Book review: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Source: Borrowed

For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.

The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.

What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.

Emma Mills has been on my radar ever since I moved my blog to WordPress, but I never found any of her books at my library. That is, until recently, when Famous in a Small Town was prominently displayed on the new arrivals table in the YA section. I, of course, jumped on the chance to read it. Unsurprisingly, based on all of the positive reviews I’ve seen of her books, it was great.

I think my favorite part of this book was all of the friendships. Sophie has a great group of friends, all with really distinctive personalities. They have fun together most of the time, but sometimes they argue and fight and clash, and I loved that because it was so, so realistic. I also loved their group chat! I’m old enough that group chats were not a thing when I was in high school, but if they were… I’m pretty sure my friends and I would have had one like this.

I also really liked August and the whole “will they or won’t they” vibe he had with Sophie. He was also such a great person! He genuinely cared about his nieces, he wanted to do what was best for everyone else even if it meant doing something that would be uncomfortable or difficult for himself, and he’s just been through so much in his life.

The Megan Pleasant thing was interesting. It wasn’t really what I expected it to be, but honestly, that was a good thing. I did not see that twist coming and thought that it added another whole aspect to the book that made it even better.

I’m not really sure how to explain why I didn’t give this book five stars since I really did like it so much. Maybe because the whole fundraising thing, which was supposed to be a main point of the book, really felt like an afterthought? A few of the interactions between Sophie and August kind of rubbed me the wrong way, too, although I did like their relationship overall. I guess I could also say that the ending felt a little rushed? I’m not really sure, because all of these are pretty minor complaints. Whatever the reason, I liked this book a lot, but didn’t quite love it, so four stars it is.

I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for a good YA romance.

#romanceopoly: read a sweet or small town contemporary romance


Have you read Famous in a Small Town? What about any of Emma Mills’ other books? Are they as good as this one?Let’s talk in the comments!

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18 thoughts on “Book review: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

  1. Brianna says:

    Wonderful review Sara!! I haven’t read anything by Emma Mills yet but you’ve definitely convinced me to add this one to my TBR 🙂 it sounds so good!

    Liked by 1 person

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