Author: Kim Culbertson
Series: Stand Alone
Published: April 29th 2014 by Point
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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?
I Give This ...
After a book like this, I'm always reminded that I should read more contemporary. Or maybe it's just Kim Culbertson. She has a knack for making me feel like a teenager again, one that's just discovered the "it" person. It kind of makes me feel giddy.
I think Carter fully believes nothing good can ever happen to her. Probably because she's thinks it's her personal job to save the world. Hence her agreement with Adam Jakes to be his girlfriend while he's filming his new movie. Adam has had a little bit of a PR problem and a little bit of the small town/girl next door might be just what he needs. What neither of them counted on was how they might really feel about each other by the end of the summer.
I liked how this satisfied every teenage girls dream of meeting the hot superstar guy. I liked how it made it seem real because it's not your typical boy meet girl, boy falls for girl story. Adam has many faces and its extremely hard for Carter to see which one is real. Plus, I completely understood that Carter feels that she can never be enough for Adam. I also liked that Adam doesn't completely trust Carter either. It must be hard for him to believe that she's not out for something else.
I really liked how each character how depth beyond their relationship. Adam has to realize that his actions have consequences. Being in the limelight means every move is analyzed beyond its original context. Carter needs to realize that she has dreams beyond her family and her small town and it's ok to go out and fulfill them. Fear shouldn't be what hold them back.
I'll continue to read Kim Culberston. She has just the right blend of things I love in contemporary young adult.