Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

July 30, 2014 3 stars, Book Review 18 ★★★

Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca SerleFamous in Love by Rebecca Serle
on October 21, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 322
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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.


Famous in Love was a different read for sure.

Paige is a young girl who loves film and always wanted to be an actress. She’s done community plays and practiced her favorites scenes to herself just for fun. So when her best friend Cassandra tells her about an upcoming audition for the role of August she jumps at the chance to try even knowing that there is slim to no chance of getting the part.

Well she gets it guys.

Before she flies to Hawaii where the shooting takes place, the book introduces her relationships with friends and family. I really enjoyed how she had a strong female friendship from the get-go and another with Jake (a boy whom she crushes on, but they don’t go further for the sake of their friendship). I love the parent descriptions and conversations along with the sibling treatment between one another (be it good or bad) because it makes a case for more realism in the story.

The first half of the book was very realistic in terms of shooting movies. Paige has to start off in frozen water as she figures out that being a movie star is not what it seems. The fact that movies:

– Don’t start in chronological order

– Lots of people are watching during the scenes

– Shooting schedules are complicated

– The director isn’t going to sugar-coat everything when you’re sucking

– Has to have a certain climate

– Hundreds of takes for 1-2 scenes = Exhaustion

– Body doubles (Paige is underage so her contract stipulations are different)

It’s all harder than it looks and Paige struggles through these issues:

“I’m worried about getting August wrong and disappointing tens of millions of people […] August is a character beloved by the world, and it’s my job to bring her to life. She’ll have my face and voice, and hair. She’ll be me. And what if I’m wrong?”

And I love the little spurts of life quotes this book sticks out at you every now and then:

“That’s the thing about success. It changes a lot, but not everything. You still have bad hair days. Friendships that have fallen apart won’t miraculously be fixed. And people who didn’t love you before still won’t. Because the on thing success never changes, no matter what level you reach, is what has already happened”

This whole beginning was really interesting to read for me as I’m really interested in film, so it was a nice perspective to see that I really haven’t seen much of in YA.

Now for the irks because I know that’s the real reason you’re here:

– The stupid love triangle…I know, I should have known from reading the blurb that this was happening. I thought that I would be reading a new take on it. FOR ONCE, I seriously thought the female MC was going to choose neither. In fact it had my hopes up for that. I thought that MAYBE this book would be original and have her choose her freaking self, but alas I was wrong. She does choose one. It’s still not what you expect (a lot of people actually hated this ending) but I think it really depends on the reader. It will be a choice you either love or hate and it won’t be based on which male interest you’re into. Keep that in mind!

– There’s not instalove, but there’s love that I don’t understand. However, I use the term love loosely because she never says the word love until maybe 30ish pages before the book is over (which I think is great). However, she goes on and on between the two for what feels like forever.

– She loves them both. Don’t understand why they’re interested in her–seems like another case of loving someone for no reason what-so-ever (she may not have insta-love, but those boys do for sure. That or they’re really trying hard to get into her pants).

– I’m gonna call it out and just say the love freaking stinks in this one. It’d be better if she was strictly an actress doing kissing scenes with them and leaving all the drama and only being friends in the real world. Honestly, I would have liked it so much better without all that crap.

You have no idea how much I wanted to curse in those few paragraphs above, but I promised Tabitha I wouldn’t, so insert all sorts of profanity up there because it really pissed me off toward the end.

I think I really enjoyed it in the beginning, but slowly that joy turned into annoyance and then ultimately lowered the rating for me overall. If anything pick this book up for the first half and see if it even goes downhill for you. It’s worth a once over especially when you’re in the mood for a realistic contemporary. It’s a very easy writing style and you’ll fly through the pages real quick. I read it in a day.

18 Responses to “Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle”

  1. DannyBookworm

    Oh Love Triangles how they can ruin so much! I’m really excited about this book, but then I am also a little scared about it. I know it’s going to be a Love Triangle but for some stupid reason I thought it wouldn’t be so bad. Still – I’m looking forward reading this one and see how angry it will make me 🙂
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    • Kat

      They can, but I think this one definitely has an interesting take on the ending. I wouldn’t be scared, just be prepared for something unexpected. It’s not all bad, but I think other reviewers like more closure. Anyway, have fun reading and I do hope you enjoy it!
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  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Gah!! Triangles. Bad romance. And, really, WHY doesn’t the girl choose herself for once? Is it really so bad to *not* have a boyfriend every second of every day? I fear I might be filled with curse words, too. Of course, now I’m going to have to read it to find out.
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    • Kat

      That’s what I was thinking the entire time she was shuffling back and forth with her feelings. Why can YA characters just focus on themselves first! I’ll admit the ending wasn’t too cliche and different, which it another reason why I thought the book was decent.
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    • Kat

      It did for me, but I do tend to be on the general “hate” side when it comes to love triangles, so I may be a little bias.
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    • Kat

      Actually I couldn’t choose between the two either, but I think the obvious is clear at the end and ultimately I was disappointed with the decision, but understood that this was a unusual ending for a YA (so I’ll give it that)
      Kat recently posted…Wolverine OmnibusMy Profile

  3. Kirsty-Marie

    Another one sunk by the romance, it’s a ship sinker. :/ I think I’d love the first half, haven’t read many that’s on-the-scenes film/show so it’s always fun to read. Especially since she doesn’t expect all of that either, would’ve been interesting, but yeah, the romance. Noooooooooooooooooo. I don’t mind love triangles if they’re done right (or like you said, be original for once and she chooses none and herself) but nope. Glad she doesn’t have insta-love or anything, but it’s just as bad- actually kind of worse, that the two guys do. Ugh. I was really looking forward to this one too. 🙁
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    • Kat

      Tell me about it! Preach it hun, because that is literally how I felt the entire time. Love-triangles are hard to pull to begin with but with the strange case of insta-love from those boys and pretty much insta-attraction…I just didn’t feel the chemistry, which made the choice at the end piss-worthy as well.

      But yeah, first part was good, so I was really torn on it :/
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  4. Rachel @ Paper Cuts

    Aw, another case of romance dragging the book down? I feel like we’re to this point where all books have romance, even if it’s a detriment to the story, because people think that’s what the readers want? I mean, I’m as guilty as anyone else of loving romantic storylines, but I don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the story for it. Shame it started off well and descended into frustrating territory for you. 🙁

    • Kat

      I think that maybe they think that every good story has to have romance. I’m all for love as long as it doesn’t take pure focus. I like stories that have a direction and then lurrrve on the side, y’know?

      Unless we’re talking erotica. Fine, give me smutty scenes, but I STILL enjoy plot over sex. If you don’t like the plot…I mean what’s the point really?

      Anyway, yes it was frustrating (especially when it was so good in the beginning). Thanks for understanding <3 lol.
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  5. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    I’m really interested in this one! I’m an actress myself, so whenever I see a book that mentions acting / theatre, I always get really excited. 🙂 This sounds like such a great read, despite the love triangle ruining it for you a bit. (*scowls*)

    Anyhow, would you mind telling me how much acting is used in the story? Is it used as a plot device or is it a legitimate part of the story…if that makes sense? (I don’t want to go in excited thinking acting is the main focus when it might not be!)

    Thanks for sharing and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
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    • Kat

      Well, I think that the acting bit was written in a way that I feel that actors can appreciate. I’m not one myself, so I can’t say for sure.

      At times it can be used as a plot device (for example the kissing scenes were prominent to the whole Romance crap). But, it did mention her struggles with filming on-set and how she changes when she gets into character (not as much as you would like, but it’s there). And maybe you’ll be able to appreciate it more that way.

      Thank you!! I hope you do like it.
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    • Kat

      Hello beautiful Lola !!

      Yes, I am new to this whole blogging thing and it was supposed to be posted on here first before GR (and there’s a schedule) –AND we weren’t actually supposed to post it until closer to the date the book actually comes out.

      So it was messy for my first post, but hey, I’m lucky to have Tabitha tag along on her blog since there was no way I could do one on my own. I’m clueless when it comes to all this as of right now.

      Anyway thanks for commenting and this one…I feel like you wouldn’t have liked anyway.
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