Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

Summary from Goodreads:
For Sophie, small-town life has never felt small. She has the Yum Yum Shoppe, with its famous fourteen flavors of ice cream; her beloved marching band, the pride and joy of Acadia High (even if the football team disagrees); and her four best friends, loving and infuriating, wonderfully weird and all she could ever ask for.

Then August moves in next door. A quiet guy with a magnetic smile, August seems determined to keep everyone at arm's length. Sophie in particular.

Country stars, revenge plots, and a few fake kisses (along with some excellent real ones) await Sophie in this hilarious, heartfelt story.
Emma Mills has slowly found her way into my YA contemporary-loving heart. I am now accustomed to pouncing on her books as soon as they release. I may have been number 1 on the wait list for this book at my library, not even knowing I’d soon be getting my own copy for review any way. This isn’t my favorite book of hers, but I still ended up loving it.
Normally, what I love about her books is how she writes about family. And reading this felt a little strange to me the whole time because the family of the main character was never present at all. For this reason and this reason alone, I was able to call a major twist to the story that I can see shocking many other readers. I don’t want to talk too much more about this because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. But, it needs to be said that I did find this book missing a key element of her previous books. I wanted more on her family.
Maybe because of this, Mills was able to write much more interesting friend characters (the family we choose/as compared to the family we are born into). I loved all the side characters. Their group text reminded me so much of a group text that I’m in with close friends. I loved all of Sophie’s friends and neighbors.
I also thought the book would be a little fluffier than it ended up being. I thought more of the focus would be on music and the country star mentioned in the summary. Those things ended up taking a back seat to some more serious stuff.  There was still lots of fun banter with the friends, some sweet first love romance, parties, and the fun, typical teen drama I was hoping for. I also still read this book very fast. I was hooked. It just was a little sadder, and more intense than I was expecting.
I found the country singer friendship story super believable. I also felt so bad for August and his situation. There was so much I noticed and worried about him (from my adult lenses) that I wished I could force the other characters to see. But, I definitely shipped him with Sophie. All in all this was a good book. It’s not my favorite by the author, but still a solid “good” one. I give it an 8/10.

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