Flower by Elizabeth Craft & Shea Olsen
YA Contemporary Fiction, Romance, High-School
My Rating: ★★ (2.5)
I didn’t realize, until I took part in a school visit with my co-worker M, that I’ve been into contemporary books that revolve around teenagers getting mixed up with celebrities.
Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky was one of my favorite reads of 2016 and follows a group of girls – all variations on the boy band ‘fangirl’ – who reserve a room in the same hotel where their favorite boy band, the Ruperts, are staying on tour and manage to kidnap one of their members. This book is a dark comedy that simultaneously criticizes and justifies fangirl culture.
Paul Rudnick’s It’s All Your Fault seemed like a good read-alike for Kill the Boy Band and I really thought it was. Caitlin Mary Prudence Rectitude Singleberry is a knee-high sock wearing, God-fearing, family loving teenager who suffers from anxiety and plans to teach her famous cousin, Heller Harrigan, the error of her ways and how to be a good and wholesome human being.
Flower is the most recent book I’ve read which focuses on high-school senior and flower-shop worker Charlotte Reed, whose family has a history of bad luck with men sticking around. She vows to never let a boy get close enough to mess with her head…that is, until she finds herself as the target of famous pop-star Tate Collins’ affections. Charlotte never thought she’d be lying to her Grandma and best friend about being in a relationship with a boy, flying across the country to visit him, or questioning her future plans. But their relationship is anything but simple, as they face scrutiny from the public and Tate struggles with something from his past which makes it hard for him to fully open up to Charlotte.
This book is a definitely a guilty-pleasure read for those who want to live their fantasies of being in love with and loved back by their celeb crush.
Overall, this book is what I expected it to be – predictable and totally cliche. It definitely challenges me to think about forgiveness – how many mistakes can one person make until they’ve run out of second chances?
Also, this story totally had that Fifty Shades vibe without all the bdsm (and the writing in Flower is WAY better than in Fifty Shades). Tate doesn’t know how to deal with his feelings for Charlotte and goes back and forth between wanting to control their relationship and letting Charlotte do whatever she wants with him. “I can’t be with you…wait I want to…but let’s do it on my terms….I can’t let you go…yes I can….*few days later*…take me back…I don’t deserve you…blah blah blah.”
Then again, this is pretty typical ya. Charlotte isn’t anyone particularly special or unique and I didn’t find her to be any stronger than any other teen girl who wants to take control of her life and make her own decisions. I guess, then, your review of this depends on whether you wanted Charlotte to be realistic or you wanted her to be different. I’m ok with how it ended (just ok). I was a little torn at first, but I’ve gotten over it. I definitely didn’t hate this book or regret that I read it. It’s a pretty fast read and a nice break from any complicated Fantasy or Dystopian books that require a lot of mental-mapping to keep up.
Verdict: I would probably recommend this book for any contemporary romantics (especially if you like teenage romances with a bit ), but it’s not something I’d read again.
Have you read any realistic fiction books that focus on teens getting into some crazy ish with celebrities? I’m really excited to read #famous by Jilly Gagnon which is supposed to come out on Valentine’s day!