Well, I suppose the next couple of weeks will educate a bunch of people in Constitutional Law...including me. What a time to be alive (a stressful, stressful time!).
I'm also thinking about getting Invisalign. Well, I put down the payment so I'm absolutely getting it. I was the bad child who didn't wear a retainer and my teeth shifted. My bottom teeth are worse than my upper part, and you can't really even see my bottom teeth but it bothers me. I figure I might as well make myself happy (plus I've saved up for it). It was cheaper than what I budgeted by $1000 so that was exciting. It covers all my dental visits, all the retainers and any future retainers, etc. I think it's a good deal plus it set my overly-anxious mind at ease because the doctor will be checking all my teeth out as they move (every month more or less). I know other companies are cheaper and use tele-dentistry but that doesn't make me feel secure. I guess I want a dentist up in my mouth (in a professional capacity).
Strangely, the only time my teeth didn't bother me was in the United Kingdom. Not that the Brits had bad teeth--although I'm aware of the stereotype--the beauty/fashion standards were different. For example, not every actor and actress on television (news, commercials, shows, etc.) had perfectly capped, white teeth. Not every CEO. Not every single model. It was really interesting seeing how I reacted to everything as well. My wardrobe, hair and makeup all changed to I fit in more. I'm back in the USA though...and my teeth really bug me again. I might finally kick my gum habit.
This has nothing to do with the book. At all. I just wanted to tell anyone I'm getting Invisalign because I'm kinda excited. Right, so Famous In A Small Town is a Young Adult (YA) contemporary fiction. It deals with a group of friends in a small town named Acadia that are going into their last years of High School. The main character is named Sophie and Sophie is head of the student side of the Band Fundraising Committee. Her goal is to send the band to California for a parade/competition. This would look good on her college admissions essay (which she carefully plotted out, unlike Lori Loughlin and co.). Her big idea is to get the hometown songstress, Megan Pleasant, to come back and perform, raising money for the band. Unfortunately, Megan Pleasant has vowed to never return.
Title: Famous In A Small Town
Author: Emma Mills
Page Number: 312 (hardcover)
Genre: YA, contemporary, fiction, romance
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.
The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.
What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.
There are six characters (in the same school) that form the group that centers in the book. Sophie and her two friends, Brit and Flora. Brit and Flora are almost foils to each other (yet gently) while Sophie fits between them personality wise. The three guys in the group are brothers, Terrance and Dash, and the new guy to town named August. Terrance is funny, Dash is quiet and August is between their personalities. August and Sophie have chemistry and like all Emma Mills characters, they're generally lovely, decent people. Just a note, all three boys are nice dudes. They aren't douche-canoes that sometimes proliferate romances.
For the book as a whole, I thought it started a bit slow and formulaic. It seemed to be plodding along well (and slightly dully) until Mills dropped a conflict between the friends. The conflict didn't last very long and they all reconvened fairly easily (like many friend groups do) but she also dropped some big bombshells in that (that I don't want to ruin) and I'm fairly positive that when she did that she broke my heart in two. I'm not sure I liked the overall plotting, it wasn't bad but I'm not sure it was for me. For instance, the Megan Pleasant story line is middling important in the beginning, barely mentioned in the middle and heavier at the end.
I also want to say that Mills tied the ending up neatly but now how I expected. Overall, this is a sweet book that features a lovely cast of characters and a nice spotlight on small town life. My only complaint, and only mentioning because of a line that I cannot find anymore, is that while Mills does embrace LGBTQ+ characters very easily, I'm not sure she goes into race at all in this book. Does it matter here? I'm not sure (because I'm not an expert) but If I remember correctly, Brit tells Flora that she just doesn't see any racism in their small town because she isn't looking for it. I kept waiting for more on that but I don't recall Mills bringing it up again. It left a dark undercurrent to Brit's story line that perhaps actually wasn't there.
The nice thing about Emma Mills as an author, is that I know her books are going to be good. I might not find them to be five star (Foolish Hearts was up there for me) but they will be 3.5-4 easily. Mills is dependable as an author, but not overly predictable. I think this is a good thing. My favorite book by her is Foolish Hearts, perhaps because of the Shakespeare tie-in.
Without spoiling the plot, the best aspects of this book are the friendships in this book, the fast paced dialogue between many of the characters (I smiled but I'm not falling off the couch in laughter here), the sweet (and slow) romance and the strong female characters. There isn't any detailed sex scenes but there are mentions of house party and drinking...which makes me think that my high school was either not a party school or no one invited me anywhere.
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