Saturday, February 8, 2020

Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

When superstar Adam Jakes rolls into the small town of Little, California to film a Christmas movie in the middle of summer, native Carter Moon is unruffled.  Happy in her small town, working in her parents' cafĂ©, Little Eats, Carter's never gotten caught up in all the hoopla about Hollywood.  Adam is an overgrown child star fresh out of rehab and also looking to rehab his image after a very scandalous public break-up with a Disney starlet.  When Adam's manager stumbles over the only dark spot marring Carter's simple small town life, he sees an opportunity he can't pass up.  Soon Carter is playing a role of her own, small town love to Adam Jakes.

I have to admit, I've got a real weak spot for a well done YA romance.  My favorites are the ones that don't let the main character become a lifeless puppet of the love story, and Catch a Falling Star definitely doesn't.  Carter comes off as a real, genuine person who is struggling to find her place in the world, but doesn't know it yet.  Easily content with her life and its routines, happy to help those around her and watch the night sky with her friends, she doesn't ambitiously imagine a life for herself in some unknown elsewhere, but her parents want her to open her eyes to a world that's a little bigger than Little.

As Adam and Carter's scripted courtship deepens to something more than staged photo ops and  publicity stunts, the pair start to open each other's eyes to different ways of life.  Adam's worldly ambition plays nicely off Carter's small town contentment, and it's satisfying to watch both characters realize that maybe there's a sweet spot in between where they both could land.  In addition to likeable, if flawed, characters, Culbertson's small town summer setting leaps off the page.

Catch a Falling Star is a great coming of age story for both characters taking on themes of what it means to grow up and carve out a place for themselves in the world.  I loved this page turning read with a little extra substance!