Author: Gabriela Martins
Publication: August 3rd 2021 by Underlined
Genre: YA, Contemporary
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This debut paperback original romance follows a Latina teen pop star whose image takes a dive after a messy public breakup, until she’s set up with a swoon-worthy fake boyfriend.
Fake boyfriend. Real heartbreak?
Natalie is living her dream: topping the charts and setting records as a Brazilian pop star…until she’s dumped spectacularly on live television. Not only is it humiliating—it could end her career.
Her PR team’s desperate plan? A gorgeous yet oh-so-fake boyfriend. Nati reluctantly agrees, but William is not what she expected. She was hoping for a fierce bad boy—not a soft-hearted British indie film star. While she fights her way back to the top with a sweet and surprisingly swoon-worthy boy on her arm, she starts to fall for William—and realizes that maybe she’s the biggest fake of them all. Can she reclaim her voice and her heart?
I hosted a guest post by the author on my blog a few months ago (you can find it here) and that had made me very excited to read Like a Love Song so I really wanted to love this book but I just couldn’t fully enjoy it. There were some good things (which I will state below) but not enough for me to rate it higher or say that I actually liked it. It just fell really flat for me.
The story is about Natalie, a 17 year-old popular pop star that everyone loves until she gets dumped by her boyfriend in a very public way. Her PR team then plans for her to fake-date indie film star William. But of course it doesn’t stay with just fake-dating.
Fake dating is one of my favorite tropes ever. So this is one of the possitive things that I liked about the story because the trope always brings some funny things. I wasn’t a fan of Natalie’s character to begin with and William was pretty likable. But romance wise I just couldn’t feel a real connection between them. I was left feeling rather meh about the two of them.
I also felt the story would’ve been better if the characters had been older, maybe in their mid to late twenties. Maybe it’s just that I’ve outgrown contemporary YA books. And I know this book isn’t geared towards my age group (I’m 29) so that could possibly be why. I still wanted to give the book a shot but sadly enough I just couldn’t really care about the story or characters.
Now on to the things I did like! Like I said before the fake dating brought quite some entertainment so that was a good point on its own. I did say I wasn’t a fan of Natalie but I did like how she grew in the story. She’s Brazilian and by the end she really ended up embracing her heritage and making sure she wasn’t gonna fit in a box that everyone expected of her. The author is Brazilian too so I love that for her. Also, the book was a real page-turner and I read it pretty fast.
GABRIELA MARTINS is a Brazilian kidlit author and linguist. Her stories feature Brazilian characters finding themselves and love. She was a high school teacher and has also worked as a TED Ed-Club facilitator, where she helped teens develop their own talks in TED format to present. She edited and self-published a pro-bono LGBTQ+ anthology (KEEP FAITH) with all funds going to queer people in need. Gabriela also used to host monthly webinars with themes ranging from Linguistics in Fiction to Self-Care for Writers. She was recently selected as a Pitch Wars mentor for 2020. Her debut, LIKE A LOVE SONG (Underlined/PRH) comes out in summer 2021. Find her on Twitter at @gabhimartins, on Instagram at @gabhi, and visit her website at gabrielawrites.com.