Release Date: June 3rd, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): YA Contemporary
As a face-painter doubling as a serving wench, Ro is thrown headfirst into a vibrant community of artists and performers. She feels like a fish out of water until Will, a quick-witted whip cracker, takes her under his wing. Then there’s Christian, a blue-eyed stunt jouster who makes Ro weak in the knees. Soon, it’s not just her gown that’s tripping her up.
Trading in the internet and electricity for stars and campfires was supposed to make life simpler, but Ro is finding that love is the ultimate complication. Can she let the past make way for her future?
Overall, I thought this book was okay. It was cute and fluffy. ;)
I was actually going to give this book a solid rate on the lower side (instead of a halfy) because of a) the love triangle, b) flat love interests, and c) the insta-love with Christian and the whole "he's the hottest guy I've ever seen" spiel (this seriously made me roll my eyes :p). But there were redeeming parts to this book, and I couldn’t overlook that in favor of my burning hatred of insta-love and flat characters. ;)
I really loved one of the themes in this book on following your heart and passions, instead of trying to mold into something your parents want you to be. This was one of the redeeming parts of the book. However, at the same time, I wish that that theme had been more emphasized than Ro constantly chasing Christian. I mean, yes, at the end she learns a valuable lesson, but still, I felt the book was wasting a lot of time with the plot with Christian because a) Will was like RIGHT there in all his mustached glory (it’s fake xD) and b) I think the book, even with the fluff, would have been a lot more meaningful if it had been focused on just that theme.
Character-wise, I hated Christian and semi-hated Will, liked Ro, liked Suze, and loved Ramon.
Christian and Will had one thing in common: their characters were both flatter than a pancake smashed by an ironing board. They had absolutely no depth to them and were really one-sided. Take Christian, for example. He was an arrogant, rude player. The fact that he was supposedly the “hottest guy in the world” didn't really help his case. I hated the insta-love, and I hated that Ro pursued him because of his looks. But that was all there was to him. He was a jerk because he was a jerk, and he was nothing else. There was no depth to him or any motivations or reasons. He was a very simple character. I rarely notice that certain characters are set up just to be hated by the readers (because I'm blinded by my hate for them LOL), but here it was SO obvious. The same thing goes for Will. I started to like him because he was really sweet. But that was all there was to him- a really sweet, but flat guy. Both these characters had no depth, no development, nothing- except for that one, single role they were created to play. So, even though Will was a good guy- and that's why I said semi-hated because I didn't hate his goodness- I didn't really like him because he was so flat as a character.
Ro was an okay character; she wasn’t really memorable, and she was a bit shallow in the beginning. I, however, loved reading about how much she loved art because those parts were the most real and solid things in this fluffy book. (Not that I didn’t enjoy the fluff. :)) Her passion for it shone through, and there’s nothing I love more than someone’s genuine passion. :) Suze, her best friend at the fair, was bustling with life, and I thought it was really cute the way she looked out for Ro. As for Ramon, he was one of those gruff on the outside, but sweet on the inside character- which I am a total sucker for. ;) He gave her great advice-and made cute little trolls aww- and he was honestly my favorite character. I just wish he was more prominent in the book, but I guess the background characters who just sneak themselves into your heart are the best types of characters. ;)
Plot-wise, there wasn’t really a solid action/resolution plot (unless you count the thing with Christian). The book for the most part described Ro’s experience as a face painter at the fair. I hesitate to label this as heart-driven because it is in some aspects (Ro’s own reflections between art or not), but at the same time, it was too fluffy to be deeply heart-driven, and the focus of the book went back and forth between on Ro chasing Christian and the theme of pursuing your passions.
Final thoughts? A cute book that’s good for a one time quick read, irritatingly flat love interests, and a great theme of following your heart.
Thanks for reading! :)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5