BWW Review: TRULY MADLY FAMOUSLY by Rebecca Serle
"The thing about life is that sometimes the roads that seem impossible just have some rocks in your way. They're not boulders, they're just rocks. You can move them. You are strong enough."
~Alexis, TRULY MADLY FAMOUSLY
I really adored Rebecca Serle's FAMOUS IN LOVE and was eager to see how things would pan out for Paige Townsen, who was thrust into superstardom the very first time she ever made a movie. Her life was turned upside-down and she had to make hard decisions fast. And after that ending? I couldn't wait to continue!
Paige Townsen is living the dream. She's been plucked out of obscurity and thrust into Hollywood the moment she's cast as August in the upcoming blockbuster movie LOCKED. LOCKED is the hottest book trilogy out there, and fans are clamoring to see it on the big screen. Having the number one movie at the box office and having these characters be household names means everyone knows Paige's face--and the faces of her co-stars, Rainer Devon and Jordan Wilder. But it also means that the trio is constantly hounded by paparazzi and that their lives are under a microscope. If one picture takes something out of context, it can change lives. When the wrong picture is revealed to the tabloids, Paige's life turns upside down in an instant.
And here is where I'll warn you that this review is FULL of spoilers from Book 1 in the duology, FAMOUS IN LOVE.
Because it is IMPOSSIBLE to continue without talking about certain things.
So check out my review for the first book instead, or continue at your own peril!
Paige couldn't believe it when she found herself in a real-life love triangle. She thought they only happened in books. Suddenly, she understands what August, the character she plays in the best-selling Locked franchise, is going through. At the end of the first book, Paige decisively chooses Rainer because he needs the support after his family has a huge fallout splashed all over the tabloids. But her heart is still with Jordan. She keeps finding herself drawn to him. Did she choose wrong? But being with Rainer is so comfortable. He has helped her fit in and taught her the ways of Hollywood. He was what she needed to get by. Paige's heart is still as confused as it was the first time around.
I've got to tell you: In the first book, the chemistry between Paige and Jordan was fantastic. I really wanted Paige to choose him because you could see that they would be great together. I definitely got why she chose Rainer, but you could see that it wasn't a perfect decision and she still had regrets. The love triangle is still in play as TRULY MADLY FAMOUSLY begins. When Jordan comes to pick Paige up at a party after Rainer has left, the tabloids snag a picture of him helping her and blow it out of context. Rainer and Paige break up as Paige admits she could have feelings for Jordan. But never fear, readers, she doesn't jump from relationship to relationship! A lot of this book is spent exploring herself. Everything has been happening so fast, and now that Paige has found her foot in Hollywood, she's finally taking the time to process. Not just her relationships, but her next steps, too.
Paige learns so many hard lessons about Hollywood and becomes something more of a pro, able to navigate the industry on her own now. She's harder and less open when her secrets are revealed to the press. Is her childhood friend Cassandra talking to the press? Can she truly be open with her new friend, fellow starlet Alexis Gibson, or will she run to a tell-all? Can she trust anyone anymore?
I like how the first book revolved around the movie for Locked and had a lot of behind-the-scenes glimpses. Likewise, I enjoyed the fact that this book looked ahead more to the future. Even as Paige returns to Hawaii to begin filming the sequel, everything is different. Wyatt is no longer the director. The movie now has more than three people in its cast. Only Hawaii itself remains unchanged. There's a lot of pressure on Paige to choose her next movie role so she won't only be known as "August from Locked" but her handlers want her to dive right into another blockbuster YA series being adapted for the big screen. Paige would rather do an indie film featuring a script she's absolutely in love with, but its producers feel she's too "blockbuster" for the part. I enjoyed all of these new worries and concerns being thrown into her life.
At the end of the book, we FINALLY get closure on the love triangle. Paige makes her final choice and decides she doesn't care about the press or what people think, but about following her heart and seeing where it leads. This decision happens so close to the book's end that there isn't a lot of time dedicated to the romance, and it's what really made me wish the series was still a trilogy as originally planned. I had closure, but I wanted more closure. I wanted to see Paige not struggling--at least not romantically. I wanted to see her happy. Plus, three Locked books, three movies...three books, right?? Or even a book on the set of a different movie as she deals with all of the decisions she made. Or even a novella at, like, Christmas or something. I just wanted to see her HAPPY. That's one reason I was so happy to find out that Famous in Love was going to be a TV series. If it took off, maybe there'd be another book! Alas, the show is SO different from the books that it probably isn't likely. But I can still dream about seeing a Happily Ever After for Paige, right??
I was really excited to take the time to re-read this duology again this past month after binge-watching the new TV series and wound up falling in love with this world and these characters all over again!