Author: Kim Culbertson
Rating: ★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: 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?
Huge thank you to Scholastic and Netgalley for this ARC!
Catch a Falling Star is pretty adorable, if a touched too cliched for my tastes. Ultimately, a lot of the cliches are what really held me back from loving this book.
There’s a lot of genuine emotion in this novel. Carter is vivid, she’s able to express her feelings with ease, and she’s easy to identify with. However, she’s also written to be too perfect and she’s not always the best at taking blame. The romance in this book is also a case of a good girl turning a bad boy into a sweet one, and unfortunately I don’t like the types of romances where everything is perfect. Yes, Adam and Carter fight, but they also make up and it weirdly never felt like a big deal. May be I’m just not huge into that archetype, but I never found myself rooting for the two of them.
It also doesn’t help that Adam is the stereotypical rich bad boy who needs fixing. I don’t find those types attractive, and a lot of the time he was just too much of a snot for my taste. I can see his appeal for some readers, his charms just made me roll my eyes a lot. I found him frustrating, self-entitled, and I can barely handle those people in my normal life so no matter how hard I tried to find a way to like Adam, I just couldn’t a lot of the time.
However, I LOVED the style of writing in this book. There’s blog posts inserted into the text, and Culbertson really just eases the reader through the story. It’s nice that Carter’s voice is someone a lot of us can relate to, and for all her perfection, I did enjoy reading about her unexpected movie star life because she’s just so darn charming. I think this is also helped by the secondary cast of characters, especially Alien Drake and Chloe, who were always supportive. You got to love the tenacity of a heroine who is willing to give up so much for the people she loves. I did admire that quality about Carter and the novel.
I also loved the moral in this story, it’s unexpected but completely endearing. It had moments of corniness too, but I feel like that was somewhat to be expected. The premise is far from originally, but I can’t ever say I found myself bored while reading Catch a Falling Star. The writing really just has this knack of pulling you in and giving you a fun tale of young love. It’s just cute and fluffy, and I liked that the book was able to balance its humor and angst, something I feel many books struggle to do. I think there’s lots to enjoy about Catch a Falling Star — it didn’t wow me, but it certainly kept my attention from start to finish.