Hi there everyone!
Welcome back to the Saturday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers ...the place you never know what you'll discover next but you can count on it being bookish.
Today's post features a title that to say the least...I've been struggling with the past week or so. Sad to say, but it's true. It's a YA book from a new author that takes two kids from differing backgrounds, adds in fame, misfortune, bad fashion choices and...well, it adds up to a whole lotta trouble. Let's get into shall we? Today's book of choice is...
A SONG APART
Jeffrey H. Baer
Shannon Kistler and Kevin Derow. Two teens seemingly world's apart that are about to find out it matters not how you got your start...its what you do with the chances you're given....or at least that's my best guess at the intended message. Allow me to explain my confusion...
Shannon seems like a likeable enough girl. Yes, she got some grand breaks in life and sure, some may be jealous that she rose to glory and fame so quickly but does she deserve to be hated by pretty much one and all? Not in my book and yet everyone has such a visceral reaction to her very presence you'd think she had typhoid or something. Same goes for her number one fan, Kevin.
Kevin is certainly not on the fast track to success or anything but to be beaten down (verbally and physically) by his friends, family and heck, even strangers he's merely passing on the street simply because his fashion sense may need some help? I'd say it's a bit extreme. I can't say I've ever run into that large a group of random people that would be in such an uproar over a shirt or one fans love of an artist. The reactions just didn't seem authentic given the situation or perhaps we're missing a needed back story to explain the vehemence felt.
In any case, the unlikely (yet plausible) meeting of these two wayward souls sets off a chain of events that both betters and worsens their respective lives. You'd think dating a celebrity would be all roses and sunshine but here it's anything but. The celebrity getting to spend time as a average Joe (or Susan as she is a she) allows for the human side of her to emerge from the media personality but not for a long enough time for you to really care about her.
On the positive side, I will say I enjoyed the author's quote at the beginning..."Enjoy a good challenge? Try being yourself. It's tougher than you think." Very true. Also, the lyrics included for Kevin's song are a perfect picture of his devotion to Shannon and the respect he has for her work. Lastly, the ending was a sweet (if not slightly predictable) success. I wasn't quite sure where it would all end up seeing as how the story was going in all directions...but I was hopeful and justly rewarded. Would a sequel be called for? Probably not although the ending allows for it should the author choose to pursue that avenue.
In summary, not my particular cup of tea but perhaps I simply missed some of the key ingredients in my reading of it. Everyone's perception of a story is different and if a kinship with the characters is felt, it gives the story greater merit. A potential read then for struggling artists out there looking for a glimpse inside the world of music and just how far a fans adoration can really take you.
Review copy courtesy of author Jeffrey H. Baer. (Thanks!) For more information on this title or the author himself, seek him out online or on Twitter ...he's accessible either way.
Until next time....happy reading!