Wednesday 8 March 2017

SONGS ABOUT A GIRL by Chris Russell

The first in a heart thudding trilogy about first love, heartbreak, pop music and the power of teenage obsession.

Heartbreak, romance, fame and pop music - for anyone who's ever dreamed of saying 'I'm with the band'.

Charlie Bloom never wanted to be 'with the band'. She's happiest out of the spotlight, behind her camera, unseen and unnoticed. But when she's asked to take backstage photos for hot new boy band, Fire&Lights, she can't pass up the chance.

Catapulted into a world of paparazzi and backstage bickering, Charlie soon becomes caught between gorgeous but damaged frontman Gabriel West and his boy-next-door bandmate, Olly Samson. Then, as the boys' rivalry threatens to tear the band apart, Charlie stumbles upon a mindblowing secret, hidden in the lyrics of their songs...

I have to start this review by mentioning how awesome this cover is. Not only is it totally fitting, but that silvery CD shine and polaroid pic are so nice.

Anyway, I grabbed this book yesterday afternoon to get a feel for it... and ended up reading the first 100 pages in one sitting! LOL. I found Charlie's voice compelling, and had a feeling it was going to be fun. I just didn't know I would love it instantly.

Charlie just turned sixteen. She's in Year Eleven, lives with her busy father, has a hilarious best friend (who also happens to be her neighbour), still misses her mother, and loves photography. All the other girls in school--including her friend--are totally into the hottest boy band in the world, Fire&Lights. But all she knows about them is that one of the guys used to go to her school and she had one conversation with him.

That's why, when she gets a personal message from him, she can't believe Olly actually reached out. But because of him, she accepts an offer she can't refuse and ends up taking a bunch of backstage photos of the band. That's when this quiet girl who likes to be anonymous in a crowd finds herself thrown into their crazy life of stardom.

All Charlie wants is the opportunity to take photos. Instead, she ends up really liking the boys. She enjoys hanging out with them, and gets caught between two of the boys and a web of lies she's told her father. Plus, now that people know who she is by name and face and decide to troll her with insults, threats and allegations, her life changes instantly.

What she didn't expect was to hear familiar lyrics in some of their songs, or to become the target of a bully...

Oh my! This book was SO darn GOOD. I had such a blast reading it. But don't be fooled, because it's not all fun and games. There are so many things going on in Charlie's life that the surprises never stop.

Charlie's voice is interesting. Her life is both happy and sad. I liked her friend Melissa because she was hilarious. I also liked how well they got along and how they supported each other. I loved her passion for photography. And I totally felt for her because she misses her mother so much, and suspects that her father is concealing information from her. Which really puts their somewhat awkward interactions in perspective.

And of course, I have to talk about THE BAND. I loved how the boys in Fire&Lights are portrayed in such a real and honest way. These four talented guys are thrown into an insane amount of fame very quickly, but they're just a bunch of normal, fun guys who happen to be making a lot of money doing something they love. Each of them is very different and have their own quirks and issues with how to survive their everyday lives and the never-ending focus put on them by the press, paparazzi and even devoted fans. It's a crazy world, and while Charlie tries to adjust, she realises how much pressure they really face.

Oh, and I'm obsessed with the mystery at the heart of the story. I'm not going to reveal anything about it, though. But it's sooooo good. 

Songs About a Girl is such a well-written, well-rounded book full of awesome characters, exciting music, strong friendships, and so many complications that I couldn't put it down. It's an awesome story, and one that took me right back to my teens. I mean, what teenage girl hasn't been obsessed with at least one boy band and/or hasn't daydreamed about getting caught up in their world? ;)

Anyway, THAT ENDING killed me. I need to know what happens next.

OMG. I loved this book. Heaps. Where's the next one? O_O

Songs About a Girl, September 2016, ISBN 9781444929157, Hodder Children's Books

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