REVIEW: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

by - 12:00 PM

“I didn’t know if the two of us could ever get back what we’d taken from each other—but for the first time it occurred to me that maybe, after everything we’d been through, we’d given each other just as much.”

Back of the book blurb:

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 whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along. 
But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing. 
It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through. 
Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, New York Times bestselling author Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.

Chase’s thoughts:

Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062660244

Available for Purchase:

My rating:

            I’ve gushed and gushed about Katie Cotugno. How to Love changed my life! I absolutely loved it. And 99 Days was so controversial and interesting and fabulous. Fireworks is a beautiful addition to Katie’s bibliography. It’s nostalgic, romantic, and completely captivating.

“Jonah Royce threw a rager in the field behind his stepdad’s house the night after high school graduation, which is why Olivia and I were both so unbelievably hungover on the afternoon everything changed.”

            I think this is such a wonderful opening line. And I feel like it’s so 90s and that’s why I love it. Like, obviously people still party in fields and whatever, but it just sounds so 90s to me. Also, I think it’s fascinating how books can be set in the 90s and it’s “back then,” you know?

            Speaking of, Fireworks builds such a nostalgic feeling within you. For some reason, the 90s are a very nostalgic place for a whole bunch of people. Things were still simple, yet on the verge of becoming complicated. It was just a very fun nostalgic journey.

“There were five of them, around our age or maybe a little older, but as far as I was concerned there was only one worth looking at: he had wavy blond hair and high, sharp cheekbones, a dozen brightly colored friendship bracelets looped around his elegant wrist. Alex.”

            Fireworks hits the ground running. Right from the beginning, two best friends, Olivia and Dana are destined for greatness, even though Dana doesn’t believe that at all. And once they’re both chosen to be trained to be the next superstar, Dana feels like she’s in an alternate universe. And when she meets Alex? Well, it’s safe to say that her head keeps spinning and it just won’t seem to stop.

            Let's talk romance! I love the way Katie Cotugno handles messy situations when it comes to relationships. She’s not afraid to delve into the forbidden. And while this one isn’t as “controversial” as 99 Days, which I still don’t believe was that controversial—people cheat literally all the time. And it needs to be talked about.

            ANYWAY, I loved the romance. And I loved the way Katie handled the situation where both girls had feelings for one guy while the guy only had feelings for one of the girls. I thought it was amazing how Dana was so loyal to Olivia. Well, mostly. But the heart wants what it wants, right?

“I walked on shaking legs through the darkened studio and into the bright blinding light outside.”

            The friendship! Olivia and Dana. Ugh, I have a love/hate relationship with Olivia. She’s great, but she’s also kind of fucked up. And the ending of this book will forever haunt me. That’s another thing about Katie Cotugno is that she doesn’t always leave you with a happy ending. She leaves you with something realistic and the majority of the time? Realistic doesn’t equal happy.

            Anyway, Fireworks was such a phenomenal novel and I’m so excited for Katie’s other new book coming out this fall!

Happy Reading!
The Wandereader

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