Thursday, June 05, 2014

Catch A Falling Star, by Kim Culbertson

Carter loves her small town of Little CA.  She loves its beauty, quiet, and solitude.  And while other kids dream of getting away, Carter just wants to stay.  So, when a film production company comes in during the summer to shoot a film, tearing up the tranquility of the town, Carter wants nothing to do with it.  Every other girl in town is excited that hot young bad boy Adam Jakes is part of the cast (Carter's BFF Chloe is absolutely loopy over the chance to see him!), but Carter could care less.

But then Adam's manager approaches Carter with an outrageous proposal:  pose as Adam's girlfriend for a few weeks and help to resuscitate Adam's image.  For Carter, there's a huge cash offering -- money that her family could really use to help Carter's gambling-addicted big brother get into rehab.  And Carter decides to go for it.

At first, things don't go well, but with time Carter and Adam - as one fully expects in a summer romance - find a halfway point.  With time, their pretend romance threatens to bloom into the real thing.

The story has some serious ambitions (with a lot of family swirl involving the brother and Carter's own issues with being afraid to leave the nest) but it gets ultimately buried in the silliness of the romantic plot.  Far better, IMO, to have just done the romance and abandoned the ambition.  After all, no one minds a bit of escapist fluff where bad rich boy falls for small-town girl with heart of gold and takes her away -- she cleans him up and he provides lifetime financial security.  What's not to like?  But when you bring in all this heavy stuff about seeking your dreams, it just gets distracting.  Sure, I loved Carter's honesty and kind heart, but it really was out of place in this bit of summer good time.

[Disclosure:  I requested and received this book from the publisher - without cost - in exchange for my review.  I'm donating the book to my public library and my evaluation was unaffected.]

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