Happy Tuesday, fellow bookworms! Today I’ll be posting another review of an eARC I received through NetGalley, a cool website where book reviewers can gain access to upcoming releases to read and review. Today’s book, At First Blush by Beth Ellyn Summer, was a super fun read and one I’d highly recommend to fans of YA.
Want to check out At First Blush for yourself? It releases today, April 4th, so you can order a copy online right away! Not sold by my brief commendation? Read on for a full review.
At First Blush by Beth Ellyn Summer
Title – At First Blush Author – Beth Ellyn Summer
Genre – New Adult, Teens & YA Publisher – Bloomsbury Spark
Pub. Date – April 4, 2017 Format – eBook
Who would have thought that a teenager could have a successful career creating makeup tutorial videos on YouTube? For Lacey Robbins, this dream has been her reality. An up-and-coming YouTuber, she has thousands of fans and can’t wait for the day when her subscriber count reaches the one million mark. And when she is offered a high school internship at On Trend Magazine, she figures that this could be the make it or break it moment.
But sometimes your dream job isn’t all that it seems. Her editor is only interested in promoting junk products, and her boss in the Hair and Makeup department introduces her to the larger world of makeup artistry, making her wonder if making tutorials online is all she is meant to do. To top it all off, when the magazine’s feature subject , musician Tyler Lance, turns his broodingly handsome smile her way, falling for him could mean losing her fans, forcing her to make a decision: her YouTube life or her real life?
Fans of Zoella’s GIRL ONLINE will fall right into the world of this YA DEVIL WEARS PRADA and stay hooked from the first blush to the last glossy kiss.
My Rating: 4/5
At First Blush is a fun, flirty YA novel that offers a brief glimpse into today’s youth society in the United States. Just as the plays of Shakespeare reflect the Elizabethan society during which they were written and The Outsiders is quintessentially 60’s, At First Blush is a clear product of the year 2017. The plot centers around Lacey Robbins, a YouTube vlogger known as LaceyBlushes, and her experiences during a summer internship. Even ten years ago this book couldn’t have existed as YouTube was a relatively new website and vlogging wasn’t an actual career path. At First Blush‘s timeliness and reflection of modern society helped interest me in the novel from the first chapter.
Lacey, a.k.a. LaceyBlushes, is a likable protagonist. Her dreams of success and fame are common and relatable, and I imagine that if she were a person rather than a character she would be a nice one. It is easy for the reader to find themself rooting for Lacey in her quest for 1 million subscribers. It is even easier for the reader to find themself rooting for Lacey to get the guy, pop star Tyler Lance, as Lacey isn’t really on a quest to win him for most of the novel. The budding romance is easily anticipated by the reader but it is nevertheless fun to watch it all unfold.
Tyler Lance isn’t the most likeable guy (or character) but he grows on the reader throughout the novel much like he grows on Lacey over the course of the summer. Tyler is, in some ways, a typical spoiled pop star stereotype. But he isn’t horrible and Lacey’s affection helps cast him in a more positive light. My least favorite character wasn’t “bad boy” Tyler Lance. I was not at all a fan of Lacey’s parents, who seemed a bit too dependent on their teenage daughter’s budding internet career.
One of my few criticisms of At First Blush is that some of the minor characters weren’t used as effectively as perhaps they could have been. Cynth, Lacey’s best friend, and Jordan, one of the other vloggers at On Trend feel like flat, underutilized characters. There may be more examples of minor characters gone flat, but if so they aren’t particularly memorable. That being said my lack of connection to these characters didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the novel, and some of the other supporting characters, like makeup artist Kendall, were some of my favorites.
At First Blush is well-paced and easy to read. The chapters are short and approachable, and a fair amount of the text is made up of good dialogue that is quick to read. I read the 340 page book in two or three sittings, staying up late into the night to finish. Although the ending was fairly apparent from the beginning, At First Blush isn’t written as a mystery and I for one wouldn’t count it against the novel. There are moments of suspense and stress for the reader regardless, as the attachment formed to Lacey causes them to worry about her fate.
Author Beth Ellyn Summer’s debut novel is well-written and simple. Crafted for a target audience of teenage girls, At First Blush is so fun and on trend that it will appeal to readers and non-readers alike. I would recommend At First Blush to fans of contemporary young adult literature and teen romance. Vloggers, bloggers and other internet addicts will also enjoy reading about Lacey’s eventful summer. Finally, At First Blush will appeal to makeup lovers as Lacey’s Youtube channel, LaceyBlushes, is dedicated to make up and beauty.
A contemporary romance, At First Blush by Beth Ellyn Summer may be one of my favorite YA novels to come out of 2017. As of right now At First Blush is available as an eBook only. Here’s hoping that the book is enough of a success that Bloomsbury feels compelled to do a print run. I’d love to add such a cute book to my shelves!
Happy Release Day to Beth Ellyn Summer! At First Blush is a great first novel, and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to read an eARC through NetGalley and share my opinions. You can find your copy of the eBook through the author’s website.
Have you read any good YA books this year? Are you any good at makeup (I’m not)? If you watch Youtube, who are your favorite Youtubers? Let’s connect in the comments!