Review: Fame, Fate, and The First Kiss by Kasie West

I received this ARC from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis | Goodreads

Fan favorite author Kasie West delivers an effervescent story about chasing your dreams and following your heart, perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Huntley Fitzpatrick.

Lacey Barnes has dreamed of being an actress for as long as she can remember. So when she gets the opportunity to star in a movie alongside one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, she doesn’t hesitate to accept the part.

But Lacey quickly learns that life in the spotlight isn’t as picture perfect as she imagined. She’s having trouble bonding with her costars, her father has hired the definition of a choir boy, Donavan Lake, to tutor her, and somewhere along the way she’s lost her acting mojo. And just when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, it looks like someone on set is deliberately trying to sabotage her.

As Lacey’s world spins out of control, it feels like the only person she can count on—whether it’s helping her try to unravel the mystery of who is out to get her or snap her out of her acting funk—is Donavan. But what she doesn’t count on is this straight-laced boy becoming another distraction.

With her entire future riding on this movie, Lacey knows she can’t afford to get sidetracked by a crush. But for the first time in her life Lacey wonders if it’s true that the best stories really do happen when you go off script.


My Rating: 3/5

Fame, Fate, and The First Kiss is the third book I’ve read by Kasie West and the second one I read in one day. Once I started reading, I was immersed immediately. The first line made me want to keep reading just to know what was coming next. Kasie West is amazing at creating likeable and relatable characters. I love how the romances develop slowly and how she shows how opposites attract.

This is a story about an actress who has finally gotten her big break, starring in a movie alongside one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. She’s moved to Southern California with her dad—who’s not as supportive as she’d want him to be—to pursue her dream. When the story starts, Lacey Barnes has been working on set for a week and the chemistry between her and her co-star, Grant James, is off. On top of that, her father is on her case about doing her homework and making her feel like a child on set as well as someone is out to sabotage her career. He hires a tutor for her, Donavan Lake, who goes to her sponsor school. Lacey is adamant about not having time for a boyfriend and Donavan is adamant about not dating actresses so they both do not see liking the other in a romantic kind of way.

Lacey is outgoing, likeable, and says whatever is on her mind. Donavan is straight laced, quiet, and reserved. The two of them are excellent together. I loved how Lacey would always just say what she was thinking. She never held back or seemed especially embarrassed about the things that came out of her mouth. I loved her personality, but I also felt that she could be a bit childish at times. She did not act seventeen with the way she avoided homework or whined about a curfew. But I also thought her father could trust her more and let her make more decisions on her own.

Donavan seemed more casual about things and didn’t seem to let things get to him. At first we do not know a lot about him other than that he’s a tutor who is also seventeen and goes to Lacey’s sponsor school. When Lacey first meets him, she calls him a “choir boy” right to his face. But soon the reader learns that there is more to Donavan and Lacey is the right person to pull it out of him because she does not take no for an answer. I liked how he went along with Lacey’s schemes even just moments after meeting her.

I liked that Lacey wasn’t into the lead actor, Grant James, and that she didn’t have a catty relationship with a fellow actress, Amanda Roth. Seeing the three actors hang out and help one another was amazing to see. I loved these side characters. Grant is selfish, self-centered, and a flirt but he could be sweet at times. I think I appreciated that West made him a typical Hollywood star make the story feel authentic. Amanda is sincere and actually sweet and very helpful. She seemed happy to be friends with Lacey and the two of them helped each other a lot on set.

The mystery of who was sabotaging Lacey on set was a twist that I wasn’t expecting and I do not think it took anything from the story or made it unbelievable. I was surprised to find out who it was and what their motives were. I love that I couldn’t guess who the culprit was. It added something more to the story and made it a little different from the other Kasie West novels I’ve read.

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss was such a cute, sweet story that had everything you could want in a good YA novel: romance, suspense, and a great story line. I enjoyed reading it immensely and loved seeing the happily ever after for Lacey.

*This review is also featured on The Nerd Daily!

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