Okay so after reading Heart of Iron I decided to pick this up. I’d been craving a contemporary romance and, since I loved heart of Iron, I figured this would be great for me. Now this book did not rate quite so high for me as Heart of Iron. I should mention I devoured this book though, it was an easy, enjoyable read, that I stayed up late to finish in one sitting on Sunday night (setting my exhausted precedent for the rest of the week).
Our main characters are Elle, a blogger obsessed with the cult TV show Starfield who’s just trying to keep her head down with her step-mother and step-siblings, and Darrien, a teen heartthrob actor who’s never wanted anything more than to play Carmidor – the hero of Starfield. After Darrien is cast, Elle (and a lot of other fans) is very disappointed. Her critique of Darrien as Carmidor though gets her blog thousands of followers and she also finds a fellow Starfield lover in the mysterious guy who has started texting her. For Darrien, texting Elle is a way to escape from the pressures of living up to playing his hero and the loneliness of the life he has chosen. Elle find a glimmer of hope in the cosplay contest at Ecselsicon which Darrien just happens to be judging…
So, this book did an amazing job at retelling Cinderella in a modern, unique way. I haven’t personally gone to cons or cosplayed but I love Sci-Fi and I definitely feel like could be at home in those places, so this really just made me so excited. I loved the sci-fi references and Starfield sounds really amazing.
I also adored Darrien. I felt like he was brilliantly written character. The kind of person that has got exactly what he wants in life, recognises how lucky he is, while still feeling a little empty inside. I felt like his storyline, especially with his arsehole dad/manager, made sense. He’s only just 18 so he hasn’t quite figured out the independence thing, and why shouldn’t he trust his dad?
Elle I had a problem with. So, one of the plot points is that her dad left her the house not her step mum. I’m not sure how things work in the US but surely that puts Elle in the position of power even if she’s under her stepmums care until she’s 18? Like she’s almost 18 and she lets her stepmum bully her, I didn’t quite get why she hadn’t said long ago ‘Keep this up and I’ll kick you out when I’m 18’. Also didn’t make sense about her step mum selling the house – like that money would legally be Elle’s. Let me know if there are some fucked up laws in the Us that allow this but (and I’m really thinking of A Cinderella Story here) I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.
I also didn’t quite get why she didn’t have any friends? She’s super isolated and, as someone who knows exactly what that feels like, I don’t think she was portrayed realistically. Not having anyone really, really hurts and she just didn’t seem to care, she actively tried to push away people that reached out to her. I have a problem with this concept in books (Fangirl I’m looking at you) because I think that those people that push people away don’t tend to be so lucky to have an extroverted person that meets them and keeps trying and trying and trying and trying to be their friend. As you can probably tell this has hit a bit of a nerve for me. I’m going to move on now.
Spoiler warning – okay I need to discuss the end so skip to the last paragraph if you don’t want this spoiled.
The end was so anti-climactic. I loved how everything with the cosplay ball and Darrien and Elle ended up. I loved how he came to find her. The person she was with him, the relationship they’d developed, I totally got why he wanted her so much.
Then the epilogue? Okay long distance I can do, it makes sense, and I mean they’re really good at communicating far away. Like we’ve just read a book about them developing a relationship through texting so that doesn’t bother me.
It was the other things. The fact that she is so unsure about their relationship still. He came to her graduation barely. Why? Surely everyone at her school knew they were going out. Surely, he could have attended and celebrated afterwards?
Also in what kind of relationship that has been going on for almost a year does the one of you move to the same city as the other, when you have been separated the whole time, and you decide your reunion will be on a red carpet? I mean why? I think if your long-distance girlfriend moved to LA for college meaning you would be in the same city and you were a famous actor you would maybe meet her at the airport? At least come to wherever she was living if you don’t want to be swarmed by the press? It felt a little out of character for Darrien and I didn’t think that Elle would be so hot on a reunion on the red carpet.
So yeah, those are my thoughts… If I have a problem with a book, I can really have a good rant about it. Shout out to my partner who heard this all on Monday night as I formulated my thoughts. As I said in my intro though, an enjoyable read that I think you’ll enjoy if you’re a fellow nerd like me. I don’t think I’ll reread but I’m certainly not upset I read it. Not sure it was worth the tiredness on Monday but… I originally gave it 4*, debating whether it should be a 3.5* but you get the general idea. Writing reviews always makes me harsher.