New Adult (NA) is really big right now. It's been hit or miss for me. I've heard NA called "YA with sex." And since I'm not a huge fan of gratuitious sex in fiction, I haven't really delved into much NA. IN BLOOM is a breath of fresh air. Debut author Katie Delahanty takes the reader on a journey through Hollywood--the good, the bad, and the ugly.
We follow Liv into a new life, with new and fantastic friends. Parker and Blair take her under their wings and pull a full on Pygmalion, turning Liv from a shy Midwesterner to the next It Girl.
From the jacket:
My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Free.
I left for LA with everything I owned piled into my old Volkswagen and dreams of becoming a costume designer. Little did I know I’d wind up designing for a lingerie company—yeah, not sure how I landed this gig—and taken under the wing of two young Hollywood insiders. The fashion shows and parties were great, but life really got exciting when the seriously hottest lead singer of my favorite band started to fall for me.
How does someone like me, an ordinary girl from Pittsburgh, wind up in the arms of the world’s sexiest rock star—surrounded by celebrities, fashion, and music—and not be eaten alive? Berkeley is everything I've ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, but the paparazzi, the tabloids, the rumors, it's all getting a bit too crazy. My life has become every girl’s dream come true, if only I don’t blink and lose it all…
Liv is a great character. Her growth throughout the novel is genuine. There's a little Liv in all of us. We're all pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones, hoping that we'll be discovered professionally, romantically, and as who were are. We don't all have a fairy godmother crew, but I know I have found friends that root for me as hard as Blair and Parker, and family that always has my back.
And then comes Berkeley. Sexy, mysterious, and driven, Berkeley is a fantasy brought to life. Their romance is the kind of fairy tale romance I've been looking for in a novel. I dare you not to get swept away. Team Adventure.
What I loved most about this book was how cleverly it utilized social media. I am a huge fan of Twitter, and Delahanty uses the fast paced reality of it to further the plot and as a fun addition. All her Twitter handles are real. You can follow the characters and interact with them. It's a clever tool and I've really enjoyed chatting with Berkeley (of course, who wouldn't want to chat with Berkeley?!). It also shows off her skill as a writer and grasp on her characters. How many writers can tweet as their characters? It's fantastic.
The novel is also paired with an album from the Remainers. Listening to the songs helped set the tone to the book. It's an excellent pairing for poolside reading. Read this book. It's fun and flirty and everything I was looking for in a breezy, summer read. IN BLOOM is an escape, it's wish fulfillment. And since Liv is gracious, graceful, and all around wonderful, the novel is a pleasure. Her positive energy and outlook make you root for her against all odds.
I can't wait to see how the rest of the series unfolds. It's an easy world to lose yourself in, and hope, that just maybe, you'll be as close to your dreams as Liv is to hers.
Bonus: You can even see the lingerie from the book in real life! (And by see, I obviously mean wear.)
(Full disclosure: I received this book for free. But I also bought a copy to support the author. My opinions are my own.)