Student Review by: Sarah W. (grade 10) Grade Range: 8th Grade and Up Genre: Young Adult Literary Merit: Very Good Characterization: Excellent
The novel FirStudent Review by: Sarah W. (grade 10) Grade Range: 8th Grade and Up Genre: Young Adult Literary Merit: Very Good Characterization: Excellent
The novel Fireworks is about two teen girls going on a road trip… or at least it starts that way. Dana and Olivia have been best friends their entire life, and neither can imagine their future without the other. But, it’s the end of high school, graduation is over, and Dana knows her exact place in life: working as a waitress and living in her alcoholic mom’s house forever. Olivia however, is going to become a superstar. She has been working for it since she was two, and has done everything in her power to make it happen. Dana has always been the one who supports Olivia in her dreams, which is exactly what she does when Olivia begs her to attend an audition for a girl group made by the famous Guy Monroe. After travelling to Orlando, both girls are in for a shock when Guy asks Dana to audition, and more than that both girls get the parts in the group! As this new life exceeds all their expectations, Dana and Olivia are beyond joyful that they are able to spend more time together after high school. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and when Guy decides he’s going to dismantle the group and make one of the girls a solo act, while the other gets cut, tensions rise to an unbelievable level. As for whether or not Dana and Olivia’s friendship makes the transition to fame, well, you will have to read to find out.
I really enjoyed this book and all it had to offer. Dana is a lovable character whose klutziness is measured out perfectly with her passion to help her best friend. She is a loyal character who will do anything for the people she loves and does a whole lot of growing up throughout the book. Olivia is a character who really fits the dynamic of the friendship. She’s the pretty rich friend who will do anything to follow her dreams. You can tell from the get-go that she really cares about Dana, but doesn’t really seem to understand how much living a life in poverty and Dana’s low-self esteem has affected her best friend. Although the story is mainly centered around the two friends, we are introduced to a good amount of background characters who each have their own integral part of the story. All these characters helped move along the plot, and while they were very interesting they never made me lose focus of what the book is really about. They did their job perfectly on making the transitions through events run smoothly, and brought good perspective to the novel. I was scared this novel was going to be cliche on the whole “Best friends fight but forget everything about it at the end, and realize they didn’t have any problems at all, while living their life exactly the same as before” effect, but I was pleasantly surprised when the book had much more depth than your average young adult coming of age story, and that the characters actually grew a lot throughout the novel. Katie Cotugno did an amazing job with her characters, her plot, and everything in between. This is a book I would definitely recommend to a friend.
Recommendation: Anyone looking for a quick summer read about two best friends, and the ups and downs of life....more