Review: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno
pub 4/18/17 by Balzer + Bray
YA - Contemporary
Receive from pub via Edelweiss
Plot • Dana has always cheered on her best friend Olivia as she pursued her dream of becoming a pop star. But when she tags along to an audition for a new all-girl singing group in Orlando, the producer Guy Monroe decides he wants Olivia and Dana. It’s something she’s never wanted before but this opportunity would give her a chance to get out of her town and be with her best friend so why not, right? But it isn’t long before the pressures of constant practicing, competition and soon a race to be the #1 girl drives a wedge between their friendship. Against this backdrop of 90s Orlando (which totally made me nostalgic), the book is about pursuing dreams, first loves, best friends and discovering who you really are under an intense situation.

Characters • I have to say, the characters are not easy to like or even root for. Except for Dana and Alex, the sweet and extremely talented guy she meets in Orlando. That isn’t to say Dana is perfect either though. She’s flawed and struggling with this strange situation that’s become her reality. I think her drive, her earnest desire to find her place and the romance with Alex were the highlights of the book. I also enjoyed this behind-the-scene’s look at the crazy world of becoming a manufactured pop star.

Writing • It’s Katie Cotugno so loving the writing goes without saying. As usual, I was immediately sucked into her story and the characters. But of her three books, this one definitely felt the “lightest” and the shortest. This is by no means a bad thing but it did surprise me initially.

Overall feelings • I really enjoyed it! How to Love is still my favorite of her three books but Cotugno continues to be an author that consistently delivers and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Who is your favorite pop princess and boy band from the 90s? • Easy! Christina Aguilera and Backstreet Boys. Even though I later because an ‘NSYNC fan, BSB was the first boy band I love and my first ever concert.


  1. I totally agree with your assessment of the characters and the romance. Alex + Dana = my favorite part of this story. Ha! I never embraced that 90s boy band thing, but I remember O-Town, and thought of them often when I read Fireworks. I have How to Love, and hope to read it soon, since I enjoyed Cotugno's other two books.
    Sam @ WLABB

  2. I'm so excited to read this one. Plus the cover is BEAUTIFUL! Great review! <3
    Megan @

  3. I honestly enjoyed the nostalgia I felt about this particular era (especially music-wise), but I'm sad I didn't love the story more! It was definitely interesting to see how their new circumstances changed the shape of their friendship though.


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