Catch A Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

catch a falling star

Kim Culbertson’s Catch a Falling Star is one of the best contemporary YA romances I’ve read so far this year. It has everything I want to see: a strong, relatable, intelligent protagonist, a swoon-worthy boy, great supporting characters (including good parents – YAY!),  a setting I’d like to spend time in, and a cute, cleverly written plot sprinkled with some humor and sweetness.

Carter Moon is happy with her life – she helps out in her parents’ deli, she’s about to graduate high school with some great friends, and she loves the small town of Little, CA. The problem? Well, there are a few. One, she’s so content with her current life that she hasn’t made any plans for beyond high school. Two, she takes on too much responsibility for her brother’s gambling addiction. And three, she’s completely unprepared for the impact the filming of a Hollywood movie in Little will have on her nice, quiet little life.

When Adam Jakes, current teen heartthrob and object of almost every teenage girl’s obsession, comes to Little for his next Hollywood movie, he’s in need of some positive PR. When Adam’s manager sees Carter and her small-town sweetness, he hires her to “date” Adam while he’s in town to build up his public image (Carter only agrees so she can use the money to help her brother).

Adam is not prepared for a girl who speaks her mind and seems immune to his celebrity status, and Carter is not prepared to actually find some depth and humanity behind Adam’s public persona. The result? A really, really cute story reminiscent of Jen E. Smith’s This Is What Happy Looks Like. I devoured this is a day and instantly wanted more of Carter and Adam’s story. I’d love to see these characters reappear in future Culbertson titles.

Also, though these characters are upper high school age, I was really pleased to see that the book was totally clean and appropriate even for my middle schoolers to read. It was also pleasantly surprising to see that Carter’s parents are really good parents, models for the kinds of parents I wish we saw more in YA titles. Culbertson is a refreshing new voice in the YA world – I’d love to see this book on a bestseller list (and it would be perfect for a movie, too).

Catch a Falling Star releases today, so grab your copy now! Find it here on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller.

The Romeo Club by Rebekah L. Purdy

romeo club



I was given a copy of The Romeo Club by Swoon Romance because of my love of Cassie Mae’s books, which turned out to be perfect – Cassie and Rebekah definitely have similar styles, and they’ve both mastered the art of the light-hearted yet meaningful, predictable in the best possible way and still exciting, totally swoon-worthy romantic comedy.

The Romeo Club started out quickly with the protagonist, Delyla, helping her brother catch the eye of his crush when he requests a makeover. When that’s successful, she’s recruited by his group of nerdtastic friends to get the same makeover treatment. I don’t know… Have any teenagers seen the movie Clueless lately? I feel like that’s the best comparison I can make, though instead of a hopeless girl in need of a makeover we get to watch an entire Nerd Herd transform through the coaching of Delyla.

There were a lot of great things about The Romeo Club. One, there are some fun and well-written supporting characters. Two, Delyla has a sarcastic wit that leads to some really fun interactions with those supporting characters. Three, and what seems to be too rare in YA these days, The Romeo Club is pretty clean as far as language, sex, and alcohol/drugs go. Purdy is able to successfully write an interesting and romantic story without making the teenagers  completely without morals.

The Romeo Club just came out this week, and it’s available on Amazon now. Check it out!