Book Review: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

Catch a Falling Star CulbertsonCatch a Falling Star
Kim Culbertson
Point, April 2014
ISBN 978-0-545-62704-7

Ms. Culbertson has written a beautiful story for young adults and adults alike.

Synopsis: Seventeen year old Carter lives in the small town of Little, California, situated near the Tahoe Forest foothills. It is summer, between her junior and senior year in high school. She works in her parent’s café, Little Eats, by day, and gazes at stars with her friends by night. Nothing much happens in Carter’s life until Adam Jakes, Hollywood teen idol, comes to Little to film a Christmas movie.

To boost Adam’s somewhat tattered and tarnished reputation, Carter is hired to play Adam’s new ‘small-town girlfriend,’ much to the delight of the readers of Hollywood Snoop magazines and hungry paparazzi who chase them around town, filming what is unknowingly a pre-arranged and scripted love affair between Carter and Adam.

If Carter’s brother wasn’t in trouble and needed money, Carter would never have agreed to accept such a preposterous job or agreed to keep their ‘love affair’ a secret from everyone, including her best friends Chloe and Drake, her star-gazing companions. Yet, scripted love affairs with spoiled Hollywood stars have a way of changing the script as Carter begins to get acquainted with the real Adam Jakes.

Kim Culbertson has crafted a wonderful YA story filled with delightful characters, a moving plot showing Carter’s struggles with growing up and making decisions about her future, secrets, and dealing with the reality of fitting into two worlds–her own small town and the glitz and glamour surrounding her new Hollywood ‘boyfriend.’

Culbertson’s writing craft creates a world easily experienced by the reader. Once started, the book is hard to put down. The story propels the adult reader back to feelings and experiences possibly long-forgotten and gives a young adult a glimpse into situations they may soon face, yet in a wholesome way parents will approve.

The story is teeming with sweet and tender moments of new love, friendships and conflicting emotions, issues of growing up and dealing with difficult siblings. The book is full of beautiful, breath-stopping phrases, granting the reader a rare glimpse into Ms. Culbertson’s truly exception writing skill.

Page 207 “I was struck with how much we needed to know we were loved. We needed people to tell us, show us, remind us. I studied the stars above, realizing it was because we knew how small we were that love mattered so much. Even when everything pointed to the contrary, love carved out its own vast galaxy for us, made us the most important thing in it, at least to somebody…”

Catch a Falling Star is recommended for teenagers and for adult readers alike. On a scale from one to ten, I’d give it an eleven. I look forward to other novels by this magnificent and talented writer!

Reviewed by Elaine Faber, July 2014.
Author of Black Cat’s Legacy.