Review: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

29523625Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: HarperCollins Canada
Publication Date: April 18th, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fame, Friendship

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It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.


Olivia was meant to become the IT girl, not Dana.

She was supposed to get everything she ever wanted, but the day Dana accompanied her to an audition changed everything.

Dana was invited to become part of a girl band. She’s a natural singer and dancer, apparently. Without any professional experience whatsoever. No classes, either. Ever.

Basically, she’s been ‘‘discovered.’’

I thought this was a romantic and fairly revealing contemporary book that shows both the good and bad side of being in the show business industry, if that’s what you wish to read about. Some clichés included.

Beware, however: this is not a realistic story. Sure, a couple of celebrities have been ‘‘discovered,’’ but it’s not true that what happens to Dana can just happen to anyone at any time. She hasn’t even worked for the interview and, in life, you have to work to get where you want.

Katie Cotugno’s writing is a pleasant one. She’s good with words, making me feel as if a real eighteen-year-old was narrating this book, not a thirteen-year-old or thirty-year-old one.

It’s too bad I found most characters forgettable. Dana has dept, and so does her love-interest, Alex, but I had trouble finding dept in the other characters.

Olivia is not devoid of it per se, but she’s so… fake, sometimes. She deliberately changes her personality depending on who she speaks with. And while I admire all she has done to accomplish her dream of becoming a superstar, she seems to be after the fame alone.

Plus her starving herself didn’t help change my mind about her at all.

It’s a coming-of-age novel of a sort that shows fairly well how even if you do get something without having worked too much for it, you still have to do your best to keep that same thing. You know what they say, it’s easy to join a group. Remaining in it, however, is another thing entirely.


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