Posts Tagged ‘Stina Lindenblatt’

Susan dropped me a note that she’d gotten approval for the new Stina Lindenblatt novel. You know: the follow-up to This One Moment, which was a book I’d really liked. I was pretty darn excited to get my hands on My Song For You. Which band member was this going to be about?

Turns out it’s Jared’s story. He runs into the little sister of an old flame, and she’s got a kid.

Now, he looks at this kid and there’s not a flash of recognition, even though the kid apparently looks exactly like him. Not even when he grabs a picture of himself at age four, which is Logan’s age, does he get it. He keeps telling himself he never slept with Callie, so there’s no way. But he never stops to think beyond that.

Our Jared’s a little slow. Or maybe he’s distracted by Callie, who’s always had a thing for him but he never knew it. And maybe he liked Callie better than he let on, but he was busy with Callie’s older sister—and man, was he crushed when she told him she’d aborted their kid.

You guessed it, huh? Big sister Alexis lied. She had the kid and swore her family to secrecy. Not long after, Alexis and her parents died in a car accident, leaving Callie to raise her nephew, realigning her life plans and struggling to get by.

It’s a good setup, but it’s not enough. Callie and Jared don’t talk about the situation. Jared goes running to a lawyer behind everyone’s back and this lawyer dude ain’t real smart ’cause he doesn’t focus one whit on what’s best for this kid, who has no reason to think the only mother he can remember is really his aunt. And Jared? Doesn’t stop to consider Callie. He’s too busy being… well, not quite angry because he’s not passionate enough, but he’s being an idiot, that’s for sure. He wants to man up to his responsibility and that’s admirable, but he seems short on people around him who he’ll talk to, and who will widen his too-narrow viewpoint. And this includes his parents.

As for Callie, she gets scared and shuts down. And that’s how these two deal with this pretty big problem they’ve got. They don’t.

There’s not a lot of music in this book, to be honest. Jared isn’t the most dynamic character; he’s not got that charisma that Tyler/Nolan had in the first book of the series. He’s one of those guys who could be an everyman. It’s disappointing.

And so are the music details that do appear. You don’t meet with a music video director one day and begin recording the next. There’s no way this band would defy the micromanaging head of the label and change up the songs they had committed to play on a TV showcase special.

This doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good read. And okay, maybe it wasn’t good in the same way the first was. Too many chapters end the same way: with Jared telling us he’s an idiot. After the first couple, it’s a yawner. The potential for a really rich, rewarding story is there, but because Callie and Jared don’t talk through the big issues, this really readable book loses a lot of the high marks it could have otherwise had.

Let’s write this one off to a sophomore slump and hope the next in the series is about Mason, the foul-mouthed dude. Right now, he’s the guy I’m most interested in.

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I didn’t expect to love this book nearly as much as I did. I mean, it sounded good from its description and I come into every book expecting to love it, but to go this bonkers? Nope.

This is a Rock Fiction romance, and I know that I’ve been complaining about how many Rock Fiction romances there are anymore. But this one’s different. For one, it’s a “we’ve been in love forever but never admitted it to each other” trope. For another, Nolan runs away and changes his name after a tragedy. That generally makes it hard for a guy to admit his love to the best friend (who happens to be a girl) across the street. Oh, you can argue that because Hailey is one of the few people who knows the story of Nolan’s past, that makes it easier for him. But nope. He took off, high-tailed it out of town, and didn’t look back. Except for this one picture, this one tie. And the phone number of his other best friend, who is the person who sends the summons to Nolan that it’s time to come home.

So while we’ve got the romance thing happening, we also have the side story of Nolan needing to face his past. Because if anything will make a scared man face his past, it’s love.

That might have come out way more cynical than I meant it to be. It’s just that this is a pretty darn good way to spur someone into action. Threaten their loved one. How many books have been written based around this very plot? Thousands.

Again, more cynical than I want to be. It works. Hailey’s in trouble. Nolan comes running. It helps that his band is at a pivotal second in which he can run, sort of, mostly. But his band, for once, isn’t full of pricks, and they find a way to make it work. Nice twist on the usual Rock Fiction rules, there.

So Nolan rushes to Hailey’s side, and the two of them both have to deal with the amnesia issues they have. Too coincidental? Maybe, but I like how Hailey can’t remember but wants to while Nolan can remember but is terrified to. It sets up a good contrast to each other.

We’re not done with the plot, either. Nolan, in his alter ego as rock star Tyler, is supposedly dating this actress who just happens to be pursuing a music career. This is important because this is where the book gets back into Celebrity Fiction and the paparazzi, much like Lauren Weisberger’s Last Night at Chateau Marmont did. Only differently.

You know, now that I think about it, maybe there’s too much going on here. But it’s a fun read, and the story of Nolan’s history is pretty darn fascinating. His memories unfold in a way that allows the reader to see the pain in the situation but neither we nor Nolan are overwhelmed by them.

At the end, things are resolved too easily. The press conference scene? I’d be surprised if others don’t call author Lindenblatt out for it. It’s stupid. It’s cringe-worthy. What is it lately with normal people doing press conferences? Didn’t BJ Knapp do it, too?

Even the mysteries that unfold in the story—remember, both lead characters can’t remember violent scenes, which pushes this romance near the idea of being a mystery or thriller of some sort—come together too easily and are a bit too pat. But we’re not reading this book for its plot. We’re reading it for the romance and the way these two overcome the obstacles—mostly Nolan’s memories—in front of them, and that’s ultimately why I loved this so much.

There’s a sweetness between Nolan and Hailey. You can’t help but pull for them. And because the Rock Fiction here is handled really well: there’s no clichéd scene where he writes music or lyrics on her body, and while Nolan’s music is written with Hailey in mind, he’s more matter-of-fact about it while Hailey is hopeful that she’s the object. And right there’s that sweetness again.
More than in a lot of Rock Fiction, Nolan’s career is handled as a job. Add in the other twists to the usual stuff we see in Rock Fiction and this right here is a winner.

So, yeah. There are some logic gaps you may need to overlook, but Nolan’s story carries the day, and these two are sweet. It’s good. It works. And it makes for a fun read.

Thanks to NetGalley for approving us for a review copy!