10 Things I Loved About #FAMOUS by Jilly Gagnon
In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?
Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.
1. This book is absolutely hilarious. Based on Jilly Gagnon’s comedy writing, I expected #FAMOUS to be laugh out loud funny, and I wasn’t let down. The writing is sharp, the characters’ sarcastic insights cracked me up, and the situations they found themselves in were absurd in the best possible way.
2. But it’s not all about the humor. #FAMOUS also had heart. It made me think. And it was a wonderful exploration of the fronts people put on versus their true selves, and how a situation has the potential spiral out of control—and the unique ways different personality types react to that spiral.
3. Speaking of unique personalities, one of the things I loved about this book was how drastically different Rachel and Kyle are. They each have a distinct voice, speech patterns, and ways of looking at the world. Even without the chapter headings, I instantly knew which character’s POV I was in. As opposite as they are, both characters are complex, lovable, and engaging.
4. How wonderfully bumbling Kyle was. He seems like the person who has it together, right? He’s a handsome, popular jock. But, well, appearances can be deceiving. I loved how the world perceived his reactions as opposed to how he did. And I loved how un-suave he actually was.
5. Though I’ll admit, Rachel is the character I could most relate to. After all, she’s the “artsy weirdo.” She’s always ready with a self-deprecating quip like, “They’d probably cumulatively eaten half an order of fries in the last ten years, which was why they looked like miniature supermodels and I looked like the funny friend.” Her reaction to fame made sense to me. Believe me, Rach, I’d be horrified at the thought of watching myself on TV too.
6. #FAMOUS also had mean girls who I loved to hate. Oof (as Kyle would say). There were so many scenes that made me want to shout No no no no no. And while, yeah, it was masked with humor, the cyber bullying was heartbreaking. I loved Rachel even more for the brave way she dealt with it.
7. Fame is weird. There are different kinds of fame. There are different reactions to it. Rachel and Kyle had drastically different journeys, and one of the greatest things about this book was seeing the contrast between their stories. This book will leave you wondering what fame really means—and what it really matters. In the end, was it all worth it? (Oh, how I’d love to dive more into this topic, if only it weren’t so spoilery.)
8. While Rachel and Kyle were the stars of #FAMOUS (after all, they’re the famous ones) they were surrounded by minor characters I fell in love with. Like Rachel’s hippie parents or take-charge Monique who “In third grade, she made two entire projects for the science fair in case one was better than the other.” Even Emma, who, for the longest time, I couldn’t decide if I liked or despised (I’ll keep the final verdict to myself because, again, spoilers).
9. #FAMOUS begins with Rachel having a crush on Kyle—it’s what prompts her to take the soon-to-be-viral photo of him in the first place. So, of course, romance is part of this book. And it’s charming. And filled with awesome banter.
10. The plot is so relevant to present day. After all, how many times have we heard about something going viral online? How many times have we shared those photos or videos? And how often do we take a step back and consider how it’s impacting the people involved? It’s easy to forget that there are real human beings behind all the funny diversions floating around the internet. Reading the about the people closest to the situation was awesome. And, yeah, it was a little scary too.