Monday, October 14, 2019

Book Review: Call Me, Maybe

By Sara Steven

What happens when you meet your teenage heart-throb – when you’re both all grown up?

When Cassie was fifteen, all she wanted was to marry Jesse Franklin, the bassist from her favourite band, Franko. Now she’s single, in her late twenties and wondering what happened to that teenage dream.

A chance encounter on Facebook soon leads to a transatlantic hook up, and soon, Jesse and Cassie are having a long-distance love affair spanning five thousand miles.

Cassie is on cloud nine – until she hears something that makes her think that Jesse might not be all that he seems. They say never meet your heroes – but what happens when you fall in love with them…?

Are Cassie and Jesse star crossed lovers, destined to be together? Or should Cassie have left her crush in the box marked 'teenage memories'? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Call Me, Maybe was an interesting take on what might happen if your innermost teenage dreams came true. While reading about Cassie’s yearnings from the nineties, I tried to recall who set my own fifteen-year old heart on fire. For me, it was Heath Kirchart, skateboarder. The first time I caught sight of Heath kickflipping it in the documentary Barbarians at the Gate, was the first time I knew what it was to fall for a celebrity. So much so, I wrote his name on the cover of one of my journals. Surrounded by hearts. It was benign and something I knew deep down would never come to fruition, but I felt hooked, just the same.

That’s the same feeling for Cassie. Only, in her world, she’s given an opportunity to make a connection with her celebrity crush. Those benign walls are no longer there, allowing her the chance to get to know Jesse Franko in real life. Initially, it’s a fun ride. I felt like I was right there with Cassie during the initial conversations on Facebook, the transatlantic hook up, the long-distance relationship that feels destined to work, considering the surreal nature of everything. Only, much like in real life, people are people. Who we imagine our celebrity crushes, or really, any celebrity to be most likely will not measure up to who they are when you meet them in the real world, and Cassie discovers this about Jesse.

Through this unrealistic encounter comes a very realistic approach that could fit any scenario where you meet someone you don’t really know as well as you thought you did. The more time that Cassie spends with Jesse, the less sure she is on whether she fits. Jesse has his own secrets he has to work through, unresolved issues that are the root of everything. Through all of this, it’s obvious that expectations are set too high, and that no one is perfect. Not even the guy you used to have on a poster on your bedroom wall.

Jesse is a complicated man and difficult to get to know (he’s working on it), while Cassie appears to be an open book about most things, yet when it comes to her emotions and how she feels about Jesse, she clams up. Having two personalities come together too quickly can be jarring for anyone, even for those who are well-written characters in a novel. Throw in a messy past and an unclear future, and now we really see how they'll get by once the glossy sheen of former celebrity has been removed, those teenage dreams replaced by realistic expectations. I’m not sure what would have happened for me had I ever found a way to connect with Heath Kirchart back in those days, but if I had, I can only imagine it could have been a messy, wild, unpredictable ride, too- much like the one Cassie and Jesse take us on. This reader can only hope!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK * Kobo

Stephie Chapman was born in England in the mid 1980s, which makes her thirty-something (but if you ask, she'll probably tell you she's 27). Now, she lives on the South coast of the UK, has a day job to keep her holiday budget topped up, and two kids and a husband to keep an eye on.

Call Me, Maybe and Jetplanes to Jupiter were born out of a healthy appreciation of bass guitars (and the dudes who play them), and Franko was very much inspired by her favourite band as a teenager. So now you know.

Get in touch on FacebookTwitter, and at Stephie's website.

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