Hello Kittens! I’ve got a treat for you that is publishing soon. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought it was going to be some sort of wacky YA caper, with two teens traipsing all over New York City in search of a little lost glamorous grandma. It is so much more than that. It is a story that deals with all sorts of relationships, presents diverse characters without framing their struggles in terms of diversity, and resolves itself without too many overdone contrivances to make the plot make sense. I was expecting a full-on rom-com, and to an extent I did get that, but the story was also deeper, which I really appreciated. It’s a great YA find from an author who was new to me.
Title: Now That I’ve Found You
Author: Kristina Forest
Author website: https://www.kristinaforest.com/
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publish date: August 25, 2020
Evie Marie Jones is an acting legend, or at least she will be. Her grandmother is the famous actress Evelyn Conaway and her parents are documentary film makers. The screen is in her blood and she has been pursuing her acting career since she was a young child. She is poised to hit it big when she lands a major movie role and is on the cusp of landing a beauty contract with one of her favorite brands. Unfortunately, one viral video of Evie doing an imitation of her new boss is going to land her in a lot of trouble. The public who loved her just a few days ago is going to turn on her big time and Evie doesn’t know how to handle it.
The one constant in Evie’s life has been her grandmother. So when everything comes crashing down with her career, which she sees as her grandmother’s legacy, Evie can’t even bring herself to return Evelyn’s calls. As time begins to heal some of Evie’s wounds, she heads to New York City to visit Evelyn and try to get her career on track. Her grandmother has been out of the spotlight for years and doesn’t understand why Evie is in such a rush to get back to that life. Little does Evelyn know, Evie needs her grandmother’s blessing on a project from the one producer who hasn’t blacklisted Evie, a man that Evelyn had a famous falling out with nearly a decade ago.
In coming to New York City, Evie is forced to confront her failed career, her feelings about disappointing her family, her betrayal by a friend that she trusted, and the feelings of loneliness that she has struggled with her whole life.
Why I liked it:
This story is part “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”, part “You’ve Got Mail” and part “She’s All That”, which I absolutely loved. There’s a romance in the story, but I felt like Evie’s personal growth was the highlight, as it should be. I love Evelyn’s character because she is so strong and sure of herself. She’s got enough money to live any kind of lifestyle she wants, but she lives in a comfortable home and appears to be nice to everyone that she comes in contact with.
I also appreciated that some of the issues Evie struggled with weren’t just chalked up to teen angst. Her parents really weren’t as present in her life as she needed them to be, but eventually she tells them that and they make an effort to do better.
What I would like to change:
Nothing. This is exactly the type of book that I like, even though it wasn’t the book that I thought I was getting into when I first read the synopsis.
Disclaimer: I received an electronic galley of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My library rating: Here we have it, the coveted perfect library rating. There’s almost no bad language, no questionable morality, no tough scenarios. It’s just a light story with complex characters.
5 glasses of lemonade= you could recommend this book to anyone. There is nothing in here that is going to upset anyone and you could start handing it out on street corners. (This kind of book is a Librarian’s dream. As much as we love good literature, suggesting a book for someone can be nerve-wracking work that can backfire BIG TIME.)
My personal preference rating: I rated this title 5 stars. It was the book that I didn’t know I needed to read right now.