Date with a Rockstar
by Sarah Gagon Published by Spencer Hill Press
on June 23rd, 2015 Genres: Dystopia
, Love & Romance
, Young Adult Format:
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A Dystopian future + a Bachelor-esque reality show = a sly yet heartfelt love story that will have you tearing through the pages to see how it all ends. –Heather Lyons, author of the Fate series
Monet isn’t just another lust-struck teenager trying to win the heart of Rock God Jeremy Bane–she needs the prize money from his new reality show to cure her illness. Monet has Fluxem, a contagious disease that’s spread through saliva. It’s completely curable if you have enough money, which she and her single mother don’t. Now that she’s on the show, Monet has to work harder to keep her Fluxem hidden. She only has to keep the secret long enough to woo Jeremy Bane so he picks her as the winner. She doesn’t even care about the love part; the prize alone will change her life. But the real Jeremy Bane is nothing like she imagined. Monet finds herself fighting against feelings that make her want to give in to her attraction and Jeremy’s attempts for a kiss. The further she goes in the competition, the more impossible it becomes to resist him–and when the producers turn the tables and start digging up dirt on the contestants, Monet fears her secret will be revealed before she’s ready and ruin everything. The only way to win Jeremy’s heart is to tell him the truth, but confessing her disease could cost her the competition, the prize money, and him.
~My thanks to Spencer Hill Press for this advanced copy!~
Date with a Rockstar had such an interesting premise, and I had high hopes that it would be a very fun genre-crossing read. However, the drama and the backstabbing took away from my enjoyment.
To start, I’d like to say that Sara Gagon writes with a deliciously fast pace. She is quick to change scenes, to add in dialogue, and mix things up with just a sentence. The novel was a quick read, and I thought that for the topics it covered, the pacing was perfect. The topics though, weren’t.
What really caught my attention about Date with a Rockstar was that it was set in a dystopian-futuristic world. How cool does that sound? I was really hoping for some great world-building as the background to what would be a reality tv show of the future. However, I just didn’t think the dystopian background worked. In itself, the only interesting things I remember from it was the poverty and the disease, Fluxem, that afflicts our main character. Other than these specific elements we hear about with our main character, the dystopian world felt unoriginal and forced. There just weren’t enough information on the world, and I was wondering about what caused the world to become dystopian in the first place. I didn’t hear much about government or wars; I can’t recall anything about world relations or debt or any explanation of what happened to create such bad conditions. Essentially, I didn’t think this type of world was essential to the plot, especially since most of the book is about the reality show.
Monet’s family was poor, her disease terrifying, and her home life seemed pretty awful since her father walked out on her. All of these factors pushed her into joining the other hopeful girls on the Date with a Rockstar tv show bandwagon. And the reality show felt just like the Bachelor. There wasn’t anything original or futuristic about it, the same trashy drama and terrible girl-on-girl hate occurred. I didn’t like that the other girls Monet was competing with were pretty much cardboard cut-outs of stereotypes. It was very obvious to me how the competition was going to play out right after Monet had her first date with Jeremy, and I hated how every problem in her life was immediately “fixed” upon meeting him. He had money and power, and he used those things to make the problems in Monet’s life pretty much nonexistent. I didn’t care for Jeremy as a love interest. He was too perfect and such a cliche. He wasn’t interesting or flawed. I enjoy love interests that aren’t written to be love interests. I want a real character with legitimate flaws and problems, who has a story outside of loving our main character. Jeremy just wasn’t that.
In conclusion, this novel didn’t rank high for me. I cringed at every backstabbing comment from the girls. I cringed at the fights, the drama, and the over-the-top romance. The world building didn’t satisfy me with enough details. If you’re in the mood for some dramatics and a quick read, go ahead and pick this one up; if you want a deep novel with substance, take a pass on this book.