Culbertson, Kim. Catch a Falling Star
April 29th 2014
by Scholastic Press
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Carter Moon is having a pretty good life in Little, California. Her father runs a local diner, her mother travels sometimes to protest different causes, and her brother is usually in trouble because of a gambling addiction, but she has good friends Alien Drake (her best friend who shares her interest in astronomy) and Chloe (her other best friend who is dating Drake). When a movie comes in to town to film, she doesn't particularly care, although Chloe is star struck by the appearance of Adam Jakes. When Adam's people ask Carter to pretend to date him to polish his image, she agrees only because her family needs the money to clear up her brother's recent gambling debt. Adam is a child star trying to transition to older roles, and isn't very sociable. Carter thinks he's cute, but doesn't appreciate his attitude. As the two move through the "scripts" that are provided concerning their relationship, however, she comes to like him more than she wishes she would, and his presence in her life complicates any number of matters, including whether she should pick up dancing (which she had quit a year before) again, and her parents insistence that she leave Litte after high school graduation and broaden her horizons, something she doesn't care to do.
Strengths: This was a good, middle school appropriate romance for fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Sarah Dessen. It skews more to the Dessen-esque, with the problems about the brother, but is definitely wish fulfillment for young girls who think that if Hollywood would just make a film version of Anne of Green Gables in their hometown and have Lief Garrett play Gilbert... and if they would be somehow magically cast as Anne... I'm sorry. Bad flashbacks to my own youth. Good stuff. Definitely buying a copy.
Weaknesses: A little problem heavy for my taste, and not quite as swoony a romance as Smith's books are. Still, it's hard to find romance books that are appropriate.