love triangles but this one worked somehow)
Paige has been a normal teenager, until she gets plucked from obscurity to play August, the female lead in a blockbuster movie. I liked Paige a lot even though I couldn’t really relate to her. She was dealing with a lot of sudden changes, and at first she seems to want to stay connected with Cassandra and Jake, her friends from back home, but then she seemed to let things shift, where it became more about the movie and becoming August, and less about still being herself.
I normally don’t root for the “bad boy” but Jordan was awesome. He showed more of his personal side to Paige than Rainer ever did. He treated Paige like an equal, and that was something Rainer didn’t do. He protected her and coddled her and acted like she was a poor helpless little girl just because she was brand new to the scene. Rainer used to be the type of guy I’d go after. The fiercely protective type, and in fact my ex fiance was very much like him.
The cliffhanger! It’s gonna be a long wait to find out what happens next. I’m sure the drama is only beginning now that Paige picked her man (for now at least) Definitely read it if you’re up for a fun read with drama and love triangles at the center of it all. I’m giving this book 4 stars and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Review: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Book Title: Belzhar
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Publish Date: September 30th, 2014
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be  at home in New Jersey with her sweet British  boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching  old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing  him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.
Disclaimer: I participated in an ARC Tour for this book and I read it with the ladies of On The Same Page.

Review:
What the hell did I just read?
And I mean that in the best way possible. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with Belzhar, but I was willing to give it a shot. In the beginning, it was a little slow, but by the time Page 60 rolled around, it was really picking up. By the time Page 100 rolled around, it was next to impossible to even consider putting this book down.
I’m a weirdo, I love Sylvia Plath’s poetry, so when I heard that Sylvia Plath was going to be featured in this book, I was stoked and I had really high hopes for this book.Sylvia Plath also wrote The Bell Jar, which is one of my favorite novels ever. Told you, I’m a weirdo.
Anyway, this book follows five students, Casey, Sierra, Marc, Griffin and Jam. They are the only five students in this “Special Topics in English” class that has been taught for a long time by the same teacher. Each of them has their own story, their own reason for being at The Wooden Barn. Yes, we do learn about the reasons these people come to The Wooden Barn, which was probably my favorite part.
The supernatural elements of the book were also quite fascinating. I kept wanting to read more and more of the book. I wanted to find out more about Belzhar as a whole. It had a very Dead Poets Society feel to it, which I loved as Dead Poets Society is one of my all time favorite movies. I don’t know if it was intentional, but it definitely reminded me of the movie.
I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book, but I knew I had to give it a chance and I am so incredibly happy that I did give it a chance because it was nothing like what I was expecting and when book surprise me like that, I get excited. I am honestly not sure why I can’t give it the full 5 stars because I did think it was awesome. If I had to put my finger on it though, I’d say that the ending was abrupt and I really wanted more of this book, an ending that was a bit more smooth than what I got. I did really like it a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

Review: The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

Book Title: The Break-Up Artist
Author: Philip Siegel
Release Date: April 29th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 



After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she’ll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.

Disclaimer: I participated in an ARC Tour for this book & read it with On The Same Page ARC Tours.

Review:
I honestly was not sure what to expect with this book. I knew it could go in many different directions, but I didn’t know what direction it would go.I absolutely did not expect to relate to Becca so easily, but I did. Even though I didn’t really go through the whole friends abandoning me in favor of their boyfriends in high school, I went through that in college. 

One of my childhood friends got a boyfriend and she could not stop obsessing about him. At one point I completely lost it and started yelling at her at a movie theater in front of the popcorn stand about how she didn’t seem to value friendship as much now that she was dating (and BTW the guy was a CREEP) After that our friendship basically ended. But I digress.

I know of several people who are seemingly unable to have time with their friends & time with their significant others. It’s frustrating especially when the friends lose out to the significant other. I understood why Becca was so upset that her onetime friend Huxley had basically abandoned her when Steve came into the picture.

It’s hard to explain to someone who has never gone through it but it really hurts that a friend would rather couple up and shut out all the single friends rather than bring the new significant other around the friends so that they can all spend time together. Or even better do something with their friends and without the significant other *gasp*

Becca is afraid that things are about to repeat themselves with Val and her new boyfriend Ezra and she does not want to lose another friend to the over-hyped bogus concept of love. But what she doesn’t expect is to fall for Ezra herself. Especially since she doesn’t believe in love. 

It’s hard for Becca to believe in love when her sister was left at the altar by someone that she loved. Love has come to make no sense to Becca. All she’s seen it lead to is heartbreak after heartbreak. Becca has a very narrow view of what love looks like. To the point where she doesn’t think that her parents are in love anymore. There’s none of that affection, that is so rampant in high school, in her own home. 
So she starts this business of breaking up couples and the business is booming. It definitely helped being anonymous though.She knows if her name gets out, then any chance of a social life is over. Not that she actually has one now, but she won’t be able to recover from this.
I really enjoyed this book even though parts were hard to read because of my own history with losing my friends to coupledom. Both Becca and her sister transform in different but no less awesome ways. I didn’t particularly love Val or Huxley and that’s because of their insistence on putting romantic relationships and social standing at the highest level and leaving their friendships to crash and burn.I also didn’t love Ezra. I started to, but then when we got to learn more about him I no longer liked him.I didn’t particularly love the ending because I thought it left a lot of questions. Sometimes I’m okay with it and sometimes I’m not. This time I was not.
So this book will be getting 4 stars from me. It was a good read, a quick read and one that I think everyone should read.Having a balance between your friends & significant other is so important and not one that people think about enough.