By Alecia Whitaker
Publication date: July 1, 2014
Poppy, 320 pages
The best songs come from broken hearts.
Sixteen-year-old Bird Barrett has grown up on the road, singing backup in her family’s bluegrass band, and playing everywhere from Nashville, Tennesee to Nowhere, Oklahoma. One fateful night, Bird fills in for her dad by singing lead, and a scout in the audience offers her a spotlight all her own.
Soon Bird is caught up in a whirlwind of songwriting meetings, recording sessions, and music video shoots. Her first single hits the top twenty, and suddenly fans and paparazzi are around every corner. She’s even caught the eye of her longtime crush, fellow roving musician Adam Dean. With Bird’s star on the rise, though, tradition and ambition collide. Can Bird break out while staying true to her roots?
In a world of glamour and gold records, a young country music star finds her voice.
— Goodreads.com description
That is to say: If you like music and Nashville and country in your books, you’ll want to read this.
Personally, I love those things in books so it was up my alley. Plus, there were tons of interesting family dynamics that really caught my interest.
Still, I do have to say the ending was too abruptly tied up for me and got me thinking that maybe I was more attached to the setting and music aspects of the story than to the characters themselves.
Excellent bonus factor: I hear the finished version includes the sheet music to Bird’s song. How fun is that?!
I thought this list was going to be a toughie…but I came up with these books — all featuring lovely friendships — quite quickly and had to viciously chop it down to 10, chosen for the variety in friendships they represent:
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
ALWAYS the prime example of friendship books and how they those relationships evolve and/or expand over time
The entire Harry Potter series
Need I say more? The bravery and loyalty and trust shown in this series is epic
Another “pick your own ending” topic today where we could select a TV show/movie/comic/etc. to prompt book choices.
Well, if you’re like me, you loved Roswell and wanted to love the new CW show Star-Crossed…but didn’t.
Sure, it’s got alien/human forbidden love, and teen angst, and Julie Taylor, and actually some interesting messages to share on acceptance and race and sexuality.
But it’s also got that one guy from The Nine Lives of Chloe King and a version of Aimee Teegarden that is soooo not Julie Taylor. So, yeah. Boo.
To make up for it, here are some books I think you’ll love that are delightfully alien!
Bonus shoutout to A Wrinkle in Time, which I adore but always think of as more middle-grade. And okay, I know the Peterfreund book was a bit of a stretch, but I heard it called “Jane Austen in space” once so it stuck.
PS: Bonus friendship points to any of you who read the Roswell books in addition to the TV show. I may or may not still have my copies…
We got to fill in the blank on this one and pick the top 10 characters who, well, did anything we like! I love books with music themes, so here are my favorite characters who rock!
Let’s all just take a second to imagine if they formed a YA band! Also: Who did I miss?!
This Song Will Save Your Life
By Leila Sales
Publication date: Sept. 17, 2013
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 288 pages
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
— Goodreads.com description
What a melancholy, beautiful and real story this is! I’ve adored Leila Sales for ages — Past Perfect and Mostly Good Girls are both amazing – but This Song Will Save Your Life really took things to a new level.
This Song Will Save Your Life is about finding an escape — something to help lift the weight from your shoulders and broaden your horizons.
For Elise, that escape is music, which makes this book a must for you music lovers. It celebrates music’s transformative and healing powers in a really lovely way.
It also celebrates being different, which is partly why it felt like such a “real” story. Everything Elise experience was amplified for the sake of storytelling, but it still reminded me of what it felt like to be a teenager. I had a lot of emo teen feelings as I read: anxiety, annoyance, excitement, judgment, anger.
Very well done, Leila Sales! Check this one out for sure, you guys.