Tuesday, 14 February 2017

ARC Review: Famous by Jilly Gagnon.

Released today is the wonderful Famous by Jilly Gagnon which I had the pleasure of reading over the Christmas period. Big thanks to the team at Harper Collins/Harper360 for the ARC, in exchange for which is this honest review.

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

I'd like fries with that.

Such a simple comment and yet posting those 5 words on social media becomes a nightmare for main character Rachel. 100 flits. 200. A thousand. 100k. 1m. 10m. Suddenly it's an overnight sensation, but not necessarily in a good way. Potential love interest and crush Kyle - pictured with the quote - becomes akin to a pop star. Fame, a gaggle of girls and followers, talk show appearances; he's got it all. Rachel meanwhile becomes the subject of hate, trolls and disdain. Her life spins out of control thanks to a stupid game with her best friend, and she doesn't know how to fix it. But when Kyle catches wind of her situation and the TV companies decide a reality segment with the two of them would be the next big thing, will it make things worse, or will she finally get her chance at love?

That question is one of the parts of Famous I loved most, the constant wondering of whether the two characters would find their happy ending amongst the 'live drama' and Gagnon executed it perfectly. I absolutely loved the fine line between 'reality' and 'pseudo reality', both on the page and in the individual characters' minds, watching as forced feelings mixed with real feelings and they had to struggle to separate the two. I adored the fun, quirkiness of the story, the enjoyment of watching love and drama unfold.

What I also really loved about Famous, and what does deserve special mention, is the key messages. Famous shows one side of the dangers of online media, how something can be seen by everyone, and nothing can truly be deleted, which is a crucial message. The book also focuses very specifically on bullying and harassment - a message I feel strongly about being someone who suffered from bullying much during school years - taking the stance that IT IS NEVER OKAY and really driving it home within the fun and quirky narrative.

Overall Famous was a delightful yet hard hitting read that I really would recommend and which I award a highly deserved 5* rating. I will definitely be checking out Jilly's other work, past of future.

Have you read Famous? Is it on your TBR? As always, do leave me a comment below or @ me on Twitter, and thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

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