Catch a Falling Star - Kim Culbertson

Carter has been working for years in her family's cafe in Little, California. She has a comfortable life—she's a talented dancer and has no desire to leave the town in the near future. When Hollywood comes to town one day, bringing with it the gorgeous and troubled star, Adam Jakes, Carter isn't all that interested. But when her family begins to experience some hiccups due to her brother's gambling habits, Carter finds herself dating Adam for reasons other than love... at least for now.
In the movie version of my life, the shot would slow as a sleek black Range Rover turned the corner and made its way like a mirage up out main street, people stopping to shield their eyes from sunlight glinting off its perfectly washed windows.
The audience would know instantly that nestled inside that air-conditioned car sat someone bigger than our small town. 
But this wasn't a movie. 
This was my life. 
And I still had three more hours before my shift ended. 
Culbertson is a talented writer with obvious interest in film and screenwriting, which shows up throughout the novel, as you can see from the earlier excerpt. The novel, though a typical teenage romance in many ways, is still built upon strong world-building and characterization. The early moments of Carter and Adam's fake relationship are at times funny and sad, giving insight into the world of a young man in the film industry, wilting under the harsh glare of public interest.

Contrary to Carter's ideas about Adam, however, she comes to realize that there is more than meets the eye. Adam helps her to confront her reasons for giving up dancing to begin with, and she helps him to see small town life in a new way. Along with the help and hindrance of the community, the paparazzi, Carter's friends (Drake and Chloe), Carter and Adam build a relationship that goes against all expectations (at least the expectations of those within the novel.) Readers will probably know what to expect as the book does follow many conventions of troubled teen romance, but the characters are still quite round and complex.

I can't say I was a huge fan of the blog entries about stargazing interspersed throughout the text, though I did enjoy the stargazing components built into the overall story arc. I also enjoyed the complexity at play within Carter's family and the dynamics created by her brother's gambling and its repercussions.

As I said, a number of moments in the book are predictable in terms of plot points, but character development makes the novel well worth the read! Delightful and just what you'd expect from a solid YA romance, Catch a Falling Star will satisfy your love story cravings.

Recommended

(Note: This review is from an Advanced Reading Copy - Out April 29, 2014)

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