Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
I have really enjoyed all of Emma Mills’ books. They don’t blow me away, but she writes some fun and cute contemporary novels with characters that feel real. I have rated them all between 3.5 and 4 stars. But, I had some mixed feelings about this one. I really liked the beginning, but slowly lost interest as we went along. I did enjoy the ending, but the middle was just sort of meh. I will say it is really hard to talk about this book without spoilers. So at the bottom I will include a little more of my detailed thoughts, but with some minor spoilers.
WHAT I LIKED:
- The chapters were short. I read most of this during my lunch breaks at work and with the short chapters, I could easily get to a chapter break when I had to go back to work.
- Sophie was a great main character She takes charge, is such a hard worker, and is so passionate.
- I loved seeing a character who loves her friends so much
- The Conlin family
- August (some of the time) I loved when he and Sophie were joking around—they had some great lines together
- I am trash for the whole “damaged boy comes to town” trope
- THE COVER IS STUNNING
- The fact that they all are “Band Geeks” was so endearing and fun They are raising money for the Rose Parade which was entertaining to see (maybe more for me because I went to the parade a couple years ago)
- The Megan Pleasant storyline and how it got wrapped up
- The Seven Days of Megan Pleasant was awesome and I wish it had been longer than one chapter.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE:
- Her friends. They were great at times, but they were so critical of things that Sophie was passionate about. I get the whole teasing dynamics of friend groups, but they were downright cruel at times. (and are we supposed to be okay with this just because they were there for her in the end)
- I got that they cared for Sophie, but I hated that they needled her so much for being “Type A” and “caring”. They also kept saying she cared TOO much, like sucks that someone in your life cares about you. (I have listed some of my more spoilerly thoughts on this subject below)
- August (some of the time) He was just kind of meh at times?
- The thing with her sister. It felt out of place. (vague I know, but no spoilers up here)
- How Flora was there, but not really present. I feel as if she was only in like three scenes.
*slight spoilers below*
I want to talk a little more about the friendship dynamic because I am not sure if I am over reacting because I have had friends in my life who don’t care about things I am passionate about and who are dismissive of me. So maybe I was just bringing my baggage into the novel. But, Sophie is so organized and cares so much about Britt and her other friends. Maybe she is clinging to the people she is close to because of her family dynamic. But, I really wish her friends appreciated her more. Friends that hold your hair up when you throw up are real friends, but when they are constantly needling you for caring about THEM and trying to help a cause that you are passionate about…They just didn’t seem like real friends to me. They trashed her desire to stay close to home, which you learn why she wants to stay local later on. Thank goodness August stood up for her. I just wish Emma Mill’s had presented their friendship differently. I think in her mind, they are a really solid group of friends and I did like a lot of their scenes and moments, but when it came to being supportive of Sophie, it did not feel real to me.
Goodreads Link: Famous in a Small Town
*Thank you to NetGalley & The Publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review*