Catch a Falling Star
by Kim Culbertson
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Page Count: 304
Source: Netgalley via publisher
(A huge thank you again to Scholastic Press!)
Goodreads Synopsis: A deliciously charming novel about finding true love . . . and yourself.
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?
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Review: When I spotted this young adult contemporary available for request on Netgalley, I could not hit the "request" button fast enough! While it is not quite summer yet, it seemed like it would be the perfect light, summer read. It was not as light as I had been expecting, but that was actually a very nice surprise. There was added depth to this book that could have easily transformed into every other young adult contemporary I have read. That did not happen, though. Culbertson added lots of wonderful details into the story that made it much more enjoyable.
I love the main character Carter Moon (plus her name), and her little group of friends is wonderful as well. Her friend Chloe seems to be her exact opposite, which seems to be a big part of why they get along so well, and her male best friend, whom they call Alien Drake, is the perfect protective male character. They all enjoy going up on Alien Drake's roof and looking at the stars. Carter and Alien Drake actually write a blog about the stars, some posts of which we get to see and read in the book, which I thought was a wonderful addition to the story.
Little, CA seems like a wonderful little town. Everyone seems to know each other, and Carter's family owns a nice little cafe right in the center of town. Things get a little crazy when they decide to film a movie in Little, and famous actor Adam Jakes comes into town. Straight out of some rehab rumors (supposedly), he is trying to fix his appearance and reputation by filming a sweet, family Christmas movie. In an attempt to fix his reputation even more, his manager decides to hire Carter to be Adam's "girlfriend" while he is in tow. Sure that seeing him with a small town girl would look good in the press.
Sure, some of the typical plot elements hit, but it was so much more than that. Carter has a political mom who travels a lot to support what she believes in, a dad who is keeping the cafe afloat, and a brother who has gotten himself into trouble with gambling and owning people money. Aside from that, everyone else seems to believe that Carter needs to make some plans to get out of Little after she graduates (like by starting up dance again), but she wants nothing more than to stay there. She is just comfortable, though. She is scared, and she is used to trying to protect her brother instead of living for herself.
This sweet little book was full of ups-and-downs, wanting to see good in people and realizing they can be horrible, best friendships and first real loves. This book had all of the things that the typical teenager is dealing wit (even if it might not be with a movie star). I believe the ending was perfect and satisfying as well, though I won't share it! This is a spoiler free zone, after all! I would certainly recommend this book to any YA contemporary fans.