Review: It’s Not You, It’s Me by Allison Rushby

Posted: September 2, 2014 in Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

This review was originally posted at West of Mars. It is being posted here, at its new permanent home.

It was one of those books sitting on the TBR mountains. It was on top, so I grabbed it – and lo and behold, check out that description on the back cover. “Rock star sex-god.”

It is a book called It’s Not You It’s Me, and it’s an entry into the Red Dress Ink line. Which means chick lit, complete with sorta-hapless female and a happy ending. There is, of course, more to it than that.

Charlie is our main character – short for Charlotte – and she’s been adrift since the time she spent living with Jasper Ash. She fell for him, but it was complicated. And ugly. And something she never got over.

So when she happens to run into him, thanks to a bonk on the head in an airplane, she invites him on a holiday tour booked for her by the cool, calm, and collected woman in her chick lit life. Kath and her husband Mark are, in a chick lit twist, new parents, but they are the chick lit parent to Charlie, as well.

While Charlie and Jas gallivant around Germany on a beer-swigging tour, they rekindle their friendship. Both, of course, have secrets, big ones that they are keeping from each other. It takes a reveal of Jas’ status as rock god Zamiel – think Davie Bowie gone death metal with a healthy dose of Marilyn Manson thrown in for good measure – before the secrets are revealed and we’ve got our happy ending.

Aww, come on. That’s hardly a spoiler. This is the sort of book you pick up because you want that happy ending. The fun of the read is in how they get there.

And it’s a fun read. But is it Rock Fiction?

Kinda sorta not really maybe.

The key with Rock Fiction is that the tie-in has to be believable. And when fan girl Sharon sells Jas out and the media shows up outside their hotel room, causing Jas to call in bodyguards he (conveniently) has worked with before and who are (conveniently) available, their mad dash to safety is real enough. Maybe the aftermath is a bit breezy – no one dug too far into Charlie’s identity, but then again, this was merely a plot device. Believable? If you don’t think too much.

And that’s why we hit only kinda sorta. Jas’ career is a plot device. He couldn’t be in this situation, with the media outside threatening to reveal him, if he were a quiet, unassuming banker, unless he was a quiet, unassuming banker with a big, ugly secret. And if that were the case, he wouldn’t be free to traipse around Europe incognito.

But outside of the few trappings of fame – both the good and the bad – and the fun karaoke scene, Jas could be a quiet, unassuming banker. He’s a nice guy. He doesn’t have that over-the-top charisma that the successful ones possess, and that Rock Fiction hinges upon. It peeks out once or twice, but once or twice isn’t enough. Yet on the flip side, one of Jas’s secrets explains that he just might be successful while continuing to hide from the public eye.

Still, he lacks that charisma that a truly talented artist possesses. So does Charlie, our sculptor should-be. And while the story hinges on why she hides her art, since we’re allowed into her point of view, we should see that same charisma that brands her as an artist.

Overall, yeah, this one’s worth reading. Just don’t expect the Rock to rock that hard.

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