Title: Catch a Falling Star
Author: Kim Culbertson
Rating: ★★★ (3/5 stars)
Hardcover, 304 Pages
Published April 2014
Summary: 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?
Okay, so...we've all heard this sort of love story before, right? As a matter of fact, when I read the description, I was instantly reminded of This Is What Happy Looks Like. However, there were some key differences in this book--such as the fact that Adam Jakes was paying Carter Moon to be his "show girlfriend," all for the press, when in This Is What Happy Looks Like, the relationship was somewhat mutual. Also, I found it interesting how Carter was aspiring to stay in the small town she grew up in...in 99% of the YA novels I read, the main character living in a small town is always doing whatever he/she can to get as far away from the small town as possible.
As soon as I finished this book, it got me thinking and left me with an important question of my own: Would I have initially accepted the offer to fake-date Adam Jakes if I was in Carter's place? I want to say no, I wouldn't because that's shallow and fake and wrong, just like Carter initially thought. But in reality, I'm pretty sure that my fangirling self would accept Parker's offer before he even finished explaining what it entailed. I could be very Carter-like about the situation, but in actuality, I definitely relate more to Chloe. Whoops.
The one part of the book that I wasn't entirely keen on was the whole sub-plot about Carter's brother John and his gambling addiction. I don't know, I just felt like it was...unnecessary. Yes, I do understand that Culbertson needed to give Carter a reason to accept Parker's offer, and that reason was to get the money to get her brother help for his problem. However, I feel like I barely knew what was going on with John--he was constantly disappearing, and getting into trouble with this T.J. guy, and then the ending. What the heck? I just feel like I wasn't completely informed of what was going on with John, and he was constantly an afterthought in Carter's mind--he wouldn't show up for 6 chapters, and then all of a sudden, Carter will wonder what's going on with him.
I don't know. I just felt verrrrrry left in the dark with that sub-plot.
On a more positive note, the ending of the book made me smile. (No spoilers, I promise.) Although I felt that it was so expected and I knew it was coming, the way it was executed was absolutely swoon-worthy and Culbertson gets major brownie points for that, because I'm a teenage fangirl and we live for that kind of stuff.
All in all, I thought that Catch a Falling Star was an interesting, cute read. I'm a total sucker for love stories, especially celebrity-and-non-celebrity couple love stories, because you never know when an author is going to toss in an ending that you don't expect (although, however, I am still waiting for that one!).
That's all I have to say about this! Check back soon and keep in touch with us via Twitter for more reviews, and also what we thought of #BookCon2014!