Now That I've Found You by Kristina Forest
Overview: Evie might have thrown away her entire career in a goofy, drunk moment. When her supposed best friend, Simone, leaks a video of Evie's sarcastic impression of director Paul Christopher, she loses the lead role in his latest movie. With her reputation ruined, no new roles, and no best friend, Evie spends the summer bathing in grief and regret. When the FCCs decide to honor her legendary actress grandmother, Evie realizes that presenting the award will give her the PR boost she needs to stop being an outcast. Upon arrival in New York, though, Evie discovers her grandmother has befriended Milo, the boy who brings her groceries, leaving Evie feeling weird and replaced. When her grandmother flees the brownstone for some space, Evie is forced to accept Milo's help to find her before they miss the ceremony. Overall: 4.5
Characters: 5 I loved following Evie and Milo. Evie is in a weird transition moment. She's not sure where her career is headed or if she can save it. Honestly, she's not sure if she wants to be a part of Hollywood anymore after deleting her social media and retreating. Her grandmother has always had the answer, and Evie is caught in a weird place between loving her grandma and wanting to spend time with her but also realizing the PR and opportunity boost she could offer. Evie has a serious love-hate relationship with fame, and she also struggles with the privilege that comes with having a famous family. Even what she works for gets written off as a gift to her parents/grandma. I loved how much Evie grew over the course of the book and found her identity independent of what she assumed she should be doing.
Milo is relaxed and even tempered. He's a good match for Evie's tendency to panic or jump to conclusions. He's facing an inflection point in his career too. Milo took a gap year to try to get his band off the ground. Even though everything is finally starting to happen, his parents are pushing him to enroll in CUNY classes. He feels like he's already failed, but he's still devoted to his dream. Milo is just what Evie needs. He understands the pressures of an entertainment career but also doesn't see Evie differently for what happened.
Plot: 4 Kristina does a great job of balancing character development and an engaging plot. There's a scavenger hunt element to finding Gigi that's super fun and involves the city more. There's the ever-present promise of romance from the chemistry between Evie and Milo, and there's the question of whether Evie will salvage her career. I love how the ending was done too. It felt both realistic and satisfying.
Writing: 5 I love Kristina's writing. I've been struggling to get through books lately with the stress of school, but I couldn't put this one down. I wanted to find out what would happen next, and I truly felt like I was transported to another world. A better world. I thought that reading a book set in NYC might make me sad because I'm supposed to be there experiencing it all, but instead, I just walked away with a feeling of joy and a reminder that my first choice doesn't have to me my last.
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