Famous In Love – Rebecca Serle

I can’t say I expected to enjoy this book all that much. I watched maybe the first and second episodes of the TV show with Bella Thorne and it felt so melodramatic that I gave up on it. It’s not that the book version isn’t like that, but it just seems to work so much better than on TV. Oftentimes, I disagree. I mean, I did quite enjoy the first four books in The Vampire Diaries series, and Pretty Little Liars as well, but the characters on screen had so much chemistry and added something extra to the story that I was happy to make the switch from book to screen and stick to it.

But Rebecca Serle’s writing drew me in instantly. It’s as though she remembers perfectly what it’s like to be a teenager and have dreams and hopes and be confused and a little innocent and need guidance but also want to become our own person. Ouf, it’s a lot, yes, but most of those things, I actually still feel even as I’m about to turn 24. Some things are just universal and Rebecca Serle seems to have understood that quite well. It’s very easy to connect with Paige Townsen because she’s so ‘‘alive,’’ full of life and I genuinely wanted to see her succeed. I was rooting for her in her professional career and personal life throughout the story.

There are a lot of emotions in this story, so yes, it can definitely get melodramatic, but on paper at least it seemed like a genuine type of drama. It didn’t feel forced. It can get a lot at times, for sure, seeing that there is quite an intense love triangle present here, but hey my guilty pleasure-seeking side actually enjoyed it. Anyone who knows The Vampire Diaries knows how complicated the love triangle gets—and yet, you just can’t help but get sucked in because part of you knows what’s going to happen, eventually, so you kind of just wait patiently for the right characters to figure out that despite everything they should be together and stop at nothing to pursue their connection. This is how I feel with Rebecca Serle’s series. It’s full of clichés, but I can’t help but love it.   

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the free copy in exchange for an honest review! 

Satisfaction Guaranteed – Karelia Stetz-Waters

Selena and Cade. I have a lot of love in my heart for these two young women. These two imperfect human beings who are oh-so-different, and yet oh-so-meant-to-meet. And what an interesting first meeting they have—at Cade’s aunt’s funeral, where Selena pours her heart out in front of everyone. I knew right then and there that impulsive and emotional Selena and reserved and controlled Cade would have quite a few intriguing moments together.

This is a slow-burn. It’s a book that is meant to be enjoyed slowly, with a few cups of tea (and biscuits, can’t forget those). This is a good thing, because it makes Selena and Cade’s relationship seem to progress naturally and without rush. Even if they only have a month together, and a month is definitely not enough to know everything about someone, it is enough to get a feel of who they are and whether they bring out the best in us. What is beautiful is that Selena and Cade’s differences and shortcomings complement each other.

While I found their relationship to feel natural and progress in a realistic and effective way, I did not necessarily find the storyline itself and some of the characters and scenes to be all that realistic. Sometimes, it felt like the author wrote some characters or scenes or dialogs for humour purposes, than because it made perfect sense to the story or was the right element to include. For example, everyone fawning over Selena was a bit over-the-top, as was Cade’s entire family and the whole Alex business. I’m not saying that these elements could not exist in real life, just that all of them combined in one story was a lot.

The best thing about this story is Selena and Cade’s relationship, which is good because this is a contemporary romance so that’s pretty much the most important element of all, so if you are looking for a cute lesbian romance, you are knocking at the right door and do not hesitate to jump right in (don’t forget the tea and biscuits, though!)

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the free copy in exchange for an honest review!