Five stars to this book.
When I first started it I didn’t know where I was supposed to place it in my long line of reading. Was it a historical fiction? Or was it a contemporary? Problem was that it wasn’t either of those… or rather, not the historical that I’m used to smushing that genre into.
This book was set in 1990 with a strong musical plot and I was a little worried that, even tho the first chapter (after the little intro thingy, I didn’t like the intro) was super good and I LOVED the written character voice and the way the world was being built, I was afraid I’d have a hard time immersing myself.
Let me tell ya, the author captured the year without hesitation. I feel like they researched the year 1990 and put every fact into that book that they could find at some point during the plot. It wasn’t bland and dry either, but very much appropriate to the character. I liked it.
Mike. What do I say. His thinking process was so vivid and complex and somehow so realistic I felt like I was living in his body. His shallow motivation and character arc was sooo satisfying, and his worldviews were so cool to watch morph and grow over the course of the book. His relationship with Natalie was so cute. Just. Interesting in that it started a little rough, and the growth was very evident, but it also felt just a little rushed at the beginning.
Over the course of the plot, it definitely felt better and more natural. Natalie grew as a character to us and she was 1000% hilarious. There was not a single boring fiber in her being. She was spicy and realist and kind but sassy. She was strong willed and determined and didn’t need anyone, but she was equally as interested and welcoming. I loved the way that the author took a character that had to be strong and showed their need for friendship and appreciation without turning them into a slogging mush of maiden in distress. Natalie was perfect.
The plot of this story was pretty interesting. It didn’t follow as cliche of a build, drop, and then resolution before the grandeur of the goal in the book. It still had something like that sort of plot, but it wasn’t dreadful. It was much more realistic in that the insecurities of the characters were realistic… and not the cliche “I’m too broken to love anybody and to be loved waaaaaambulance.” It was two humans who were friends who were trying to work something out and had real human problems. This story was so REAL.
Oh boy… so. I was a little surprised with the content that was allowed in this book considering it is a Revell book… it added a little spice, but also made it less child friendly. The MC was an illegitimate son, the conversation about drug and alcohol addiction was fairly consistent, tho not portrayed in a good light which I know makes the difference for some people. They mention suicide once rather brashly and offhandedly as a side comment, not addressing the issue but rather used as an adjective to a situation. One of the MCs friends girlfriends actively hits on the MC and he mentions a few times how easy it would be to call her and forget everything for a while. Nothing happens but it’s an active part of the way the story is written. That kinda gives you the rough idea of the voice the story is written in. Lots of big issues talked about or mentioned on a surface level. Personally, I thought it added a bit of reality to the book, which made me appreciate it, but this is not a book I would recommend for anyone younger than 16. I also wanted to make sure and mention it may be worth a trigger warning just because of how many issues are mentioned in an off handed way and I know that triggers don’t have to be discussed to be a problem. So fair warning. For me, none of these things were a serious issue.
I really, really enjoyed this story. It was super immersive and the plot was beautifully done and the characters were amazing and dynamic and realistic. I will be rereading this book 100% and highly recommending to people who enjoy this era/genre and style of music.
ADDITIONAL NOTE/COMMENT FROM ME:
Hi friends. I wanted to pause for a second and mention some things…
My rating and reviewing has grown with me. My rating are no longer geared towards a younger audience. I’m 23 years old now, and I’ve been exposed to and desensitized to a lot of things in this world that would have really bothered me earlier on in the era of this blog. I’m a completely different person. I’ve grown and learned and my reviews still mention pretty similar things, but the star ratings and my liking or disliking of a book is much less weighed on the mature content in a book. I just wanted to update you all if you’re looking for those same reviews, there are lots of accounts on goodreads and places like that that have more in depth reviews that are geared toward a younger audience.
As for me, I’ve grown up. And my readers have grown up too. So the reviews and the level of maturity they’re reviewed for has also grown up. Thank you for understanding. ☺️
FIVE stars for this one! Thank you to Revell and the author for a free copy of this book! An positive review was not required and all opinions ARE my own.
Till next time! Remember: