Summary from Goodreads:
Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major unrequited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.
Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?
eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This review is spoiler free.
Content warnings: alcohol, alcoholism, shitty father figure
I have no idea where to start with this review. I requested this book on Netgalley after seeing Mari rave about it and dear God if she wasn’t absolutely right. This book was brilliant, it made me feel so many feelings and I am honestly still processing it all. The only way I think I will be capable of reviewing this book will be by listing all of the things I liked about it, and by all I mean like top five because I honestly liked everything about it. Anywho, onto my fangirlish rambling.
The discussions of music and how it makes you feel in this book were perfect. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure that this is the first book I have ever read that acknowledges music can be a coping mechanism and talks about the physiological effects it can have on a person and I loved that so much. I also want to mention here that while I love music so much and do use it as a coping mechanism, I don’t know that much about it so some of the music references in this book went right over my head, but I still never felt lost, so don’t let that be of concern.
I loved all of the characters and their interactions so much. I feel like it can be rare to read a young adult book where the teenagers act like teenagers, but this one did that perfectly. There was one scene near the end where Vada finds out something happened regarding an event she was planning and her reaction was so close to what mine would have been at eighteen that it caught me off guard. The relationships between all of the characters in this book were so good, I wish the book could have been longer just so that they could have been flushed out more, they were that good.
The discussion surrounding what a healthy parental figure is and isn’t. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you may know that I love any book that starts a discussion on how family isn’t strictly biological and this book hit that nail on the head. Vada talks a lot about her biological father and how he doesn’t play a father role in her life and how hard that has been to accept, but she also develops a father-daughter esque relationship with her mother’s boyfriend and it is so wholesome it almost made me tear up.
While not a central focus, this book touches on religion and how it can mean different things for different people. As someone who was raised in a very religious home and currently has no idea what her relationship is with religion, I thought that Vada’s discussions about how she didn’t know what God meant to her and how she went to church but didn’t necessarily get anything out of it was so validating to me, I had to mention it.
Everything about this book, honestly. I cannot explain how much I enjoyed every minute of this and I cannot possibly touch on everything here, it was just so good and it is very hard to critically review books that you loved wholeheartedly, but I tried. This book is available for preorder right now, and I would highly recommend you do preorder it, this isn’t going to be one you want to miss.