Hi everyone! I’m back for another guest post. For those of you who know me, you know that my current WIP is rock fic. And my first book doesn’t follow a set of rich and famous abs, it follows a girl playing her drums on stages so small they sometimes aren’t stages at all. Which is why, when I saw a book called GIRL with a Guitar, I said, “Yes, please!”
After Kylie’s dad dies in a freak accident, he leaves her with nothing other than her crazy stepmother, Darla, and the ability to play guitar. When Darla kicks Kylie out and she loses her job all in the same day, she hops a bus to Nashville determined to make her late father’s dreams come true.
Waitressing and saving her pennies to record a demo, her big break comes when she’s asked to join a tour going down the tubes with once platinum album-selling country music superstar Trace Corbin. But touring with Trace is hardly a dream come true since he’s pretty much drinking his career down the drain. If Kylie can’t pull Trace out of his rut, he’ll pull her and her dreams down with him.
My rating: 4 stars
The first thing that grabs me about a book like this is the love story, and Girl With A Guitar pulled me in right away. Kylie is a three-dimensional person who adores music and misses her daddy, and I loved her mixture of spunk, vulnerability and kindness. Trace shows up as a hot mess with a heart of gold, and never decended into cliché bad boy territory, which I was fully braced for. Instead, I spent the whole book flipping pages, hoping to get to know him better, just as Kylie was doing the same thing.
One of the things this book does so well is character. The whole cast was lovely, from Kylie’s waitressing friends to the managers (so many rock books forget the managers! They’re crucial!) to Kylie’s girlfriends and Trace’s sisters. So much girl power in one little book!
The characters alone would have had me rooting for the love story, but I did feel like the balance was a little off here—I could have used another scene or two of them together and clicking in order to justify all the time they spent apart and miserable.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I read rock fic, I want to be wrapped up in the world of music. I want to smell the backstage funk and wave my hands in the front row, closing my eyes to get lost in the lead guitar line. This book put me right there…and it didn’t. On a macro level, the plot was great. The barriers to Kylie’s music career and relationship were intriguing and totally believable. It was all stuff that would happen in a music career, but twists you haven’t read thirty times before. That alone elevated this book to a higher star rating in my eyes. However, on a micro level, the music fell a little short. First, the author hit one of my major rock fic pet peeves by saying cords when she meant chords. Let’s hope it was a typo, but I’ve seen this typo in many rock fic books and it makes me crazy. Second, I really needed more time with Kylie on stage to FEEL her love for the music that she was always talking about. We see her song lyrics, but through most of the middle of the book, I was yearning for some stage time.
I did get some in the end, though, and this novel wrapped up sweet and nice, with a satisfying resolution for the love story, but enough room for the next installment of the series. Thank goodness for no killer cliffhangers here!
Overall, I had a wonderful time touring with the characters of Girl with a Guitar and Caisey Quinn is definitely an author I’ll keep an eye out for in the future. Four stars.
Thanks for having me on, Susan and all my fellow rock fic readers! If you’d like to keep track of me, my reviews of other things, or hear more about my books, my links are below: