I won both these books in a giveaway hosted by Armchair BEA a while ago, so now I’m going to do a mini-review for both of them!
Something Beautiful by Amanda Gernentz Hanson
Cordelia and Declan have been best friends since they were three years old. By the time they hit middle school, Cordelia—Cord, to Declan—is already feeling the blackness in her life as depression takes hold. Their mutual attraction to each other leads to a serious high school relationship, one with their foundation of friendship at the forefront. Cordelia seems to have her mental health under control. All appears to be well.However, when Declan starts to accept his own fluid sexuality, it sets something in motion in their lives that is both beautiful and tragic as they learn to love each other for who they are.
When I picked up this book I wasn’t initially going to read it right away, I just started reading a few chapters and before I knew, I was well into the book and I couldn’t stop. This book follows the two characters Cordelia and Declan from when they were very young to the age of 25-30(?). Initially, the two are just really good friends but throughout the story, their relationship changes into something new. It is not just about their friendship, but also about Cordelia’s mental health. She suffers from depression and suicidal thoughts and I thought it was very well incorporated in the story. The story is at the same time sad and uplifting. Declan struggles with his sexuality and it covers a topic of sexuality that I haven’t really read about before.
I am giving this book 4 stars because it was addicting and fun to read, while still covering really important topics such as mental health and sexuality. I was super happy to have received a copy of this book via this giveaway and I highly recommend it! It reminded me a lot of Love, Rosie (I’ve only seen the movie) and if you liked the way of storytelling in the movie (I can’t say much about the book), I would definitely recommend checking this book out! (
also the cover is stunning *heart eyes*)
Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.
Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.
The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.
I really didn’t like this book a lot at the beginning. The characters were mildly annoying and the story didn’t really seem to make much sense to me. The story is about Ivy and her friend Matt who want to reunite this band called Chasing Eveline. Ivy is obsessed with both the band and the project, and I found her to be kind of irresponsible and I had the sense that she thought she was better than others because she did love this band. Matt is still caught up with his ex and won’t stop talking about her!! However, when we near the halfway point the characters grew on me and I didn’t find them at all annoying, so that’s good! I loved the way the story took a bit of a different turn in the second half and I loved the new character that was introduced. I would have loved to get some more answers at the end, especially about Ivy’s mother, but overall I really liked the ending!
I was initially going to give this book 4 stars but now that I wrote this mini-review, I think I’m going to scale it down to 3.5 stars. It was really good (the second half at least) and it was really enjoyable, so if you love books about music and with very little romance (it was more about family and friendship), I would recommend this book!