Fame. If books and movies have taught us anything about being a celebrity, it’s that it isn’t all glitz and glamour. The drama, the relationships, the pressure, the jealousy…it seems like there’s always something going wrong in a world that’s supposed to feel so right.
Such is the case in Rebecca Serle’s Famous in Love. It kicks off with the casting of unknown teen actress Paige in the film adaptation of a wildly popular YA book series, and her ensuing rise to fame. Between the pressures of being a celebrity and one third of a love triangle with her two hot costars, she’s forced to figure out what she wants and who she wants to be, all while under the spotlight. To celebrate sequel Truly Madly Famously hitting stores this week, we’ve rounded up a bunch of YA reads that tackle the trials and tribulations of fame. Because it isn’t always as glamorous as you might think.
Open Road Summer, by Emery Lord
Most breakup stories don’t kick off with an epic rock-and-roll road trip, but not all breakup stories are written by the fabulous Emery Lord. In Open Road Summer, readers meet Reagan, a girl nursing a broken heart after finally ending things with her troublesome boyfriend. And her best friend that’s there to support her? She’s a country music superstar, who whisks Reagan away on a 24-city tour as she gets over a breakup of her own. Things get complicated when the tour’s opening act turns out to be quite the charmer, in a novel about love, fame, and friendship that’s hard to resist.
Under the Lights, by Dahlia Adler
Oh, this book. Written by B&N Teen’s own Dahlia Adler, it’s a diverse, swoon-filled read and the companion to Behind the Scenes. In it, we meet Josh, a handsome, partygoing teen who finally lands in the spotlight he’s always wanted…only to realize it might not be what he wants after all. Meanwhile, actress Vanessa Park, a star on Daylight Falls, finds herself just as indecisive when it comes to love and friendships, especially in the case of her agent’s hot redheaded assistant, Brianna. It’s a wonderfully diverse read told in dual POV, with memorable characters and plenty of swoons.
Also Read: Something Real, by Heather Demetrios. As in Under the Lights, one of the main characters is trying to avoid being on a reality TV show, and just wants a life of her own.
For the Record, by Charlotte Huang
It feels a bit unfair to bring up Huang’s debut, which won’t hit stores until November, but hey, you can pre-order it. And you should, especially since it’s being described as Almost Famous as YA novel. Sign. Me. Up. In For the Record, Chelsea loses a TV talent show…then is brought back into the spotlight as the lead singer of Melbourne, a massively successful group selling out venues around the country. Things escalate even more when the latest teen actor sensation starts swooning for her, making her famous for more than just her band. With tensions mounting between her bandmates, particularly the sexy guitar player, and the pressures of fame crashing in from all sides, will she be able to handle it all? Or will it be too much? Add this one to your TBR list. It’s a hilarious, heartfelt read you’ll finish in a single day.
Exile, by Kevin Emerson
Another band book, but this time, the spotlight is on the band’s manager, not the rock stars on stage. Catherine has dreams of managing musicians, and finds herself handling a group that’s certainly on their way…but there’s one problem. She’s falling for the lead singer, and she knows better. It’s unprofessional! Can she handle being both manager and girlfriend? And will she be able to help unravel a mystery surrounding her boyfriend’s past band? When you’re done with book one, good news! There’s a sequel. Encore to an Empty Room is out now.
This is What Happy Looks Like, by Jennifer E. Smith
It’s funny, how a simple mistake can lead to something wonderful. Such is the case with Smith’s This Is What Happy Looks Like, in which teen movie star Graham accidentally emails small-town girl Ellie, and they end up talking about everything. Well, everything but who they actually are. When fate tosses them another surprise, that Graham’s next film shoot is in Ellie’s town, the two decide to meet. But can this actually work out? And what have they been hiding from one another that they haven’t dished out in their long emails? (When you’re done, check out sequel Happy Again, an ebook novella.)
Also Read: Map to the Stars, by Jen Malone. Another fun novel about becoming smitten with a celebrity, Malone’s story focuses on Annie, who gets dragged along by her mother on a teen movie idol’s European tour. Her mom’s a makeup artist, and Annie would rather explore Europe and take in the sites than deal with all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Until that teen star turns out to be way more interesting than he initially seemed.
Audrey, Wait!, by Robin Benway
After Audrey’s ex-boyfriend scores a hit single with “Audrey, Wait!,” a song inspired by Audrey dumping him…well, life just isn’t the same. From the tabloids to the paparazzi, everyone wants to talk about her, and all Audrey wants is a normal life with her friends. This is a hilarious read about the pressures of trying to deal with unwanted fame, jam-packed with music references galore. Read it while making a mix tape.
Also Read: The Sound of Us, by Ashley Poston. In Poston’s debut, a teen girl falls in love with a former rockstar who’s trying to stay hidden, while attempting to save the rock-and-roll venue/bar she manages. There’s a lot at risk if they go public, and the chances their relationship will actually work out seem pretty slim. She wants a normal life outside of the spotlight, but the paparazzi have other ideas.