January 31, 2019

Review: Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West
Grade: B-
Release date: February 5, 2019
An e-galley was provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Lacey Barnes has dreamed of being an actress for as long as she can remember. So when she gets the opportunity to star in a movie alongside one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, she doesn’t hesitate to accept the part.

But Lacey quickly learns that life in the spotlight isn’t as picture perfect as she imagined. She’s having trouble bonding with her costars, her father has hired the definition of a choir boy, Donavan Lake, to tutor her, and somewhere along the way she’s lost her acting mojo. And just when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, it looks like someone on set is deliberately trying to sabotage her.

As Lacey’s world spins out of control, it feels like the only person she can count on—whether it’s helping her try to unravel the mystery of who is out to get her or snap her out of her acting funk—is Donavan. But what she doesn’t count on is this straight-laced boy becoming another distraction.

With her entire future riding on this movie, Lacey knows she can’t afford to get sidetracked by a crush. But for the first time in her life Lacey wonders if it’s true that the best stories really do happen when you go off script.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: In this companion sequel to Love, Life, and the List, Kasie West uses a favorite YA trope - the aspiring actress gets her first chance at stardom.
One of Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss's biggest flaws is the lack of strong character relationships. There were no friendships, no strong family connections to buy into. Lacey's growing connection with Donavan is perhaps the strongest relationship and even that lacks a strong swoon factor. I knew they'd fall for each other and end up together, but I didn't care either way. (I was just glad there wasn't a love triangle with Lacey's famous costar.) 
The plot is made a little more interesting by the mystery person sabotaging the movie and Lacey, but it feels very Disney Channel Original Movie-esque instead of like a strong plot element.
Overall I just felt kinda meh about this book. I didn't hate it at all, but it didn't get me excited. After finishing a good book, my feeling should be akin to when I eat a slice of my favorite pie. After finishing Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss, I feel like I ate a slice of store-bought peach pie: it was mediocre.

Content warnings: nothing I can really think of.

The Verdict: Some of Kasie's books are losing the swoon factor.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Probably at some point, yeah.

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