Fireworks by Katie Cotungo | Book Review #236

Book Review

29523625It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Fireworks is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance novel set in the ’90’s that focuses on proving yourself, friendship, and love. Whether this love be friendship love, or romantic love.

I’ve read two of Cotungo’s works before and have enjoyed them, so I was looking forward to reading Fireworks. Especially since the story is set in the ’90’s and I was born in ’94! I was looking forward to reading and reminiscing about the few things that I remember about growing up in the ’90’s. And while the main focus of the book isn’t the ’90’s at all, I still enjoyed reading Fireworks.

unnamed-6Fireworks has one point of view, and that view is from Dana. I’m going to be completely honest and say that I kept on forgetting that Dana’s name was actually Dana. Other than this, I really had no problems with Dana at all. She stays true to herself and doesn’t change her morals. Yes, Dana worked towards different goals, but, Dana didn’t destroy herself to do so. Which in my book, means that Dana is a pretty sound character — of course Dana has her flaws. I mean, who doesn’t, buuut, throughout everything that Dana goes through, she more or less deals with everything in a completely realistic way.

I enjoyed the book, but I don’t know how to feel about Dana’s and Olivia’s friendship. While Olivia seems considerate and genuinely loves Dana; I mean they’re best friends, but Olivia seems like the best friend that you would hold at arms length. Olivia…is Olivia. There are a lot of ups and downs that these two go through, and we see this throughout the novel. I appreciated the accurate and very real depiction of Dana and Olivia’s friendship.

I’ve found that with some YA Contemporaries, I have to read the book in sessions. I didn’t need to do that with Fireworks. Everything in this book flowed really well — which isn’t surprising. Cotungo’s books are always easy for me to read.

I found that the best thing about fireworks was the ending — and I’m not saying that in a condescending way. I’m saying that I appreciate what the ending has to offer. I enjoyed that the ending is a realistic one, and not a happy-go-lucky ending that some people would offer.

I ended up giving Fireworks 2.5 of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Have you read Fireworks? What’d you think of it? 

Happy Reading!

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