Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Review: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

Catch a Falling Star
by Kim Culbertson
Pub Date: April 29, 2014

I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What it's about: Carter Moon is a small town girl who is proud of where she comes from. When a Hollywood film crew arrives to film a movie in her town, Carter meets teen star Adam Jakes. Adam needs a fake girlfriend to help clean up his image, and Carter takes the job. But soon she starts to fall for Adam for real.

I was excited when I saw that Kim Culbertson had a new book coming out, because I absolutely loved her first two: Songs for a Teenage Nomad and Instructions for a Broken Heart. I even loved her novella The Liberation of Max McTrue. And unfortunately, though I liked this one a lot, it just didn't live up to how wonderful her last ones were. 

The setup felt very familiar. Even though I can't name a specific book or movie, I feel like I've seen it a few times before. But that didn't bother me. I was expecting a cute romance, and that's what Catch a Falling Star delivered. I only felt that the romance wasn't as believable as it could have been. While I could see how Adam fell for Carter, I didn't really see enough from Adam to make me feel that he was worth Carter's attention. 

One interesting aspect Culbertson added to the story was the theme of stars and space. Carter and her best friend Alien Drake are stargazers and they even run their own blog where they discuss what's going on in the sky. I thought it was clever how the author related the stars in the sky that Carter observes to the star who has suddenly appeared in her life. Culbertson even included the blog entries at the end of some chapters. But even though I appreciated the connection, I found myself skimming through those blog entries. 

There were quite a few things I really enjoyed about this novel, though. I loved the small town setting, and I especially loved that Carter's family owned a cafe. I also thought it was great how Carter's other best friend Chloe was obsessed with Adam and how much she freaked out when she thought Carter was dating him. I also just liked Carter's character development. I thought it was refreshing to see a small town girl who wasn't dying to get out as soon as she graduated. In fact, Carter's problem was the opposite. I thought Culbertson did a great job with developing Carter's personal conflicts. She was a girl who had abandoned her passion and was know slowly realizing that she could go back to it. I liked seeing her grow and have to make some big life choices.

So that's all. I definitely felt that this was an enjoyable read. Probably the only reason it fell short of my expectations was because I had such high expectations. Kim Culbertson is still a YA writer that I would greatly recommend.

And Catch a Falling Star is out today, so be sure to check it out if you'd like to see some small town girl/movie star romance!