Author: Katie Cotugno
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre/Themes/Demo: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
Release Date: April 18th 2017
Page Count: 336
Format: ARC + Audiobook
*Disclaimer: An ARC of Fireworks by Katie Cotugno was provided to me by Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.
Initial Post Reading Thoughts
Yeah…I don’t think this one was really for me. Things just moved too unrealistically fast and the insta-love was just a no for me. While it was fast paced and it kept me intrigued, I was never really full invested in this story and its characters. And that ending? Not a fan.
It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along. But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing. It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.
What I Liked
The pacing. Unfortunately, the pacing was basically the only thing I enjoyed about this novel and probably the only reason I didn’t DNF it. It was really quick and I was able to breeze through the audiobook, but this was maybe the only redeeming quality for me.
What I Didn’t Like
High school pettiness. I just can’t with high school-esque drama anymore. I’m sorry…maybe my age is showing. I have no problem with novels that take place in a high school setting, but the drama that occurs for no reason or the drama that occurs because someone made a terrible life decision…yeah, I can’t handle that anymore. I end up just rolling my eyes as I’m reading and that’s never a good sign.
The characters. None of them were memorable or even remotely likeable. They all did things that angered me and made me think, could they really be this dumb? I didn’t like our main character Dana, I didn’t like her “best friend” Olivia & I did not like the love-interest Alex. There was just nothing to like about any of them really.
Insta-love. Alex could have been the best character in this novel…and then the insta-love happened which just tarnished him for me. I absolutely HATE insta-love in stories. I’m much more of a slow burn kind of reader. The relationship within Fireworks was just unrealistic.
Too easy. Speaking of unrealistic, the whole concept of this novel was too good to be true. Two girls go to an audition together, one just as support for her “best friend”. while they’re there, the one who’s there just as support gets asked to audition out of the blue as the previous auditions were terrible. She sings Happy Birthday and a few weeks later she gets chosen as part of a 4 member girl group…out of thousands of auditions. Then magically she can sing and dance and what not. Everything just seemed to perfect and easy. I’m definitely not one to talk about the audition process, but this just seemed so farfetched.
The ending. Notice how I used quotation marks around the word best friend in the paragraphs above. Yeah. This ending was terrible.
Overall, Fireworks by Katie Cotugno was just not the book for me. I’ve heard so many amazing things about this author though. I may still give her writing another chance, but it may take me a while to bring myself to pick up another novel by her unfortunately.
About The Author
Katie Cotugno is the New York Times Bestselling author of 99 DAYS and HOW TO LOVE, both available from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, as well as FIREWORKS, forthcoming in 2017. She studied Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College and received her MFA in Fiction at Lesley University. Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, and Argestes, among others. The great loves of her life include child’s pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston with her husband, Tom.
Thank you for reading!