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Like a Love Song
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Like a Love Song
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This debut 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?...
This debut 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?...
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Description-

  • This debut 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?
     
    "The perfect ode to falling in love while you're still finding your voice."—Jennifer Dugan, author of Hot Dog Girl
     
    "All the fun and excitement of your favorite summer bop, and all the heart of a love ballad."—Adiba Jaigirdar, author of The Henna Wars
     
    "YA rom-com perfection."—Nina Moreno, author of Don't Date Rosa Santos

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Chapter 1 

    Everything’s Wonderful 

    Nothing can prepare you for the bright lights of fame. Nothing. When I’m stepping onto a stage, the spotlight is a warm embrace. But when I’m walking a red carpet, the spotlight is cold, the camera’s flashes little daggers of ice, making my heart speed up in turn. 

    I’m lucky I’m not alone tonight. 

    Trent is by my side as we pull up to the E! People’s Choice Awards, but it takes him a moment to look away from the paparazzi’s cameras and turn to me. He smiles, his Hollywood-white teeth bright. Deliberately, he puts his arm around me, and the butterflies in my stomach calm down. I feel elevated. 

    We’re immediately guided from our limo by security people wearing black suits and earpieces. We barely have time to exchange another look before we’re stepping onto the international symbol of fame and fortune: the red carpet. 

    “Natalie, when is your new album coming out?” asks one of the paparazzi. 

    “Natalie! Over here!” another shouts. “Are you excited about tonight? Do you think you’ll win Female Artist of the Year?” 

    “Natalie!” 

    “Natalie, over here!” 

    “Natalie!” 

    The trick to posing on the red carpet is to suck in your breath, plaster on your most photogenic expression—for me, an open smile—and ignore everything the paparazzi say. Nobody looks good mid-speech, and this is all about looking good. Force your eyes to stay open, but somehow make it seem natural. You’ll get used to the flashing lights eventually, seeing nothing but white and black dots in your vision. When that happens, only smile brighter.

    One foot in front of the other. I can totally do this. Breathe in, breathe out. 

    I’m wearing a dress with an asymmetrical hem, shorter in the front and flowing down to the ground in the back, lilac tones deepening into purple. The torso is strapless and covered in what my stylist, Erin, assured me were tasteful sequins. The dress is sexy and beautiful, but it doesn’t make me very comfortable—with a flat chest, I’m always worried a strapless dress is going to fall down. My heels are golden stilettos, and I’m glad that at least these aren’t pointy. They’re open sandals that show off my toes painted in lilac to match my skirt. 

    “Trent Nicholson! Trent!” another paparazzo shouts. “Are you upset you haven’t been nominated this year? Do you think your last movie deserved it?”

    Trent’s grip on my waist tightens to the point of discomfort, but I’m too busy counting breaths in my head to look at him. Four seconds in, hold for seven, let go for eight.

    Tonight is my night. I have to look . . . perfect. 

    I glance up at him and watch a frown pass over his face as he hurries forward, pulling me along with him. I hesitate, giving him a small confused smile. What are you doing? I try to telepathically communicate with my eyes. This is the time for my solo shots. Go right along.

    Trent rolls his eyes and sighs, but eventually nods. 

    The Great American Sweethearts. 

    “Natalie, over here!”

    The voices pull me back in, so I let myself drown in them. I turn sideways, showing off my bare back, tilting my head toward the cameras just enough that no belly rolls will show. I have rehearsed this a thousand times. Only turn twenty degrees. Never forty-five.

    This is going to be okay. Gripping my Chanel purse close to my body, I repeat the...

About the Author-

  • 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. She edited and self-published a pro-bono LGBTQ+ anthology (Keep Faith) with all funds going to queer people in need. When she's not writing, she can be found cuddling with her two cats or singing loudly and off-key. Like a Love Song is her debut novel. Find her on Twitter at @gabhimartins and on Instagram at @gabhi, and visit her website at gabrielawrites.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    June 15, 2021
    A Brazilian American teen pop star hopes a fake relationship will turn her image around. After a humiliating public breakup moments before winning an award, 17-year-old Natalie's tearful breakdown becomes an embarrassing meme. To rebrand and fix her reputation, Natalie agrees to pretend to have a new boyfriend, and she signs a contract that sets her up for three months with up-and-coming British teen actor William Ainsley, who is White and Jewish. As she gets to know William, she unexpectedly starts falling for him. He's sweet to her when the paparazzi are watching, but is it all an act? The romance is appropriately charming while the narrative also compellingly addresses the pressures of fame and social media. This entertaining debut seamlessly weaves in explorations of Latinx and immigrant identity: Especially heartfelt is Natalie's struggle with not speaking enough Portuguese to connect with her grandparents in S�o Paulo. Natalie, who moved to the U.S. when she was 8, straightens her curly hair and shies away from her Brazilian nickname, Nati, since none of her classmates in the States could pronounce it properly. Her best friends, Pakistani American Padma and Brazilian American Brenda, two girls who are dating each other, provide a refreshingly supportive friendship, complete with delightful text message exchanges. A joyful story that hits all the right notes. (Romance. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2021

    Gr 7 Up-Natalie, a 17-year-old Brazilian pop star, and her beautiful boyfriend Trent are the power couple of the year, but just minutes before she is about to receive a People's Choice Award, Trent dumps her backstage on camera. Now, her music charts are dipping, and ugly memes of Natalie are all over social media. Desperate for a comeback strategy, she decides to sign a contract with a fake boyfriend who will hopefully rebuild her image in a positive way. Enter William Ainsley: a cute, British white guy from London who is new to acting and nothing like Trent. As they get to know each other, they discover something about themselves that poses some serious questions about the biz they are in. In addition to the pressures of being a famous pop star, Natalie also struggles with conflicting feelings regarding her family, her heritage, and facing relatives back in Brazil who want her to visit for Christmas. Natalie is hesitant to go because she isn't fluent in Portuguese, and she feels like a sellout for pursuing her dreams in America. Natalie has light brown skin. The story has diverse secondary cast with some lovable characters, including Natalie's best friends: Brenda, who is Brazilian, and Padma, who is Pakistani. Except for Natalie, everyone in her circle of friends is part of the LGBTQIA+ communities. The dialogue is very relatable to teens with the use of text messages and social media acronyms. VERDICT A great coming-of-age story about being true to yourself.-Lacey Webster, Acadia Parish Library, Crowley, LA

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 15, 2021
    Grades 8-11 Imagine that you're a Brazilian international pop star about to win a prestigious award. Then, imagine that then you get publicly dumped by your boyfriend on live TV and your subsequent breakdown becomes a shareable meme. Natalie (Nati) is living that life, which is why her PR team and agent are doing damage control by finding her a fake boyfriend. Enter British indie-film actor William Ainsley. Nati and William's banter and unexpectedly genuine chemistry is entertaining, and their romance teaches readers what can happen when one opens one's heart and trusts the universe. The story also includes an adorable bestie-duo/couple, Padma and Brenda, whose text messages to Nati bubble with humor and lead the story in a fun direction. This modern romance is sure to capture many hearts, as well as keep readers thinking about the characters with a smile long after the last page. Hand this to fans of Maureen Goo's Somewhere Only We Know (2019) and Gloria Chao's Rent a Boyfriend (2020).

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Random House Children's Books
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