Raise your hand if you were a band nerd! Me!
Okay, now, raise your hand if being a band nerd was pretty awesome at your school…Me!
Last one. Raise your hand if the words “band bus” bring back any memories…*totally blushing*…Me!
Okay, now, (I know, I said last one, but I lied) picture Port St. Joe, Florida. There. You have your setting (it’s actually not Port St. Joe, but for my locals, this will be our closest spot for visual reference).
Well, you might like this book for a quick and fun teen romance plus a trip down memory lane. It was a really entertaining weekend read! Since I grew up on the Georgia/Florida state line and I was in the drum line (okay, pit percussion for full transparency, but I still had to sit with drum line on the bus and in the stands)…and know what it’s like to date, break up with and still have to spend an entire semester beside said guys, this story was completely relatable to me! Oh, lawd! I think this is probably the only reason why I liked it. The whole percussion aspect.
Tia, the youngest of 4 sisters and the only one still at home, has a fear of commitment, based on her older sisters’ experiences. She has sworn off ever having a boyfriend, but is a-okay with hooking up. She has a reputation; she doesn’t really care; apparently no one else really does either.
Enter Will, the newbie from Minnesota, complete with accent. He pseudo-hooks up with a semi-drunk Tia the first night he’s in town. The chemistry is hot and gets even hotter when they find themselves marching next to each other on the drum line in the local high school band.
Then, after a whole 2 days at school and 4 days of band camp (let me just say here that our percussionists had like…3 weeks of band camp. I kid you not. Also, mid-day breaks were dangerous…), they are voted Biggest Flirts. The funniest part of the entire book was the band director constantly shouting for “Mr. Matthews, take your hands off of Ms. Cruz!”
For a short and fun book, I got what I wanted out of the character arcs. I would’ve loved to know even more about Will and Tia’s friends. The only other character with a significant arc is Tia’s constant “friend with bennies,” Sawyer. Even with his character, though, I only got two or three layers.
Now, I understand the chemistry and the fast moving flirtations of Will and Tia. They’re hot, sweaty, demanding. There are pheromones flying. Therefore, I’m not going to shout insta-love…just yet. It makes perfect sense for them to want to hook up. Sweaty drummers are hot (okay, they WERE hot when I was in high school. Now that I could practically be their mother, they’re only hot in my memories…because in reality they look like children. Evil, conniving, I-will-ruin-your-daughter’s-virginity type children). There’s even a hierarchy of hotness: Quads, Snares, Bass Line, Cymbals. I’m going to leave pit out. We really just dated the snares. The majorettes dated the quads. The bass line and cymbals were all freshman. No one dated them.
When Tia and Will do hook-up, though, they both drop “I love you” on the very first acci-date. Groan. So, now I can shout insta-love, which took off one star. Could we not have at least waited until football season started and they were cuddled together doing unspeakable things on the band bus? The band bus is really where it’s at, Jennifer Echols! Please…don’t even ask how I know this ; )
I would’ve liked to follow them through football season, maybe even homecoming and then graduation and into drum corps.
We’ll see if there are any follow-ups to finish the story, though to be quite honest, I’m good with leaving them alone for now.
I absolutely adore the cuteness of the cover. So high school and so fun. Kudos to the designer for that jacket.
I dropped the 4th star because, overall, I really didn’t love it. Like it? Certainly. Will I read it again and again and add it my shelf of literary idolatry? No. Will I order it to stock in the shop? Nope. I’ve definitely read other books in the same genre and for the same age group that are better.
For the prudes in the audience, I will tell you that there are a few hot and heavy scenes that involve touching, breasts, and moving past first base. It isn’t extremely graphic and there is no sex. There is sexual discussion, but not so much that it takes over the story. This book is definitely still in the young adult genre instead of the new adult. There are some instances of drug use, including alcohol (though no binge-drinking, drunk driving, etc.), marijuana, and one instance of cigarette use by a teenager (who doesn’t like it).
A great weekend beach read, though, if you like fun and light-hearted, and can get it at a cheap price. You can pre-order this book, any order anything else you can imagine, through the Jones’ Book Store. Read Up to Keep Up!
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An advanced copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for a honest review.