Review – In Bloom by Katie Delahanty

In BloomPublisher: Entangled
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: NetGalley

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…
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I love Hollywood romances as well as new adult. Put them together and I was pretty damn excited about this book. However, it really didn’t work for me.

Olivia has always dreamt about coming to LA to work as a costume designer. When her boyfriend cheats on her back home, she has the perfect excuse to pick up her life and start anew. With a group of friends from her apartment complex, and a wonderful job at a lingerie company, Olivia is flying high with her new life. When she meets Berkeley, the sexy front man of her favorite band, he will throw a wrench in her perfect life and do everything he can to keep her forever.

I have to say, I really liked the plot of this book, I think overall it was really strong and had a great premise behind it. However, the leading lady Olivia made it near impossible for me to find much enjoyment out of this book. She came across as an immature and insecure teenager, instead of the composed and mature young adult she supposedly was. There were times when I was reading and wondering if Olivia was really supposed to be 15 or 16 instead of her 20s. For example, at one point she is hanging out with her friends and after one comment she starts doubting their friendship with her and she runs off to cry and pout.

There were also a lot of little plot points that didn’t work for me. Little things like after getting a new job and having only worked there for a few weeks, she is allowed a week off to hide from the press after going with Berkeley to the Grammy awards. Oh honey…. that’s not the way the real world works, and I hated that so much of this book was spent in alternate reality where the heroine can do no wrong. There was also a significant amount of celebrity name dropping. I get that when writing a Hollywood romance, it’s going to come up that people interact with other celebrities. However, I always prefer when the other A-listers are other made-up characters, instead of real life people. I’m not sure why that bothers me, but I don’t like it one bit.

I did enjoy Berkeley. He came across as a genuine hero who loved making music, but hated the life that seemed to go along with his celebrity status. I thought Berkeley had a lot more depth to his character than anyone else, including the two cute secondary characters that were Olivia’s best friends. Despite that, Berkeley did start to get on my nerves when he continued to settle for Olivia’s immature ways. Despite the things he told her and showed her, she still refused to believe him over the media, and made some really sketchy decisions. In addition, Berkeley seemed to apologize for every little thing. Didn’t matter if he was wrong or not, he was always saying he was sorry.

The romance was hard for me to get behind, not just because it developed so late in the story, but also because of Olivia. Again, when a character in their 20s is acting like an immature 16 year old, it’s really hard for me to get behind their happily ever after. Fans of young adult books might enjoy this one more than I did (I am not a fan of the YA genre), however I just found everything about Olivia and her relationship to be annoying and tedious.

All in all, I wasn’t very impressed with this new adult book from Delahanty. I wanted to really fall in love with the Hollywood storyline, but instead I found myself rolling my eyes and waiting for something to happen. Something special, something funny, something sad… Anything. While this book has some really good writing and editing, it just wasn’t something I enjoyed.
I give In Bloom a D

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