Book Review: Songs About A Girl

Posted May 19, 2017 by Kara in book review, Kara / 0 Comments

Book Review: Songs About A GirlSongs About a Girl by Chris Russell
Series: Songs About A Girl #1
Published by Flatiron Books on May 30th 2017
Genres: young adult, contemporary
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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three-half-stars

Pure wish fulfillment for anyone who hasn't gotten over the One Direction breakup
Charlie Bloom is happiest behind her camera, unseen and unnoticed. When former classmate Olly Samson gets in touch out of the blue, asking her to take backstage pictures of his new band, she takes him up on it. Charlie dreams of becoming a photographer, and it'll be good experience.
But Olly's band, Fire&Lights, isn't playing ordinary gigs. They're stars on the rise, the hottest boy band in the country--and Charlie is immediately catapulted into the band's surreal world of paparazzi, sold-out arenas, and screaming fans. Soon enough, she becomes caught between Olly and Fire&Lights' gorgeous but damaged frontman, Gabriel West. As the boys' rivalry threatens to tear the band apart, Charlie stumbles on a secret about the band--and herself--hidden within the lyrics of their new #1 single.
Music. Fame. Heartbreak: Chris Russell's Songs about a Girl is the perfect next read for anyone who has ever wanted to say, "I'm with the band."

First things first, if scenes of bullying bother you, I would not read this book. This is sort of a trigger warning, because I was bullied really badly in school, and if I had not yet come to terms with it and I was still working through it, this book my have made me have a panic attack or a breakdown. Most of it is just taunting, but there is one particular scene that was disturbing and vivid to me, and so I just want to warn people of that if they would have trouble with it.

Songs About A Girl read like One Direction fan fiction to me. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as those types of stories are strangely addictive (I overdosed on Twilight fan fiction after all), but I sort of expected something different. Why? Because this book is written by a man, and I wondered if he would have a different approach to boy band fiction, but alas, not really. And it had a strange Twilight vibe to it as well, because the male lead had amber eyes and a bad boy persona. Edward Cullen, anyone? At least he wasn’t controlling, but I would not say this book was all that original either.

Okay, but the thing is, I enjoyed the addictive quality of Songs About A Girl despite its flaws. I don’t regret reading it. But I lacked emotion for the characters because there was so much more tell than show. There needed to be more depth put into the way the characters were feeling for each other and the world around them. I just didn’t feel it, and in some places the book even felt rushed to me. I very rarely say I wish a book would be longer, but in this case, I wish this book had been longer.

Still, I wouldn’t NOT read it if you’re looking for something mostly fun and shippy. There were cute relationships and paparazzi and kissing and road tripping, and all the good stuff that generally comes with light-hearted contemporary.

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