Genre: YA/New Adult Contemporary
Recommended Age: 14+ (sex, language, trigger warning for abuse.)
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review. This did not sway my opinion.
Ryan Davies lead singer of America’s most popular rock group Loud Music, is the face on just about every magazine cover, website, and news program in the country and around the world. With T.V. endorsements and film offers, Ryan is set to become one of the most famous super stars of all time. That’s only on the surface, under it all there are problems, drugs, alcohol, sex, run-ins with law enforcement and his adorable face on the nightly news reporting of yet another embarrassing moment in his life. To top that off, his controlling and money hungry mother wants to continue her control over all things Ryan and his money, his band mates basically hate him and he’s been arrested so many times now, the jail might as well have a revolving door just for him. All that glitters isn’t gold in his life, that is until a court judge decides to make him the example by sending Ryan to work on his estranged father’s Kentucky horse ranch. At first, Ryan thinks this might be the death of him, until he meets the family he never knew and starts to form bonds with each of them including a special needs cousin who will teach Ryan that there is more to life than being rich and famous. If it ain’t turned up… it ain’t Loud Music! – Amazon.com
While many of us would love to be famous, would you be able to handle it? This book explores one character’s rise and fall from fame and how he learned to be normal. I thought the story was very beautiful and heartfelt. It actually reminded me a little of The Last Song, rebellious prodigy who moves to find redemption, but it was completely unique in that 1) it’s from a male perspective and 2) the saving grace wasn’t totally on a love interest but rather a bond with a special needs child (why aren’t there anymore books with pivotal special needs characters?!). The book had excellent plot development and the pacing was very well done. The writing was also very easy to follow and the author did an excellent job making the book feel like we were in the mind of a newly adult aged male.
However, while I enjoyed the story I felt the book was really hard for me to get into because I couldn’t connect with the main character. I thought Ryan was unlikable as a character and unreliable as a narrator since he seemed so cynical towards a lot of the side characters. While it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that he was in a very dark place surrounded by toxic people, it made him look unreliable in my opinion. I thought some of the other characters development was lacking a little bit and that while I was forced to see everything through Ryan’s eyes I didn’t get a full grasp of some of the character’s personalities.
Verdict: I liked this book and I think maybe it was just my own personality that clashed with Ryan’s, making it why I couldn’t connect with him as a character. Apart from my disconnect with Ryan I thought the book did a great job at exploring the struggles a celeb goes through and it was just an all around a very sweet story. This would be a perfect read for any contemporary lover.