Review: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

April 7, 2014 Book Review, Young Adult 24 ★★★★

Catch a Falling StarCatch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
Published by Scholastic Press on April 29th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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<p>A deliciously charming novel about finding true love . . . and yourself.</p>
<p>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?</p>

Carter Moon lives in a small town named Little. Heh. This small town is about to have something big happen to it though as a movie production moves in to film a remake of A Christmas Carol starring a young rising star on the mend, Adam Jakes. Carter couldn’t care less about the Hollywood life but her world is about to change when she is approached and offered to join that life, briefly, to not only help boost Adam’s persona but to help her brother out of his financial mess.

Chloe is the epitamy of a small town girl. But she’s happy that way. Mostly. She is incredibly sweet, selfless and sincere. A total old soul. She works part-time at her family’s cafe and loves it. She doesn’t complain about her life, but deep down you know something is missing. I’m not used to reading characters quite like her but it was refreshing to find someone just genuinely good-hearted. I loved how important her family was to her. Her father was a great presence and someone she was open to talk to about anything. Of course everything was not sunshine and rainbows in her family with her brother’s gambling addiction constantly causing problems, but Carter never let that dictate her feelings for him. She was willing to do anything in her power to support her family.

When Adam is first introduced to Carter, let’s just say I rolled my eyes at his antics. He was used to girls fawning all over him and he had no idea just how different Carter would be. We saw two different sides to Adam throughout the book. On one side, we see the Adam who grew up in the spotlight and was used to always putting on a show. Everything in his life was like a movie, an act. He knew how to work people and it was hard to distinguish what was real and what was a lie. On the other hand, we get that realness, a regular teenager just soaking in the normalcy he was never granted due to his line of work. And it was that Adam that Carter started to fall for, no matter how hard she tried to fight it.

What was also a great addition to the story was Carter’s friends. First we have Chloe who was that girl who fangirls and falls all over the Hollywood glitz and glamour, much to Carter’s amusement and sometimes embarrassment. Then there is Chloe’s boyfriend, and Carter’s long time friend, Drake or Alien Drake as they call him. Alien Drake was more mellow and like the male version of Carter. They added some great comic relief as well as beautiful moments of friendship and support for each other. The three of them loved to sit on the roof at night and star gaze while they’d chit chat and eat junk food. Carter and Alien Drake write up blog posts on their musings at night about life and the sky and I adored the addition of a few of those posts. Very thought-provoking how they related aspects of what was happening in life with the sky.

The romance was so cute and a perfect slow burn for me. Carter and Adam were able to teach each other about what they want out of life and to challenge each other to reach for that, despite the difficulties. Carter showed Adam what it was like to put down roots and enjoy the little things. To be yourself. And most importantly, Adam helped show Carter how to not give up on things you enjoy because it gets hard. To spread your wings and open yourself up to the possibilities life throws at you. To take risks. Nothing felt forced and the progression of events left me excited, nervous and then totally satisfied and perhaps a little giddy at the end. Carter never had to sacrifice what she believed in and I loved her for it. Even though she didn’t fall for all that famous mumbo jumbo, she wasn’t immuned to his charm either. Whenever she’d let her guard down and crush a little, it was adorable. The way it all wrapped up put a huge smile on my face and just made me love the journey to that point even more.

Every once in a while I desperately find myself in need of a light and fun read, something to make me smile, and that is just what I found in Catch a Falling Star. I would absolutely recommend it for those looking for the same, and definitely a great summer read!

Because I really like this guy, the version of him that broke through his cloud cover once in a while. I had expected to tolerate the tantrums of a brash, selfish movie star for a few weeks – smile, grit my teeth, and quietly count my cash, help my brother out, ease my parents’ stress. Adam wasn’t supposed to make me feel like this. Like I could float away into the sky.


About Kim Culbertson

Kim Culbertson is the author of the teen novels CATCH A FALLING STAR (Scholastic 2014), INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BROKEN HEART (Sourcebooks 2012), and SONGS FOR A TEENAGE NOMAD (Sourcebooks 2010).

She believes books make the world a better place and likes to be on the look out for books she really connects with and loves. Any book she reviews on Goodreads is one of these finds.

Happy reading.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

24 Responses to “Review: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson”

  1. Danielle @ Love at First Page

    This sounds like a really cute read – I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to reading it myself. I normally don’t like Hollywood star type stories, but Carter seems very down to earth, which hopefully help ground everything.

    Great review!
    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted…ARC Review: Grim ShadowsMy Profile

  2. Pam@YA Escape from Reality

    I thought this was cute, but for some reason I didn’t swoon over Adam so I wasn’t necessarily rooting for them. The romance was sweet, but I just wasn’t feeling it. But I did enjoy the basic story and Carter was definitely a different MC, she was just so nice. I wanted her to actually make those comebacks she was thinking about in the beginning when Adam was acting like such a jerk. Oh well! Great review, glad you enjoyed it.
    Pam@YA Escape from Reality recently posted…Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth MayMy Profile

  3. Lisa @ Lost in Literature

    Yay, Sara! I’m so happy that you enjoyed this one. I had a few issues with it, like you know… but overall it was a very cute read. 🙂 I loved Chloe! I felt that Carter was a little TOO perfect. I kept waiting for her to mess up, but it never happened! LOL!

    I’ve been reading a lot of contemps lately, so maybe I need to switch to something slightly different for a bit. I’m planning on reading The Taking next. 🙂 Great review!
    Lisa @ Lost in Literature recently posted…Audiobook Review: Where You Are by Tammara WebberMy Profile

  4. BornBookish

    The small town setting has always intrigued me, so I know I’ll like that aspect already. While being hired to date a famous actor sounds a little cheesy and unrealistic it also sounds super cute. You convinced me to add this to my TBR =) Great review!
    BornBookish recently posted…Breathtaking Book Cover: LifersMy Profile

  5. Lily

    I already had this one on my TBR as a light summer read to sit by the pool with so i’m excited that you managed to serouisly enjoy it! 🙂 It sounds like a cute fluffy read that i’m deifnetly going to need this summer! Great review! I can’t wait for this one now, haha
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog
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  6. Joy (Joyousreads)

    So I’m a fan of books where a big shot actor comes strolling into town and ends up falling in love with a small town girl. I think I’ll enjoy this.

    Thanks for the heads up, Sara. 🙂
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…Teaser Tuesday 5My Profile

  7. Neysa Kristanti

    Ooh, I’ve heard about this one, and glad you like it so much! It sounds like another teenage0ish hollywood cliche to me, but reading your review, it seems like that’s not the case! 😀
    And the character sounds really great too (Especially Adam!), plus the romance sounds just how I like it. Will definitely try this one soon!
    Thanks for sharing 😀

    Neysa @ Papier Revue
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