Book Review: Not Another Love Song

Title: Not Another Love Song

Author: Olivia Wildenstein

Pub. Date: July 7, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Angie has studied music her entire life, nurturing her talent as a singer. Now a high school senior, she has an opportunity to break into Nashville’s music scene via a songwriting competition launched by her idol, Mona Stone. Discouraged by her mother, who wishes Angie would set more realistic life goals, she nonetheless pours her heart and soul into creating a song worthy of Mona.

But Angie’s mother is the least of her concerns after she meets Reedwood High’s newest transfer student, Ten. With his endless collection of graphic tees, his infuriating attitude, smoldering good looks, and endearing little sister, Ten toys with the rhythm of Angie’s heart.

She’s never desired anything but success until Ten entered her life. Now she wants to be with him and to be a songwriter for Mona Stone, but she can’t have both.

And picking one means losing the other.  

This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible.

When this book first came across my radar, I knew I wanted to read it. 2019-2020 reignited my love for YA contemporary romance books and having read You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn earlier this year, I knew I needed this book. It’s legit right up my alley and I enjoyed it…just not as much as I expected.

And to be honest, I’m not that surprised. A little bummed, but not surprised.

I often find that when a book deal with music, is inspired by music(als) or just features music, it’s almost always going to fall flat. Even if the story and characters are stellar, I’m either going to be annoyed that I can’t actually listen to the songs in the book, or the book is going to be lacking that “umph” that actual music can provide. The only book that I can think of that includes the music – like, the author partnered with a singer/songwriter and recorded the songs – is Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover.

You’d Be Mine is a fantastic book and I absolutely loved it, but I’m so annoyed I can’t buy the music. And the few musical inspired/retelling books I’ve read (mainly and often inspired by Phantom) just feel anticlimactic.

I promise I have a point to make, and I’m not just mindlessly rambling.

Like I said, I enjoyed this. I liked Angi, and Ten and all the other characters. I thought the romance was cute and the ending was good. But I grew annoyed that we never get to hear/read the song lyrics that Angie spends the whole book writing and fine tuning. No lines of lyrics, nothing. For a book that features music so prominently, it just felt strange and detached. I had no emotional connection to the song. Then with the big reveal at the end, I just wanted to yell finally!

This is legit my only complaint and I’d actually rated this book a half star lower until I got to a chapter titled “Song”. And let me preface this with, I listen to my audiobooks at anywhere between 1.5x-2.0x the speed and if you listen to this book, I beg you to drop back down to 1.0x for this chapter. I promise it’s worth it. I also think that every audiobook that is centered around music in some way, needs to do this. It was surprising, fun and so good.

The chapter titled “Song” is exactly that. A recording of the song Angie spends the whole book writing and perfecting. I think I listened to it like 20 times on repeat and if it were available, I’d definitely buy it.

If authors want to keep releasing these kinds of contemporary romance, then I’m all for it! I’ll read them all and thoroughly enjoy myself. If you liked, You’d Be Mine I would definitely pick up a copy of this and dive right it. You’ll have fun, Ten is great, Angie is fun and overall it’s just an enjoyable read!

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