West, Kasie. Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss. Harper Teen, 2019. 384p. ISBN: 9780062675798. $17.99. MS, HS **
Lacking depth, Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss is a companion novel to Love, Life, and the List with some crossover characters. The main character, Lacey, has managed to secure the lead role in a Pride and Prejudice and Zombies-style film complete with a famous, hunky co-star. She struggles to create chemistry with the lead and deals with some sabotage on set. She predictably experiences her first kiss with the tutor her father hired to help her finish her school packets. The story employs all the usual teen tropes and a very obvious saboteur whose motive seems a little weak. This is the usual fare from West and a little dialed in. Most characters are white or assumed white with the exception of Amanda, one of the co-stars who has dark skin. From a critical point of view this will not change anyone’s life. But it is certainly guaranteed to circulate. Kissing is not descriptive and like most of West’s work borders on mild romance.
Carla Avitabile, San Mateo Public Library