Famous in a Small Town
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: January 15th, 2019
by Henry Holt and Co.
For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.
The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.
What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.
-A copy was provided by Henry Holt and Co. for review-
I slept on Emma Mills for AGES but with a little peer pressure, I finally binge read all of her published books last year. I can honestly say that it was life changing. Not necessarily because her books in of themselves changed my life but they were so good and I was so happy to finally have them in my life. WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY is that if you still have not read a single Emma Mills novel in your life, you need to fix that. If you have, then I am guessing you’re gonna pick this book up regardless of anything I have to say so hope you have a nice life. Here, have some cookies on your way out! I made them myself!
Lately, I feel like there has been an upsurge in novels where characters struggle with change and that’s so, totally, completely my thing. I hate change so much and I struggle with it a lot so anytime I get to read about a character who is as stubborn about change as I am, I feel so seen. Sophie does not like change. There are reasons for this I cannot elaborate but if it were up to her, she and her friends would stay frozen in time and in their small town forever. Which does make it seem like she is a shitty friend, but I promise she is the most loyal friend in the world and unafraid to both be there for her friends but also call them out when they are WRONG.
There is a lovely romance in this novel, but at its core, this is a novel about friendship. I mean, its a novel about Sophie but her friends make up a huge part of who she is because her friendships are so essential to her existence. And of course, the best part about these friendships is that they are honest and complicated and lovely. Sophie messes up. Her friends mess up! But at the end of the day, they are there when it matters. This feels redundant because I already talked about the kind of person Sophie is but I do feel that emphasizing how important and well-written these relationships are because they are what make up this novel and give it life.
The one thing I am not entirely sure about within this novel was a twist that appears later on. It’s not that I saw it coming that bothers me. It is that I didn’t see it coming? Which implies that it is well written but honestly, it just seemed to be thrown at us for maximum emotional punch and no unpacking???????? AND THAT IS THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. I do want to say that it didn’t necessarily impact my overall enjoyment of the book (BECAUSE TRULY, I Love these characters) but it was still upsetting and felt so unlike Mills.
Anyway, so, if you’re an Emma Mills fan and still reading, I’d say read the book because twist aside, it has her characteristic goodness and charm. If you are new to Mills, READ THIS but not first. She has three other books out and all of them are excellent. YOU HAVE A LOT TO CHOOSE FROM.