Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review of For the Record by Charlotte Huang

Title/Author: For the Record by Charlotte Huang
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, November 10th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like... until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level — not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band — and their fans — love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule... Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

So I am totally in love with shows and books about the music industry and the people in it. Music is such a part of my life and I wish I had the skills to actually make music myself, but the most I can do is sing along (WAY out of tune) while in the car/alone in my home/at clubs. So I was super excited to read For The Record, cause it sounded really cute and just my kind of thing.

The thing is, I did like For the Record, but from the summary I would have thought that there would be more swoons. And it was sadly lacking in swoony moments for me. I mean, I liked Chelsea, I did feel like she could have stood up for herself a bit more while the whole band was being a jerk to her. I mean, wow, I get that they don't like that she's been pushed on them by their label, but that's not really her fault and just GROW UP ok? So it sucks that your last lead singer didn't work out. I felt that they should really just have given Chelsea a fair chance from the start or that they should have told their manager they weren't ok with a label-picked new lead singer and that they wanted to pick one themselves. The problem with their attitude was that I wasn't really feeling any of the guys. I can get where they're coming from, but it's not endearing, and it's also what made me a bit iffy about the feelings Chelsea develops for Beckett (as alluded to in the summary), one of the guys from the band.

While Beckett may not have been the one who was nastiest to Chelsea, he's not really supportive either and so he seems like a nice guy underneath, but I was just over it and needed a whole lot of convincing to start rooting for them. Add in the REALLY bad choice Chelsea makes by hooking up with Lucas Rivers, who is just a little too smooth for my liking and also just an arrogant douche. This does not make for swoony reading for me.

Another problem I had with For the Record is that Chelsea's best friend joins them on tour as the merchandise girl and then breaks one of the rules and after that makes a huge NO-NO that made me question whether she was actually Chelsea's friend. I mean, WOW. I can't imagine doing that to my best friend. Or any of my friends. Or even one of my lesser known acquaintances. That was just crossing the line WAY OVER. The line is not even in sight anymore.

I did like reading about the band being on tour and all of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes. I liked the backstory about Chelsea's hometown and what happened to her with her former boyfriend, though it did make me wonder if EVERY boy she meets has douchebag potential, I mean, there are some good ones out there. I liked the whole insight in to what it's like to live on a bus with the same people for months and getting cabin fever and all that, that was pretty fun. And I liked discovering that there's a whole lot more to the band drama than we get at first sight, I'd sorta guessed some of it, but OMG it was WAY worse!

I just wish that there had been more swoons, cause I was really counting on this to be a cute contemporary with a huge swoonfactor (I mean, how can making music with a guy you like be anything less than romantic??), but it never fully got there for me.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Review of Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins

Title/Author: Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins
Publisher/Date published: Sourcebooks Fire, November 3rd 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads summary: They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time

Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it's his own — and that the year is 1925 — she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love — and Lawrence's life — into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history... or risk losing Lawrence forever.

I was SO hoping to love this book, and while I did enjoy it, it wasn't all that I'd wanted it to be.

I'm a sucker for time-travel romance, there's just something about the whole idea of going back in time, I'd LOVE to be able to do that. So I was a little disappointed by the fact that Cassandra and Lawrence really only meet on the beach. I mean, it owuld have been so much more interesting if they'd be able to visit each other's homes and the beach pretty much looks the same 90 years later, so... And somehow I would have thought that there'd be more to work out manner-wise between a girl from 2015 and a guy from 1925. I mean, lots of things about what is appropriate and what's not and manner of speech and everything, but I wasn't feeling that this was really an issue aside from a casual mention of it every now and then.

I liked Cassandra and how she's not immediately like OMG you're so hot, so it's totally cool that you're on this private beach that you should not be anywhere near when she meets Lawrence for the first time. She's suspicious and hesitant and I liked that. I kinda didn't like that she's also being pressured by her mother to date this other guy and she goes along with it. I felt that she was leading him on and it was just not very nice. I also really had a problem with her mother's behaviour, I mean come on, Cassandra does a stupid ass thing at the beginning of the novel, but she's not a bad kid in general and I felt her mother was being too hard on her and pushing her in directions that I didn't really get.

So Lawrence is basically a good guy, but I never really got a very good feel for his character beside that. He says all the right things, but at the beginning of the book he's a bit of a pushover and that's not very attractive. I did like that he writes poetry and that's secretly a career that he wants to be pursuing instead of being a lawyer.

I did like Cassandra and Lawrence together, but I was never really shipping it. And I was having a WTF moment towards the end when Lawrence says that Cassandra is 'the love of his life', I mean, SERIOUSLY??? You're what, 17? And you've known each other for a month? REALLY??? That is just. Wow. I mean, NO. Just NO. I cannot deal with this and it's probably what soured my opinion about the rest of the book because it left a really bad taste in my mouth.

I feel like I'm sounding really negative about Until We Meet Again and it definitely had it's flaws for me, but I did like seeing how Cassandra and Lawrence were trying to figure everything out, though I felt that Cassandra was fighting harder for Lawrence's life than he was himself. There's a whole lot of shenanigans going on and I did not see coming how it would all play out in the end.
So Until We Meet Again was an ok read for me, but I feel that it could have been so much more and the 'love of my life' bit was just not working for me.

My rating: 2 stars