Author: Erin Hahn
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA contemporary
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
“Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.
But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.
Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk”
This book is a well written mixture of a cute summer story with deeper elements that I loved! I had a really fun time reading this book and it took only a few pages for me to be pulled into this story.
The characterization and development in this story are extremely powerful and well written. I enjoyed Annie’s character throughout the entire story; she was strong, witty, and I couldn’t help but love her as much as all of her fans did. Her friend group’s constant banter and dynamic as perfectly written! I swear, I was awkwardly trying not to laugh while reading this book in public more than once. On the other hand, I didn’t like Clay very much at first. He was hard to understand, broody, and acted like a total jerk in the beginning of the story. I had a hard time relating with him even when reading from his point of view, I understood even less while I was in Annie’s. He was a frustrating character BUT once the author starts dipping into his backstory he’s more tolerable. The way Clay and Annie are written is realistic but it takes a long while to understand their minds. I’m not mad about this, it brilliantly avoided major information dumps, but you have to be persistent with Clay before he makes sense as a character.
The romance took me a long time to get warmed up to. It felt forced to me and the chemistry felt off but, like Clay, I did grow to enjoy it a lot more. I feel like the path this book takes forces the reader to see how people changing can effect everything. It’s one of my favorite things about the book actually, seeing how a few steps in a better direction can change a person’s entire life. I was shocked by how deep this book got. It features a lot of darker subjects I hadn’t been expecting it to explore but I’m glad it did. It’s more than a fluffy contemporary and dives into alcohol abuse, emotional trauma, and what life means for people who have to deal with the aftermath of death.
The atmosphere that was developed in this book was so gripping! Erin Hahn created a bubble of a world and brought it to life. The characters, world, and plot all twisted together in a way that I could imagine this being a true story about someone I would never meet otherwise. I love how Hahn created so many deep plot lines that the world building became was subtle and perfect.
All in all I really enjoyed this book! The writing as beautiful and I loved the story that was told. I’ve never been much of a country music fan but I still felt immersed in this world of music I hadn’t given much thought to before. It’s a wonderful debut that’s easy to fall in love with.
Release Date: April 2nd 2019
Thank you very much to Goodreads and the publisher for hosting the giveaway where I won a copy of this lovely ARC!