Oh I loved this book. I loved it so much. Thank you so much, HarperTeen, for allowing me to read this book and fall in love with it.
There’s humor, there’s a cute romance, there’s ridiculous social media usage and texting, and there’s a main character who isn’t perfect and I loved her from the very first page. There’s family, there’s friendship, and there is a plot line that made me smile so much my face hurt.
Oh, #famous, you were such a fun book.
Rachel is your average high school student – she is more or less a loner, with a few friends, including her best friend Monique, and she has a crush on a popular and hot guy, but he doesn’t know, and if she has it her way, he never will. After all, Rachel isn’t the kind of girl he would go for. Her frizzy curls, not-super-thin body type, and the clothes she wear aren’t things that popular senior Kyle would really want, especially with his girlfriend Emma about, because she looks like a supermodel.
“No wonder Monique was always asking to give me makeovers. I was a fricking disaster.”
However, one afternoon while at the mall with her mother, Rachel decides to play the game she and Monique play on Flit, a social media network, in which they send each other funny pictures with captions to make each other laugh. So Rachel snaps a picture of Kyle at work at the Burger Barn, with the caption of #IdlikefrieswithTHAT. Monique shares the picture, and in the span of one afternoon, it takes off, being shared around the world.
All of the sudden Kyle’s social life goes a little crazy – girls are showing up buying food (mostly fries!), telling him they would “like fries with THAT”- and it isn’t until Kyle gets off work that night that he is able to check his cell phone and find out why – the picture, thousands of followers and messages – and instant fame.
Things take off from there – Kyle gets called by a television talk show, which he later appears on, and has even more popularity than he did before.
Rachel, however, isn’t so lucky. When people start looking at her profile on Flit, they start being horrible toward her – calling her names, insulting her, and essentially sending her death threats. Depressed and feeling alone, Rachel only has Monique and her parents, both of whom she is really close with.
When Kyle finds out that Rachel is the one who started the picture, the talk show hosts encourages him to ask her to homecoming – complete with a bouquet of french fries. Of course, everyone knows this is going to happen – Rachel’s parents, Kyle’s family, and even Monique – everyone except Rachel. She feels betrayed and blind-sighted, but grudingly accepts Kyle’s invitation – after all, it’s going to be a segment on the talk show, so she should probably say yes.
After this, Rachel and Kyle agree to start spending time together and getting to know each other. It’s for the talk show, or at least that’s what Rachel tries to tell herself. But as they spend more time together, both Rachel and Kyle start to believe that maybe they can be friends…or even something more.
#famous is loaded with humor and a female main character that is super easy to relate to. In fact, her character reminded me of what I was like in high school, except, you know, with MySpace. Well, I didn’t have a cell phone either, but you get the point.
“‘Rachel, high school is exactly like a medieval court. Just without swords.'”
As far as Kyle’s character goes, sure, I thought he and Rachel were cute together, but at the same time, I thought he was kind of an airhead of a jock, who was a bit self-centered. I really didn’t like his ex-girlfriend, Emma, nor her pack of girls who continued to put Rachel down and do cruel things to her. We did get a peek into what Emma’s life was like, so we got to find out why she was the way she was, but still.
The way that Rachel’s character is put down every day in high school and over social media once people know that it was her who started the original Flit was just sad. But oddly enough, it’s such a realistic portrayal of what high school is like for some people. Yes, hurtful things like this are said all the time, cyber bullying really is a thing, and the comments that were directed at Rachel’s weight, hair, and appearance were spot on with a lot of what teenagers have to face each day. And it’s really hard to read, but so important.
The chapters in this book alternate between Rachel and Kyle, and they each have their own style so you won’t be confused as to to which character is narrating. I know that some books have an issue with the characters sounding too much alike, so I just wanted to add that in here.
So if I loved this book so much, why only the 4 star rating?
I guess that despite how much I absolutely adored #famous, the fact that some parts of it were a bit unbelievable is what led me to give it 4 stars. While some aspects of this book are easy to accept, in all honesty, it seemed a bit farfetched for me. This book felt like a fairy tale. Not in a bad way, mind you, but just so much about this was kind of weird. For example, they made Kyle wear a Burger Barn themed tux to homecoming. …what?
But honestly, this book was such a fun read, and I couldn’t get get enough of it. I’ve seen some negative reviews for this one, and despite that, I still fell in love with this from the very first chapter.