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3.38  ·  Rating details ·  2,532 ratings  ·  504 reviews
From Katie Cotugno, bestselling author of 99 Days, comes Fireworks—about a girl who is competing with her best friend to become the new pop star of the moment—and all the drama and romance that comes with it—set in Orlando during the late-'90s boy-and-girl-band craze.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray (first published April 11th 2017)
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Karen 2017 fashion has a lot of 90s influence. I would say the cover pretty solidly fits the setting - even down to the font.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,532 ratings  ·  504 reviews

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May 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-contemporary
This is a perfect summer read. Lighthearted, fun,revolving around becoming a girl band and set in the 90s!
Overall I enjoyed this book, I didn't love it.
If your looking for a quick, summer read I would recommend this!
Sarah Elizabeth
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“What are you going to do if you don’t do this?” she asked. “I mean it. I’m sincerely asking. Are you just gonna stay here forever?”

This was a YA contemporary story, about two girls auditioning to be pop-stars.

I liked Dana, but I felt like her relationship with Olivia was a bit one sided. Olivia seemed to always be the one deciding what they were doing and pushing Dana to do things that she mayb
Thank you goodreads Giveaways and Harper for the opportunity to win an advance reader's edition of Fireworks.

Fireworks is a standalone, young-adult novel written by Katie Cotugno. The fictional plot line consists of two best friends who earn a spot in a major singing competition. Life lessons include the strain on friendship during competition, the shifting of group dynamics, sacrifices and boundaries, self-image and confidence issues when in the spotlight, and how to keep your head up when peop
Aj the Ravenous Reader
3.5 stars

There is usually something so realistic, convincing and compelling in Ms. Cotugno’s novels. It’s like she’s out to taunt the reader with these unspeakable truths but which actually do happen and she writes about them without restraint and without fear of readers’ disapproval. I kind of like her attitude.

Fireworks is a story about two best friends, Dana and Olivia, where they came from, how close they are and then with their common goal and dreams, circumstances suddenly seem to pit t
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think I'm crying angry tears.
This book was absolutely HORRIBLE!
Not the writing, nor the story, not even characters. But a horrible, horrible, horrible friendship and betrayals. Oh, the betrayals...
I swear I physically felt that last knife in the back as if I'd experienced it myself.


So we've got two best friends: one a spoiled rich brat who got accepted into a good college and doesn't have to worry about paying for it; the other poor, with no future and an alcoholic
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Fireworks is the 90s stardom book I never knew I wanted. The hard work and intense training shown in the story is exactly what I love to see, and the main character has a complex backstory and is so likeable. What I especially adored is the female friendship between the two main characters, since it is actually goals. Fans of Katie Cotugno’s previous books will not be disappointed with her latest work!

As a sucker for any book related to the arts, I naturally loved
monica kim
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was cute, and I definitely plan to read more books by the author. I sort-of just felt like the romance in this book was kind-of unnecessary when the real star here should have been the friendship between the two girls.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was ok

*Disclaimer: An ARC of Fireworks by Katie Cotugno was provided to me by Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars


Initial post reading thoughts:

Yeah...I don't think this one was really for me. Things just moved too unrealistically fast and the insta-love was just a no for me. While it was fast paced and it kept me intrigued, I was never really full invested in this story and its characters. And that ending? Not a f
Jen Ryland
Apr 18, 2017 marked it as setting-aside-for-now
Sososo excited about a story about boy bands and girl bands set in the 90s. Unfortunately, the part of the book I read did nothing for me. Dana is pretty but an average singer, yet still gets picked to be in a new girl band for her looks. She's a pretty unexciting narrator and a girl who doesn't even seem to care about the band, except that her (talented) best friend gets picked too and they can do this together - cue squealing. But ugh of course they both like the same boy. Who is in a boy band ...more
Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I received this book for free from Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This review was originally posted on Rebel Mommy Book Blog ...more
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this book made my heart hurt. I admire a lot of things about Cotugno's writing, but in this one, I especially admire her resistance to wrapping everything up too neatly. There is such a familiar bittersweetness to Dana and Olivia's story. ...more
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Review originally posted on Mostly YA Lit:

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno features Olivia and Dana, best friends who live in small town Georgia in the 90s. Dana is poor, with a mother who drinks too much, and no prospects after high school. Meanwhile, Olivia has been dreaming of being famous her whole life. When the opportunity to audition for a new girl group by a famous producer comes up, Dana accompanies Olivia to Orlando - and ends up being picked as part of Daisy Chain as well.

I'm a sucker for a
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
3.5 out of 5

I really enjoyed this!

Going in I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I was just expecting some crazy girl band drama but got much more than that. Yes, there was definitely drama but there was also friendship. Granted that the ending didn’t really sit well with me in terms of the friendship but it happened for a reason. Dana now will have lots of possibilities for her future.

Dana was a wonderful main character. She has seen a lot of struggle at an early age. Having to tak
Jaye Berry
Jul 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: contemporary, ya, 2018
Well I know not to pick up a book by this author again.

Fireworks is about a girl named Dana and her best friend Olivia leaving their hometown for a shot of being pop stars. Dana's dream isn't stardom- it's just a way out of her town with her alcoholic mom. Olivia has dreamed of this her entire life and Dana joining her should have been a bonus. That is until Dana is the girl that is picked out as being special, and they have to go against each other for a single touring spot. Soon Dana is fallin
Andi (Andi's ABCs)
This review was originally posted on Andi's ABCs

Sometimes you pick up a book and you just don't know how it is going to go for you. You've read books by the author and enjoyed one and was conflicted on the other. You like the premise but know it has the potential to go in a different direction than you expect. Because of these things you are almost scared to pick up the book. This was me with Fireworks. I was worried how I would feel about it. I was scared I wouldn't love it. I was scared I woul
Oct 13, 2016 added it
Shelves: 2017-releases
This was exaaaactly what I wanted it to be. Loved it. And for anyone who approaches 90s-set books with apprehension, this did not give me any "author trying to relive her childhood" vibes; there's nothing that should be remotely difficult for a current teen to connect with here. Those of us who were kids in the 90s will recognize this as being O-Town/Eden's Crush-esque, but for kids who weren't, it'll just feel like being behind the scenes at a slightly tweaked American Idol.

Also, I ship it har
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
Fireworks is a standalone Young Adult contemporary romance.

The narrator is Dana Cartwright. The book is told in 1st person POV.

The book starts off in 1997 in Jessell, Georgia. Dana and her best friend Olivia are 18 and have just graduated high school.

Dana lives with her mom and they are very poor. Her mom is a drunk who is never there for her. Olivia is in an opposite situation. She comes from a loving family and they don't struggle with money the same way Dana and her mom do.

Olivia has been pe
Danielle (yaallegiance)
I wanted a cute lighthearted read and I've been meaning to read this forever, so naturally I picked it up.

This book confuses me to be honest.. because I actually liked the story and the plot but I am SO disappointed with how everything wound up.

The people in this book disappointed me, the relationships were either unrealistic or toxic.

Rating this was difficult because the story was good.. but everything else fell short. Super super disappointed with how everything ends.
Quick review for a progressive read. Katie Cotugno's "Fireworks" was a struggle for me to read in places, but in the end, I'm glad I read it, especially considering the turns it took in the story. The ending was bittersweet and not quite the impression and direction I thought it would go given the beginnings of the story. Yet even saying that, I'll admit I struggled to hold interest in the novel for a while.

The story is told through the viewpoint of Dana, a young woman stuck in a small town wit
Brittany S.
Initial Impressions 6/1/17 and full review as posted on The Book Addict's Guide 6/5/17: 3.5 stars
Heads up, talking about specifics so there will be SPOILERS.

This book wasn't quiiiite what I thought it would be and that was okay but there were things that just didn't quite fit. I liked Dana a lot but it never really felt right for her to be a part of this pop star world. I feel like it would have been a little different if there had been an expressed interest in singing before she took Olivia to
When I read Katie Cotugno’s books, How To Love and 99 Days, I instantly fell in love with her writing-style and the home-y and cozy worlds she built. I couldn’t help but compare this book to her previous ones, and realize how to different it was -and not exactly in a good way.

What I realized was how important Dana and Olivia’s friendship was in the story. But here’s the thing; what we got was a recap of a couple of memories showing how ‘close’ they were/are. I personally didn’t see anything spec
Kristin Hackett (Merrily Kristin)
Originally posted on Super Space Chick:

Personal Thoughts: As I may have (definitely) mentioned, Katie Cotugno is one of my favorite contemporary YA authors. In fact, she’s definitely in the top three. I love her words to pieces so when I heard that her newest novel would be set in Orlando in the 1990’s during the boy band craze, I couldn’t possibly be more on board. And the cover! And the endpapers! While Fireworks didn’t end up being my new favorite of her’s (the number one spot still belongs t
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: feb-2020
I'm going to give this a 2.5 because the end was very unsatisfactory. Katie Cotugno tends to write the most problematic main characters who are deeply flawed and make a lot of bad choices or morally conflicting choices that make you wonder who you should cheer for. I saw my friends review and was very confused as to why she hated Olivia but then I finished the book and I can say that both of them are horrible people. This is not a bitter sweet ending. It's a bitter ending. ...more
Tanya (Girl Plus Books)
Having just graduated high school, Dana is faced with a bleak future: a lousy home life in a dead-end town. When she tags along with her best friend Olivia for an audition for a new girl group, no one is more shocked than Dana when she's chosen. Now thrust into a new situation with girls who are hungry for fame, Dana finds the bonds of friendship tested in ways it never was before.

I was excited for Fireworks because (1) I really enjoyed Cotugno's 99 Days and (2) the 90's setting screamed nostal
May 28, 2020 marked it as dnf
I always feel bad dnf-ing a book because so much hard work and talent has gone into writing/publishing the book. However, with this one I decided to stop while I was ahead.

I dnf-ed at 25%. I think that's a fair assessment of the book and enough to make a decision about it. At where I was at the book, it was probably going to get 3 stars, but I could tell that if I kept reading it then I would've dropped it down to 2 stars. Also, I shot my shot yesterday and got rejected to so I really wasn't in
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

Actual Rating: 2.5
I picked this book on a whim. It was available to read and I had liked Cotugo's How to Love , so I decided to go ahead and read this one. Unfortunately, this one wasn't for me.

Dana and Olivia have been best friends forever. When Olivia wants to go to Orlando to try out for a girl band, Dana tags along for support. But while waiting for Olivia's audition, Dana is called out to audition. She gives a BS p
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
So this was strictly a nostalgia read for me, although I'm sad to say the (surprisingly few) references to mid/late-90's pop culture weren't nearly enough to salvage what ended up being a disappointing read on multiple fronts.

Let me start with what I did like:

*The '90's vibe. It was nice seeing references to Alanis Morissette, TLC, and other popular artists/songs I listened to in high school and college.

*Cotugno's writing style. Simply put, I like it. A lot.

Unfortunately, I disliked just about
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

This one gave me a pretty serious case of the sads. I  really liked the author's last book, 99 Days , and was therefore super eager to get my hands on this one. Plus, as a child of the 90s, I was psyched! The characters in this book were a bit older than I was then (yes, yes, someone somewhere is older than me) so I expected lots of 90s shenanigans. I got... not much. There were a few
Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library)
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library
I enjoyed this book. I found its 90s setting charming - it was never very 'in your face' - and in fact, I found it pleasant to read a contemporary (or is it historical now?) book where no one had a cell phone or social media. The music references weren't ultra-hip, in fact, I think the author deliberately chose timeless references, and that helped the novel a great deal.

I really liked the main character, Dana, who didn't necessarily know
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover audiobook Fireworks 2 12 May 21, 2017 04:44AM  

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Katie Cotugno is the New York Times bestselling author of seven messy, complicated feminist YA love stories, as well as the adult novel Birds of California (Harper Perennial, 2022). She is also the co-author, with Candace Bushnell, of Rules for Being a Girl. Her books have been honored by the Junior Library Guild, the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee, and the Kentucky Association of School Li ...more

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