I seem to be in the YA read corner lately because I have another good one for you today. This YA read is more up along the romance alley which is an alley I don’t walk in too often, but it was a nice alteration to what I normally read. I’m reviewing this on request by the author who was so kind as to send it to me. I’ve never heard of either her or the book, but I love discovering new indie authors! The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:
Ambitious graduate Marin Collins accepts a four-month internship at a prestigious public relations firm to work on a tech account, but her plans are derailed when she’s assigned to go on the road with touring rock band Kings Quarters, hailed by Rolling Stone as the next big thing.
Enter Brad Osterhauser, the reluctant rock star who would rather be coding computer games than penning Grammy-nominated songs.
Travelling by bus, city to city with a group of practical joking bandmates and a greedy manager, Marin and Brad forge a friendship and forbidden romance over a shared love of Seinfeld episodes, stolen moments and Red Vines.
Starfish has everything a good modern romance YA novel requires. It’s up to date with technology, has a relevant topic for many young people and the classic romance drama is present to the highest degree. I won’t call Starfish a full-on cliché (when I think about cliché I think about stories like The Notebook and such) because the story contains several aspects which have yet to make themselves into clichés. An example is the main point of the story. Marin goes on the road with Kings Quarters as an intern for a big public relations company. Normally, you would expect her to be some kind of groupie or part of the maintenance team or something like that, and I suppose you can call her a part of the crew, however, how she ended up there is somewhat out of the cliché league. Here, Becker proves that she keeps in touch with today’s society. Internships are common now, at least in the US more so than Norway I believe so it is a concept a lot of young people can relate to. Several social platforms like Twitter are also mentioned alongside modern technology which engages the mind of its readers in this modern time love story.
There is, of course, the romance part of it all which I suppose you could call a good cliché but excuse me, don’t we read romance novels partly due to the clichés? If you pick up a romance novel don’t you expect to find clichés to some degree? Don’t we all want to dream ourselves away in a romantic story with drama and feelings so strong they seem to be able to break down every barrier in the world? I know I read romance novels for such reasons, but if you don’t that’s fine to of course. I like the way Becker portrays it in her book. I think it is very well executed, through both description and creativity, and that this aspect of the story is what really lifts it to its full potential. It was enjoyable to read, and I had several laughs while I read this book. We also to dream ourselves away into the glamorous life of Hollywood and rockstars and that puts extra icing on the story!
What I particularly enjoyed with this read was the dynamic between the characters, and maybe especially between Marin and Brad. The way they tip dance around each other is so typical for a romantic relationship and of course, we as readers know everything that’s going on, so we have the pleasure of leaning back and watching the whole thing evolve with certain guesses of how this is going to end. However, I feel like it was at times a bit too obvious where the story was going, at least to my liking. The characters in this book also throw some plot twists at us, some of them I didn’t see coming which was enjoyable whilst others again prove Becker’s ability to link modern society into the story. Won’t spoil anything I promise! My favourite relationship in this book, however, is that between Marin and her best friend, and roommate, Grace. I really love the dynamic between these two girls and the way they talk to each other. This relationship contains so many important qualities that should be included in all great friendships and they made me laugh several times. This relationship becomes important several times throughout the story and it just proves, again, how important it is to have friends in your life that truly cares about you and your welfare.
The whole concept of Starfish is good, and I enjoyed reading it, but it won’t be a book that sticks out to me over time like The Book Thief which is my all-time favourite. However, I will recommend it to readers who are a bit younger than myself, 24, because I felt at times that it became too teenagy for me. This is not meant as a criticism because I believe a lot of grownup readers will enjoy it just as much as teenagers, is just that I felt that, for me, at times it was a bit too obvious where the story was heading, and that at times, however hard it is to say this, I felt too old for the story #utterheartbreak !. Starfish is guaranteed to satisfy every teenage girl’s fantasy about the glamorous life in Hollywood and dreamy eyes will occur whilst reading this book I’m sure! Overall, it was a good and easy read which I enjoyed and had a good time with. This is a perfect beachread or examread when your brain just needs to drift off and relax with a nice story!
Theme: Love, friendship, music
– The Book Reader