Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ashlyn Kane - American Love Songs

Jake Brenner has too many wild oats to sow to fall in love—or so he claims. Besides, he's much too busy with his band, the Wayward Sons, to go looking for romance. His reticence has nothing to do with his embarrassing crush on Chris, the band's lead singer and Jake's erstwhile best friend. But that was before enigmatic wanderer Parker McAvoy signed on as the band's new lead guitarist.
He can only deny his attraction to sweet, dorky Parker for so long before the urge to do something about it becomes impossible to ignore. The trouble is, Parker knows all about Jake's philandering ways—and oh, yeah, he's not gay. Or so Jake thinks until a string of related events provides encouraging new insight. Can he convince Parker to overlook his colorful past and give him a chance? Or will this love song fade out before it even begins?

Comment: This book has been in my pile for some time but to be honest I completely forgot about it. The wonders of going through ebooks lost in the folders of one's computer.
Anyway, after reading the blurb again, it was suddenly a story I really wanted to try, and so I added it to my reading list of December.

In this story we meet Jake, a bass player in a band that recently has reached success. The story begins when Jake meets Parker, a shy guy that has talent written all over him and who joins the band after another member leaves. The two form a strong friendship, they all get along with the other band members and this is the story of their road to success, however, Jake is quite clueless and doesn't understand he's really falling in love with Parker. His hookups don't give him the best reputation either but will he be able to prove to Parker they can be good together as a couple and not just as friends?

I think this was a good story, it had enough elements to make interesting to read. I would say that my biggest issue is with the first person narrator. I really liked the story, most of the character's interactions but I felt it too reductive to a better comprehension of the story. Of course it's a good challenge to read between the lines, to infer things from scenes and little details rather than explicit explanations but despite Jake's sort of bubbly personality, I'd have loved to have more access to everyone's thoughts.

The plot is fun and I liked the easy way everyone interacted. It was quite nice to have an angst-free story although some situations related to the characters, namely Parker, were a little misleading because he certainly went through complicated moments, we know about this closer to the end, but I never felt that emotional connection to them. I can use logic to assume everyone has good and bad things in their life but the author's aim was certainly to show us how good these people could be, no matter their past, the way others see them and the fame they suddenly get. Although I can certainly seem a bit hypocritical to say I really liked how down-to-earth they all were and didn't turn into selfish superstars, so I kind of liked this specific"perfect" image of them as a band.

Jake is a cute character, I did like his personality, his positive side and the way he approached life and the band's needs, his friendship with everyone around the band and in particular, his relationship with Parker. He acted a little bit too nonchalant for it to be believable and although his clueless persona was funny, I expected a bit more seriousness in key scenes. When this happened, it just felt the story lost power. I suppose the balance was a little bit off between the cuteness and the serious side of everything.
I liked Parker a lot, at least seen through Jake's eyes. When they finally admit to one another they have feelings for one another that goes beyond friendship, it was nice to see them give some time to that attraction instead of just getting into something too rashly. But since the balance felt a bit off, even this lost some dynamism.

Overall, this was a great story, I liked spending time with these characters and it was fun as well to read Jake's blog entries!
I'll certainly try something else by the author since the writing itself was fluid and easy to read.
Grade: 8/10

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