Author: Katie Cotugno
Page Count: 324
Dana and Olivia are inseparable. They have been best friends forever and are now high school graduates. Olivia is talented and has been training to be a star her entire life, where as, Dana has been cheering her along but with no future goals in mind. When Olivia gets an audition in Orlando, Florida for a new singing group produced by Guy Monroe, Dana tags along for support. But she gets discovered by Guy and both of them end up getting chosen to come stay in Orlando and train to be pop stars. They end up staying in an apartment with two other girls who were chosen as well, Ashley and Kristin and they meet the boy band, Hurricane State. Dana ends up falling for Alex, who is a member of the group and the two start a secret romance. But as the summer drags on, Dana can’t help but feel out of place. Olivia, Ashley and Kristin have been training their entire lives for this and Dana has no training or experience. So when her and Olivia get in a fight and don’t speak to each other, it makes things difficult. Especially since now there is only room for one girl to come out on top. The competition heats up and pushes these two best friends to their limits.
This book is suppose to take place in the 1990s in Orlando, Florida but I didn’t get any of those vibes from this. Honestly, the entire story isn’t appealing to me at all. I wasn’t interested in reading about how two girls are trying to become pop stars. But the worst part is the friendship between Olivia and Dana. It’s so toxic. They say some pretty awful stuff to each other and since the book is told from Dana’s perspective, we get to read what’s going on in her thoughts. Olivia has an eating disorder and while Dana really tries helping her to overcome it, nothing gets done about it and it’s unsettling. Several adults know about her condition as well, and again, nothing is done.
The relationship with Dana and Alex was rough starting out. When we first meet Alex, Olivia tells Dana that she knows him and she had a crush on him in middle school. So now Alex is off-limits to Dana. Or so she tries telling herself that. They start a relationship behind Olivia’s back and you just know that things are going to blow up. I think Alex is a pretty great guy. I actually liked him from the beginning but I think Dana makes a mistake by not keeping Olivia in the loop.
This was my first Katie Cotugno book but I don’t feel like it was the writing that didn’t entertain me. It was the story and the characters. So I definitely will be giving her other books a try.