Friday, June 16, 2017

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno Review

Title: Fireworks
Author: Katie Cotugno
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.

I'll start this review, first, with an apology. Due to the recent busyness that has become my life, I haven't been able to post as much, and I've been sitting on a few reviews. I'm so sorry! I will be doing my best to remedy that, guys! Between personal and medical issues in my family, I haven't had nearly as much time as I would like, to read or write. Now, moving on to the actual review.

Katie Cotugno and I--frankly, we're not on the best of terms. I didn't really like 99 Days, the first novel of hers that I actually read. But when I read that she was writing a new book that came out in April, set in--get this--nineties Orlando, with two young women who travel south to follow a dream of being in a girl group, well. I was pretty much sold. I mean, this has my childhood written all over it. This, for me, is nothing less than literary catnip. And overall, I really enjoyed it. It wasn't perfect, and I have some mixed feelings about it. But it was better than 99 Days, and that's good enough for me.

It was always supposed to be Olivia. Dana is just the sidekick, the wingwoman, the moral support. But they've been friends their entire lives, and so when Olivia asks Dana to come to Orlando with her for a girl group audition, being the good friend that she is, she agrees. But something unexpected happens when they get to Orlando: Dana is selected as well. Thrust into an unfamiliar, cutthroat world of fame, backstabbing, and endurance, Dana is overwhelmed, even as Olivia begins to drift away from her. When the girls are forced to go all out against each other for the ultimate shot at fame and stardom, Dana realizes that everything has changed, perhaps her relationship with Olivia most of all...

Like I said, I enjoyed this book. But, with that being said, there were also some things that I didn't like. Not enough to make me hate the book totally, but just enough to get under my skin. I loved the plot, as well as the pacing; I breezed through this book in barely a day and a half. The plot was original and exciting, and spoke to my childhood dream (however brief) of being in a popular girl group myself. I really enjoyed Dana, and related to her; she seemed really lost at the beginning of the book, and her character development really saved the book. Olivia--I get that she was necessary to the plot, but I didn't really like her at all; she seemed more focused on her career and what she wanted, rather than her relationship with Dana. But I digress. Full of drama, the bittersweet pangs of first love, and what happens when we grow apart from our childhood friends, I really enjoyed Fireworks. I didn't like the way female sexuality was dealt with in the book though, which was one of the same reasons I had an issue with 99 Days. I really think that women cutting other women down is not at all okay. The bottom line: Though there were a few issues with it, Fireworks--a coming of age story full of drama, swoony moments, and the glittering world of fame and fortune, was a fun, hilarious book that I really enjoyed. Next on deck: Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis!

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