7 Sept 2017

ARC #Review: FIREWORKS by Katie Cotugno


Author: Katie Cotugno
Series: N/A
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free and decided to review it. This in no way impacted my opinions.

This book was SO good. It took me maybe 5 hours to power through it because it was addicting and nostalgic that I felt like I was reliving my childhood. The characters, plot, and setting worked so perfectly that I didn't even feel like I was reading. It was just a magical, wonderful experience and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a great historical fiction novel (come on guys, it was almost 20 years ago)

I liked how complex and intense Dana was. She was a character I could both cheer for and think "Oh girl, don't do that" but not feel as though she was making the wrong choice because I would have made the same choices in her position. I liked seeing her grow and change as a person but still stay true to her roots. It was nice to have a character that felt like a real human girl and have real human emotions.

I thought the romance was good because it was never really the focus of the book. It took a bit of a back seat but still had some really cute moments. I liked that the main focus of the plot was the relationship between friends and how those grow and change over time and how to overcome obstacles in female friendships. It was nice to see a realistic portrayal of female friendships to be honest.

Overall I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who wants to relive the 90s, see a strong female protagonist who can still love, and just wants a fun contemporary novel.


  1. I am actually happy to see this review. When I read this book, there were a lot of negative reviews, and I sort of liked the book. I hated the "friend", but I sort of think it was the point. I like romance, so I adored Alex and Dana together.

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