High school senior Alexa Brooks had it all figured out. Study hard, nail the extracurriculars, stay focused, and life would follow the carefully crafted plan. The problem is this plan was designed for one thing: making her forget all about her once-best-friend, former-potential-boyfriend, Carson Knight. Four years ago, he was the boy who always made her laugh, the boy she loved, and the boy she mistakenly and very publicly betrayed. Oh, and he was also the boy who grew up to become a heartthrob A-list actor, named Cayden McKnight.
An innocent-enough school assignment suddenly brings Cayden to the forefront of Alexa’s mind, and her celebrity-crazed best friend Lindsey discovers the old connection. Convinced that his Hollywood bad boy image is the direct result of Alexa and Carson’s fallout, Lindsey convinces Alexa to find Carson and reconcile, but reaching an A-list movie star is not as easy as it used to be when he was the kid Alexa called every night before bed. Unable to apologize in person but determined to somehow right her wrongs, Alexa goes on a quest to remake Cayden’s image, doing good deeds in his name. But nothing is as it seems in Hollywood, and even when she’s able to finally face Cayden McKnight in person, Alexa can’t break through to the Carson she once knew. Is it really too late to make amends?
Title: Chasing After Knight
Author: Heather Buchta
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Publisher: Penguin Workshop
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
This book curbed my desire to read a “famous person falls for normal person” trope while also having a heart to it. The characters are relatable teenagers on a mission to do the right thing…Even if that means doing some wrong things to get there.
I really enjoyed reading this book that was full of characters trying to do the wrong thing, but continually falling short. It made the characters relatable and the book more emotional. It was also great to see the main character start the book as a new person and slowly develop into her own self, however flawed that may be. It was a refreshing change to how characters usually develop.
Alexa, our main character was difficult for me to understand for a minute. When we first meet her, she’s not the girl she used to be. She’s hardened, successful on paper, and boring. Then, as the book goes on, we see her begin to transform into the girl she used to be. Problem is, she makes a lot of mistakes on her way to re-becoming that girl. Like, a lot. It was hard to stand by as she made all these errors, but I also had to applaud her for having the courage to do what she did.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how much I loved Alexa’s friends. She really didn’t deserve them. Heidi and Lindsay are so supportive of Alexa, even when she’s doing a bunch of crazy things. They lie to her parents, make fake websites, and drive to other states for her. I really loved that they were a part of this book.
Now onto Carson/Cayden. We get flashbacks at the beginning of the book so we can understand what went wrong between Alexa and Carson. I loved Carson during those flashbacks. He was charming, sweet, and funny. Then we meet present-day Carson and I’m a little thrown off. Don’t get me wrong. I love a broody and angry love interest just like the next girl, but by the end, I still wasn’t won over. I didn’t hate him, but something about him just wasn’t completely convincing me.
We don’t really get to the romantic part of this book until about halfway in which was kinda sad for me. That being said, the book was not boring up until that point. I just wish we could’ve seen Carson a little bit more up to that point. Also, honestly, I didn’t love the ending. I feel like there was still a lot to work out. The grand gesture was amazing and made me tear up a little, but something felt unfinished.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. I gave a lot of critique in this review, but this was a nice book. I’d recommend reading it with low expectations and knowing that there’s a possibility that you won’t like Alexa.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
To check out my other reviews, click here. Or to check out more books by Heather Buchta, go to her Goodreads profile.