Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis for Beyond the Stars (from Goodreads):
Falling for him wasn’t in the plans…
Most girls would kill for the opportunity to work for Jack McAlister, Hollywood’s hottest actor, but twenty-one-year-old Jessica Beckett is ready to kick him out of her red Ford Fiesta and never look back. She should be spending her junior year in France, eating pastries and sharpening her foreign language skills. Instead she’s reluctantly working as Jack’s personal assistant, thanks to her powerhouse talent agent aunt.
Jack is private, prickly, and downright condescending. Jessica pushes his buttons—she’s not the type of girl to swoon over celebrity heartthrobs, precisely why her aunt thought she’d be perfect for the job—and Jack pushes right back.
But as she begins to peel away his layers, Jessica is shocked to find she craves her boss’s easy smile and sexy blue eyes. The problem is, so does the entire female population. And what started out as the job from hell soon has Jess wondering if a guy like Jack could ever find love with a regular girl like her.
Author: Stacy Wise
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Celebrity, Coming of Age
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: February 8, 2016
Source & Format: Read It Review It–eARC
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I first saw this book as a galley on NetGalley but never got a chance to request it. So it seemed like fate when a couple months later it was a part of the Read It, Review It program in my New Adult Book Club on Goodreads. I made sure I grabbed a copy ASAP!
I really enjoy the idea of celebrity romances with everyday people in my NA novels. Sometimes, it’s executed well but other times it’s a little whimsical and rushed. In other words, not my ideal. But this one sounded promising and I needed a good contemporary read to buffer a somewhat lacklustre one before I moved on to a fantasy novel.
This novel felt more like a coming of age story than a romance. Which is fine and even a little expected since New Adult novels tend to have this as a minor element. But the lack of a romance for almost 75% of the book drained me a bit. Especially when the last 25% seemed to pack everything in, rushing to wrap it all up. I would have liked to have seen those last few plot points scattered throughout the novel to give it that dramatic flare.
Jessica was alright. To be honest, something rubbed me the wrong way about her in the first chapter. I think it was her somewhat stubborn nature that made it hard for me to totally love her. But I did warm up to her as the novel progressed but she didn’t blow me away.
Jack was cute but unfortunately, a little to one-dimensional for me. I really wish this story was told in alternating POV because he did seem to have an interesting backstory that I would have liked to have explored more.
I really wanted some sexual tension and chemistry between these two but nothing ever happened. While I got that they had this emotional connection (the typical “she treats me like a real human being, not a celebrity” vibe), I didn’t really see much else between these two. At least, not enough to warrant the deep feelings they get so suddenly. Although it seemed to take forever to get to that romance point, only a couple of weeks had passed in the book so it made everything seem superficial to me.
My Rating: 3/5
If you’re looking for a spicy NA romance featuring a celebrity, look elsewhere! But if you want a cute and sweet way to spend a summer afternoon, this is a great novel for you to read.
Read if You Like: sweet romances, coming of age stories, celebrity stories
Avoid if You: want a “spicier” read, more sexual tension
- Stripped by Jasinda Wild (Stripped Series #1)
- Rumour Has It by Elisabeth Grace (Limelight Trilogy #1)
- The Finn Factor by Rachel Bailey
I soo agree with you. This book failed to make a mark, everything was pretty much just meh. I didn’t enjoy the romance much either. Nonetheless, great review!
Nerdybirdy @ Daydreaming Books recently posted…Review: The Man Who Won the World by O.E. Boroni
It was such a shame because I really wanted to like this one! I think if I new it was more coming of age, I might have enjoyed it a little more.
This book does sound like it has a really fun premise to it. However, I wonder if it would have been better as a YA novel. Main characters that I am not enjoying are a huge turn-off for me as well. I hope that you enjoy your next read! 🙂
It definitely did feel more like a YA novel now that you mention it. I just kept hoping the story would turn around (plus it was a shorter story).
Oh no! I’m sorry you didn’t love this one, Lauren. It seems a bit odd that the romance was left right to the end of the book! I usually like there to be some scattered ~moments~ throughout before the couple actually admits their feelings/gets together. And a short time frame can make emotional connections seem a bit flimsy sometimes.
I hope you can find a celebrity romance that you can fall in love with soon!
Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Some LGBTQIA+ Retelling Recs
It was a really big let down 🙁
I’m sure I can find another novel to fill the void 😛
Thanks for stopping by Chiara!