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Woot! Talk about a score (and don’t tell Susan, who’s bound to be jealous)! A NINE-BOOK SERIES. It’s one of those “each character in the band gets a book” (or two) themes, and that’s fine by me.

Book one, All Access, though, starts in a place we’ve been before. Oh, how many times: Jess doesn’t recognize the lead singer of Charing Cross. He’s just some stranger in a cafe who wants company (uhh, bring your security guy if you’re that recognizable? Why isn’t he mobbed? Where are the cell phones that’re being pointed at him? No one tells her she’s suddenly all over the place, with gossip mongers everywhere wondering who she is?)

The second book, Broken Sound, starts off just as familiar as the first, but it seems to deviate. Lead guitarist Davey finds out he’s a daddy. But then the story seems to take a left turn and the description doesn’t mention Davey as the father of Anna’s kid. So I’m confused on this one.

Book three, Bitter Farewell, is the “rock star goes in search of the girl from his past he left behind and shouldn’t have” storyline.

But Buried Notes, the fourth book? Now we’re talking. Secret marriage, time to sign the divorce papers. Of course, he can’t, but that’s okay.

Last Song is the dropout story. You know: the guy drops out of the band in search of something. In this case, it’s to quiet the “demons in his soul.” — Yeah, we’ve seen this one (most famously in Don DeLillo’s Great Jones Street, which is described as a satire, but somehow, I never read it that way). But it looks like James might take the story one step further and do good stuff with it.

Now, this is where it gets interesting. A Voice to Love is the sixth book in THIS series, but the first in ANOTHER. Wild, huh? Kinda confusing. But the fresh plots continue: this one’s got a rocker with a secret. Think Mick Mars, folks. We’ve moved into a different band now, too. One who was introduced in the dropout book.

And it goes on from there. Interesting stuff, and I like that James is taking chances with her plots. Yeah, some of them are familiar, but it looks like what she’s doing with them is new. And that’s what it’s about. Keeping the category new, keeping it fresh, pushing its boundaries.

I definitely gotta read these.

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