Monday, October 20, 2014

Popstars, Friends & Lovers: A Dreamer's Tale by Karen Gordon

"Four months ago, when she first moved here, she would have laughed at the idea of prepping for this interview." -Karen Gordon, Popstars, Friends and Lovers: A Dreamer's Tale
WARNING: Not for younger audiences, contains swearing and mature content.

“The poorest man is not the one with no penny in his pocket, but the one who has no dream.” 

– The Burnouts, Class of ‘99

For two weeks Steve Shrader lived a dream. A dream that he didn’t even know existed until he felt it. For two weeks the kid with no mom had good food, clean clothes and sheets and Christmas. For two weeks he had love--in the form of Hello Kitty band-aids and hot soup and his best friend, MG. Then he screwed up, like he always did, and the dream he was living went away. Now school is over, MG is gone and he’s headed down the same path as all the adults in his life; drifting along, dodging or dealing with one sh*t-storm after another, numbing themselves with cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. But he’s seen a better life. He’s seen what he wants. He wants MG. The question is how to 
get to her from where he is now.

MG dreams of living large in New York City. (OK, to tell the truth, it’s her mom’s dream, and she is just along for the ride.) But she’s gonna make it work--in a kick-ass, cool apartment, with a glam fashion job and photo shoots with rich friends in magazines–or not. She left everything she was sure of back home in St. Louis and almost everything she thought she knew about Manhattan and life isn’t turning out to be true. When her false dreams crumble and fall though her hands she’s left with what’s real. A real life with a real job and real love; and it can all be hers if she’s brave enough to believe in herself and go after what she truly wants. 

Their love story started in Burnouts, Geeks & Jesus Freaks: a love story, now it continues in Popstars, Friends & Lovers: a dreamer’s tale. MG, the best friend with a talent for trouble, and Steve, the most laid back hero in romance novel history, are back. With old friends from high school and a crazed array of new ones they go for a win in the game called life.


Okay, so I also reviewed the first book, Burnouts, Geeks & Jesus Freaks: A Love Story, so be sure to check out that review as well! It made me excited when Karen contacted me about Popstars, Friends & Lovers: A Dreamer's Tale because I was more than ready for Steve and M.G's tale.

Opening Popstars, Friends & Lovers: A Dreamer's Tale felt like returning to the story of old friends. The characters felt familiar, comforting, and yet still not that predictable. Which is what I love most about this story. I may get frustrated or annoyed with one character or both for whatever reason, but I still love them. The characters feel almost like friends, and from reading the previous book they felt familiar and comfy, for lack of a better word.

Then there's the fact that Karen Gordon manages to portray that life isn't always fair, and in fact can be quite terrible to the point that you almost feel downtrodden yourself, and yet she always gives hope. I love that she still gives us a happy ending even if the characters had to work hard to get where they are. It just feels so realistic and like this could be happening somewhere in the town I live in. It feels great to have that kind of vibe.

There is a certain event that Karen Gordon brings up and I'm not going to mention what(Go read the book, :)) but it definitely made me think long and hard on that event again. Which is good because it shouldn't be forgotten and yet she doesn't dwell on it. She gives the event its moment and then moves on to happier days. And I have to admit that I was happy with it.

Popstars, Friends & Lovers: A Dreamer's Tale is a book that you will never regret picking up. It's just as good as the first, if not a little bit better and I cannot wait for the third and final book in this series(Although I think it might be a good idea to have tissues handy so that when I get to the end I can cry as much as I want). 

Karen Gordon was born and raised in the suburban paradise of St. Charles, MO, on the outskirts of St. Louis. She earned a B.S. in English from the University of Central Missouri (BS being the operative term) and a M.A. in Media Communications from Webster University, where, always a rebel, she graduated in a hot pink mortarboard because she didn’t like the school colors.
She currently resides in Olive Branch, MS (formerly Cow Pen) on the outskirts of Memphis, TN with her 2.5 super-smart kids, and an amazingly-funny, cute, geeky husband.
When not writing, she is a stay-at-home mom (chick in charge) and part-time teacher. Any down time is spent reading, catching up with friends and obsessively worrying about every little thing.
Her first novel, “Burnouts, Geeks and Jesus Freaks: a love story” was published in March of 2014 with the second novel in the Burnouts series, “Popstars, Friends & Lovers: a dreamer’s tale” being released in November, 2014. She is currently working on the third, and final, novel in the series, tentatively title “Boi H.E.A.”

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