4 Stars · Arc's

Review: Hicksville Crossroads by Mary Karlik

Details: eBook, 255 pages

Publication: May 4, 2020 by GPK Publishing

Series: Hicksville High, Book Five


Goodreads Synopsis: Frasier Anderson is one of the hottest teenage actors in the UK, but he’s virtually unknown in the US. Now he’s landed the leading role in a big-budget Hollywood film that could make him an international star. 

So how do you prepare a Scot for a role as a Texas high school student? Give him a fake name, a fake accent, and embed him in a Texas high school. He only has to follow three rules:

No drama. No girls. And no telling who he really is.

Jenna Wiley is smart, funny, and has a few no-drama, no-dating rules of her own. Her friendship with new kid Ethan Smith is perfect and might even lead to something more. Except for a few things that don’t add up. Like his mom being afraid to have company. Or their house, which is more staged than lived in. Or his sister, whom nobody talks about.

It all comes to a boil when Frasier’s biggest secrets hit the tabloids and the paparazzi swarm Hillside with Jenna in their sights.

Can Frasier convince Jenna that shy, goofy Ethan Smith is closer to real than the image the tabloids have created?

And can she ever forgive him for breaking the most important rule of all? Because for Jenna, when it comes to love and science, the truth is all that matters.


My Thoughts: This was the fifth book in a series, but it was pretty easy to read as a standalone. I haven’t read the first three books yet, but I had little to no problems getting into the story. It was a pretty short read, and it was easy to get into it. The concept was very intriguing, and I think Mary Karlik did a great job with the execution of it. There were a few grammatical errors (extra words in a sentence), but otherwise it was well-written.

The book was light, but there was a little angst mixed in. It covered an extremely important issue, but it kept it light. It was more educational than entertaining, which I loved. I loved the message of family values that the book gave, at least to me. I also loved the theme of school being important.

Most of the characters felt unremarkable to me, which in all honesty could be because I haven’t read the entire series. I loved Jenna’s family, especially her grandmother. Her siblings were hilarious to me, and I always looked forward to them being a part of a chapter.

Jenna herself was one of my favorite female characters. It’s refreshing to read a book where the main character is more worried about school than romance – for the most part. Even with “Ethan” she was still dedicated to her education, which is admirable. She was such a strong character, and I found her to be my favorite.

Frasier was surprisingly a really good character. Typically, the famous boy in books like this is almost unbearable, but I really liked Frasier. He was completely down to earth. The dedication he put into his family, career, and relationship with Jenna was really sweet.

I loved the setup of the book; I always love books that show multiple perspectives. I like being able to understand both Jenna’s and Frasier’s thoughts about the same events and people. My only complaint with the structure was the fact that each chapter would end abruptly, which was both a curse and a blessing. As soon as things would begin to get dramatic, the perspective would switch. I often forgot about the end of the previous chapter by the time I got back to that perspective, so that was a bit confusing for me at times.

Overall, this was a really sweet, touching book. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult novels. It was a quick read, so it’s the perfect book to read between larger books if you need something short.

Rating: ★★★★☆


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Expresso Book Tours and am voluntarily leaving a review.


Trigger Warning: This book contains mentions of drug use and hospitalization.


Want to read Hicksville Crossroads? You can order it from Amazon in the following formats:

Kindle | Paperback

Want to know more about Mary Karlik? Follow her here:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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