“Fireworks” – Katie Cotugno

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Dana and Olivia are the very definition of sisters by choice. Small town life has never been for Olivia and her dreams of becoming a pop star are within her reach when she auditions for a chance to be part of a group for legendary producer Guy Monroe. The program will lead to a chance to open for a pop sensation and travel on tour with him and Hurricane State. So when Olivia goes to audition Dana tags along for the ride, ever the faithful sidekick. When Guy Monroe picks Dana out of the room of hopefuls and makes her audition Dana’s life is suddenly morphing from spending the rest of her future in the same small Georgia town she grew up in to being a pop sensation.

Tensions grow for the two best friends as they challenge each other and compete for a chance in the spotlight. Personal issues that have been left unsaid come to light and romantic dramas cloud their once perfect friendship.

I enjoyed this book as I do all of Cotugno’s work. However, I had one major issue I’d like to address first; Olivia’s eating disorder. I understand it’s purpose to the plot, I understand why it was handled the way it was, and I understand why it was resolved the way it was. That being said the whole plot line made me angry, frustrated, and sad because it was so realistic and truthful and it’s not okay that women, teens, girls, feel this way and are treated this way and something has got to change.

I loved the relationship between Dana and Olivia, but something was seriously messed up between them for things to go the way they did. They both needed a lot of therapy and a lot of growing up.

Alex was great but a little… too perfect. I feel like he needed some kind of flaw. His perfection actually made Dana seem even bitchier than she was intended to be.

I’ve never been a pop star (or part of a girl group) but I feel like it was a pretty accurate representation of the stereotype (also I got to relive my 90s Group Band nostalgia and that made me unbelievably happy). I liked the way the characters were written and I really enjoyed the story. I felt some of it could have been cut, that it was a little repetitive at times. I think the repetitiveness was meant to show the overwhelming tension and anxiety but it just came across as repetitive and missed that mark for me.

I love Cotugno and will definitely be picking up more of her books and this one was great. I also listened to a lot of this on Audiobook because I have such a long commute it helps me actually have time to read and I have to shout out to the book reader, Erin Spencer, she was great!

So yes, this book held all of the juicy things I love (drama, jealousy, romance) and had a few real emotional aspects (anxiety, eating disorders). It was a great book and I would recommend it to fans of the genre.

Happy Reading!

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