ARC Review: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

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I won an ARC from the publisher in a giveaway.

Title: Fireworks
Author: Katie Cotugno
Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): From Katie Cotugno, bestselling author of 99 Days, comes Fireworks—about a girl who is competing with her best friend to become the new pop star of the moment—and all the drama and romance that comes with it—set in Orlando during the late-’90s boy-and-girl-band craze.

It 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.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, New York Times bestselling author Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.

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Fireworks is the 90s stardom book I never knew I wanted. The hard work and intense training shown in the story is exactly what I love to see, and the main character has a complex backstory and is so likeable. What I especially adored is the female friendship between the two main characters, since it is actually goals. Fans of Katie Cotugno’s previous books will not be disappointed with her latest work!

As a sucker for any book related to the arts, I naturally loved this one. What I especially enjoyed is the fact that this book doesn’t skip over the intense training of the band members and just mention the performances. The story is filled with voice lessons and intense dance practise, which I could never survive. However, there is also a cute boy band included, which I could definitely live with.

I loved Dana’s character. She doesn’t have an easy life and has a hard time fitting in with the other girls in the band. Dana is so considerate to her friends and just wants everyone to have a good time. I sympathized with her because she is such a nice person and has a hard time saying no to the other girls. Her character is also so complex and well-developed, which I always love to see.

One of my favourite things about Fireworks is the strong female friendship. Dana and Olivia have been best friends their entire lives and are basically sisters. Olivia even put an extra bed in her room for Dana to use during their frequent sleepovers. It really hurt to see the pressure of the music world start to come between them and watch them slowly start to drift apart. Even so, I think that the fact that Dana goes along with Olivia to live a dream that isn’t really hers is absolute friendship goals.

Fireworks is a musical book filled with the behind-the-scenes aspects of a rising girl band. The main character is so complex and likeable, and the strong friendship is so adorable. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to fans of 90s music.

14 thoughts on “ARC Review: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

  1. Kelly says:

    Awesome review! I haven’t read anything by Katie Cotugno yet, even though I do have other books by her. I actually just started reading this one this morning, and I liked the first two chapters so far so I’m super excited to see where the story goes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jaime Lynn says:

    I haven’t read anything by this author before, but I know people enjoy her stories. This one sounds pretty interesting. I can’t imagine the pressure put on people in a new band, especially teens. Learning the routines, dealing with pettiness, learning how to navigate newfound fame and crazy amounts of attention. And on top of it, new love and a friendship breaking at the seams? I definitely want to check this one out, no doubt! The cover is cute, too. I love the pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

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