Published by HarperCollins on February 14th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Science & Technology, Romance, General, Social Themes, Bullying
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Debut author Jilly Gagnon bursts onto the scene with a story equal parts bite and romance, perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Jennifer E. Smith, about falling for someone in front of everyone.
In this modern day love story: Girl likes boy. Girl snaps photo and posts it online. Boy becomes insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent photo turns into a whirlwind adventure that forces them both to question whether fame—and love—are worth the price…and changes both of their lives forever.
Told from alternating points of view, #famous captures the sometimes-crazy thrill ride of social media and the equally messy but wonderful moments of liking someone in real life.
#famous is one of those books that will you give you the best kind of toothache, because it is achingly sweet. *le sigh* I’ve been wanting to read #famous for ages, ever since it came to my attention, and it was just everything I wanted in a book. I love the whole insta-celebrity thing, and I’ve been dying for more books about that because legit anyone can become famous these days, and it couldn’t happen to two better people than Rachel and Kyle who are both so cute and adorable that I just want to smush their cheeks.
Probably the worst thing about becoming insta-famous is the whole troll thing, and that was actually the worst part for me, because seeing Rachel doubt herself, and wonder if the trolls are right made me want to find every one of them and punch them in the face until they apologised for their petty, jealous behaviour, and I liked that Gagnon included that, because it’s really important to see that girls get a pretty tough time on social media – Rachel got all of the flack, while Kyle got all of the “luv”, and that was so unfair, but very, very true to life. That’s just how it goes, and it was those little moments where Kyle tells Rachel she’s awesome that made this book for me, even if he needed a shove from best friend Ollie.
I just wanted to swallow this book whole, and eat a ton of french fries – Jilly is clearly sponsored by a fry making company, or should be, because FRIES, FRIES, FRIES. #idlikefrieswiththat #ilovefries #fries. This is genuinely one of the cutest, swooniest books I’ve ever read, the fries, the riff off Ellen (Carly, in this case!), the fries again, because they’re important, the warmth that radiates through the book is immense – except for the horrible trolls, the entire rest of the cast is like right out of casting 101. Parents who are actually there, willing to listen, and help! I know they embarrass Rachel sometimes, but they’re there, and for me that’s the most important thing. The know-it-all best friends, Monique and Ollie, who gently shoved Rachel and Kyle whenever they needed a bit of a push. Probably the only character I didn’t like was Emma, purely down to her behaviour. That was a master manipulator at work and I didn’t like it one bit.
Kyle and Rachel have the best story to tell – it’s so enticing, and to see it from both their points of view was amazing, because they really stood out as separate POVs, and to see it all coming together nearly made my heart explode with happy. I just loved Rachel so, so much. She’s the kind of positive YA character young adults need, because she doesn’t let the trolls win (yes she has self-doubt, but find me a person alive who doesn’t) but she’s mostly really positive, her body is her body, her hair is her hair, etc and I just wanted to scream with happiness for that. It’s hard to love yourself and for most of this novel, Rachel does and that’s amazing. Mind you, I think Kyle went on the bigger journey, because it’s almost like he didn’t even know who he was, except for Carter’s brother, and this helped him step out of that shadow and find out who the real Kyle Bonham was meant to be.
I freaking loved this book. #famous is one of those books you devour and adore. I will be buying myself a finished copy, to read again, to maybe take my time better because I was so excited this time around. This is a truly spectacular debut novel (hard to actually believe it’s a debut, actually – way to go Jilly!) and Jilly has her pulse on what young adults want to read about (and old adults like me). It just had it all. Fries, cupcakes, bowling, insta-fame, Ellen – eh, I mean Carly, two characters you adore, body positivity, a great supporting cast. Read it, read it, read it, read it, read it, read it.