Happy Friday, guys!
It's almost the weekend! We're celebrating our impending two days of freedom, by reviewing Truly Madly Famously by Rebecca Serle.
I was genuinely surprised at how introspective and thoughtful Famous in Love was last year, and I've been looking forward to revisting Paige, Jordan and Rainer, and the ups-and-downs of Hollywood life.
Read on for my thoughts!
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Poppy
Format read: Finished copy via publisher; PMK*BNC
With her trademark introspection and flair, author Rebecca Serle shows that even as Paige hits the peak of her Hollywood fame, celebrity is a house of cards that can easily come tumbling down.
After being plucked from obscurity, Hollywood's newest It Girl, Paige Townsen, has a blockbuster film to her name and Rainer Devon on her arm. But being half of the world's most famous couple comes with a price. No matter where Paige goes, someone is always watching. Soon she finds herself dodging photographers; hiding her feelings for her other costar, Jordan Wilder; and weathering tabloid scandals that threaten to tear her and Rainer apart-and end her career as quickly as it began.
As she navigates her new L.A. life in this exciting sequel to Famous in Love, Paige finds that she doesn't know who to trust: Old friends could be betraying her secrets, and new friends are keeping secrets of their own.
Serle brings us back into Paige's world, after the global release of Locked. Paige, Jordan and Rainer's careers have skyrocketed to new heights, and Paige and Rainer are also making waves with their newfound romance. But as Paige adjust to global scrutiny, she continues to struggle with her unresolved feelings for Jordan, leading to tabloid scandal...
In Truly Madly Famously, Serle picks up where Famous in Love left off, rejoining Paige and Co. in the aftermath of Locked's global release. It's evident that fame has already started taking its tow on Paige, as readers see her struggling with both the intense interest from fans, and her own lingering questions about her relationships with Rainer and Jordan.
Serle does a nice job of painting the general clausterphobia that comes with global fame; Paige admits ruefully in the early chapters of the book that she doesn't know where she ends, and her character August begins. Moreover, by becoming associated with such a global franchise, there's a certain degree of on and off-screen typecasting that occurs, and Serle skillfully explores Paige's attempts to navigate the impact on both her career and personal life.
Her struggles to be seen as more than just a pretty face and/or a one-hit wonder is relatable, and readers will likely be inspired by Paige's willingness to advocate both for herself, and for the projects that she genuinely believes in. It's a worthwhile lesson for readers of any age, and again proves Serles penchant for finding the profundity, in an innately superficial culture.
But like Love, it's the relationships of Famously that will likely stick the most in the reader's mind. Serle skfully navigates the exanding love triangle of Paige, Jordan and Rainer, especially now that they're out of the relative anonymity of Maui. There's also a strong emphasis on the role of media influencing the course of both relationships, including a rueful nod to the idea that any celebrity's life is just as orchestrated and fine-tuned as any film project.
All in all, Truly Madly Famously is just as exciting and worthwhile a read as Famous in Love. Serle most definitely has another hit on her hands.
Paige's struggles to figure out both her career and her love of two very different leading men, is thoroughly dissected and well-written. Though her relationships play out against the backdrop of global media scrutiny and fan intrigue, Serle has written Paige in a way that will make all of her struggles feel relatable to each individual reader.
But more importantly, Serle has also written a book that is very true to the times. Paige's struggle to be taken seriously as an actress is something that we've seen play out in real-life, as is her uncertainty on which female friends she can trust in a fame-driven world. By advocating for herself and fighting to carve out a career path that she can be proud of, Serle has written a character that readers, particularly female ones, can definitely understand.
Highly recommend for fans of the previous book, and also readers who enjoy contemporary romances.