Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Famous in a Small Town by Emma MillsFamous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
Published by Henry Holt BFYR on January 15, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
AmazonThe Book Depository

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.

Lately, I’ve been in a bit of a mood when it comes to reading. A mood where all I want to read is Ilona Andrews books. It was already going pretty strong, but restarting Kate Daniels has definitely made that mood stronger. I know you’re like, um, Christina, I think you’re writing the wrong review atm, but that’s my point. Famous in a Small Town was so good that I put the Kate Daniels down and read this one straight through with no regrets.

Since I only read book synopses when I first add them to Goodreads, I was surprised by Famous in a Small Town. I totally thought this was going to be a celebrity romance, but lol it’s really not. In my defense, the title is a bit misleading, though the book does deal heavily with aF small town’s obsession with the one famous person to come from it, a country music star named Megan Pleasant.

Famous in a Small Town starts out like all of Emma Mills’ other contemporary novels: adorably. Immediately, I loved Sophie’s voice and her friend group (Emma Mills is so good at friend groups, and there’s an adorable side ship sooooo). Sophie’s such an adorable nerd, president of fundraising for her high school’s marching band which is trying to save up enough money to march in the Rose Parade. Her main goal for the summer is to make that happen against great odds, and it’s so precious how she stays focused and won’t let go, even when her friends loving tell her to chill.

Within a couple of chapters, the ship was cemented, and I was ready for the fluffy shippiness of a Mills novel. I got half of that. Mills delivers on the ship as usual. Sophie and August banter so adorably from the very beginning, and I hurled myself aboard the ship and refused to depart. However, Famous in a Small Town isn’t really that fluffy once you get into it; this is Mill’s saddest book. It’s well done, because, hi, it’s Emma Mills, but omg I was so not prepared and got completely blindsided and emotionally wrecked by this book.

Despite their awesome chemistry, August keeps Sophie at a friendly distance, and so I (and Sophie pretty much) spent the whole time going NOW KISS. Until later on, you don’t know why, but you just know it’s going to be heartbreaking because he’s such a sweet guy that there’s just no way it’s some douchey thing. Sometimes I read YA now, and all I want to do is protect the precious teens from anything that could hurt them, and this book made me feel hella protective.

The plot around Megan Pleasant serves as a nice frame story, though it’s really obviously that, though this is the A plot, it’s not what matters; there’s not enough about marching band to really make that seem like the point. That said, I thought the way that everything resolved was really excellently done, and there were some tiny twists I didn’t see coming. View Spoiler »

Given that I’m a fluff addict, Famous in a Small Town probably won’t be my favorite of Mills’ books, but, like the others, I know I’ll be revisiting it through the years. There’s something magical about Mills’ writing and characterization.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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