Review of Famous By Default by MK Harkins

  • Title: Famous By Default
  • Author: M.K. Harkins
  • Publication date: March 19 2017
  • Pages: 318
  • Genre: Young Adult

Goodreads Synopsis:


By my family’s fame.
Dying to escape the limelight,
And finally, I do.

Being raised as a Jayne, I’m under constant scrutiny. The rock band my brothers formed makes it impossible to stay under the radar. Paparazzi, tabloids, rabid fans–you name it and I’ve got it. It all makes me sick. But getting shipped off to crazy Aunt Betty’s house in my senior year of high school isn’t any better. After all, there isn’t a stray kid or pet in the world that my aunt wouldn’t take in.

Then I meet her. She’s cautious, suspicious, and not interested in me at all. But that’s fine by me. Sivan Holt may be beautiful and intelligent, but she’s nothing I’m looking for.


In my past.
Struggling to feel settled.
And finally, I do.

Growing up in the foster care system, I longed for a sense of belonging. All I wanted was a place to call home.
At the age of seventeen, I’m finally starting to feel it here. Home.

When he comes along, it unsettles me. I don’t want him to ruin everything we’ve built–everything that matters. Jax Jayne is arrogant, privileged, and I want nothing to do with him. But those green eyes of his keep drawing me in. If I let down my walls, will it be my final undoing?

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ARC of Famous By Default provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reading Famous By Default was a surprisingly light and easy read. At first when introduced to Sivan I thought there would be a lot more angst and darkness than there was. In ways it was nice that there wasn’t but at times it might have helped if there were. I enjoyed this book especially the first half. But it could have used more excitement just to pick things up a bit. The story jumped months at a time, and it may have been necessary for the story but felt like those would have been a good time to add to it. I felt like I was constantly waiting for the ball to drop. When one did it just wasn’t the ball I was looking for.

Other than that the characters were great. Sivan wasn’t at all like I was expecting, like I said before, dark and angsty. But she was fiery and helped to provide some of my biggest laughs in the story. Sometimes she frustrated me but for the most part she was great. Jax was awesome as well. He never gave up and was definitely swoon worthy. Mostly it was his caring heart that really blew me away. His family was too funny as well. Aunt Betty was one of the biggest highlights for me. The only way I could think to describe her is as a whirlwind of light and vibrant colors, with the biggest heart you could ever imagine.

The last chapter was the only thing that didn’t sit to well for me. I felt like the story jumped from one extreme to the next with out having enough development in the middle to explain the resolution. It wasn’t that it was bad its just, again, I felt there could have been more.

To sum it up this book is a great read, even with its missed opportunities. The characters pull you in and keep you there. They are the main reason I enjoyed Famous By Default so much. If you are looking for a light, easy, entertaining YA romance to read, then you should check it out.

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