Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: July 17, 2017
Received From: NetGalley
Micah thought he’d always be in a band. All he ever wanted was to play drums and make great music, but when his best friend and bandmate passes away, Micah is left adrift. The thing that’s always lifted him up is now a reminder of everything he’s lost.
In an attempt to put his life back together, Micah takes a job as roadie for his favorite band, Escaping Indigo. He’s always admired the lead singer, Bellamy. On stage, Bellamy is confident, glittery, and radiant. But as the two grow closer, Micah realizes that in person, Bellamy is quiet, introspective, and a little uncertain. And that’s the person Micah is falling for.
Micah is determined to know all of Bellamy, both the rock star side and the side hidden from the audience, the side that creates music that touches Micah’s heart. Bellamy has secrets of his own, though, things he doesn’t want to share with anyone. And trying to uncover Bellamy’s truths might be the thing that ends up pushing him away.
TROPES: rock star + stage crew
TAGS: contemporary, new adult, queer romance, queer characters
WARNINGS: mental illness (anxiety, depression), (mention of) suicide, ableism
I liked this book. It wasn’t a favorite, but it was a good story and I liked some of the rep within. I think it could’ve done with a bit more length and depth, regarding the main characters and their lives, but I am content with how the book ended up and the road it took to get there.
The portrayal of Bellamy’s depression and anxiety were so realistic, I was able to completely sympathize with him. Lang did a wonderful job of exhibiting the highs and lows one often experiences with depression, as well as showing the ways in which these illnesses eat away at your self-confidence and make you doubt yourself and others. There was one part that I particularly loved:
This wasn’t Bellamy feeling slightly down. This was…such a small thing, and it looked like it was crushing him. He looked trampled on, like he’d have to claw his way back to being happy, and seeing that on him was frightening.
This small excerpt felt like a punch to the gut because it’s so real. This is exactly how depression feels when you’re in a deep low, and to a lesser extent on “normal” days. And I loved the way Bellamy retained his autonomy and was adamant that his decision whether to be treated or not was exactly that–his decision.
Also, I liked the way Lang explored death and how to deal when you’re the one who’s left behind. Micah, the main character, is haunted by the death of his best friend throughout the entire novel. He tries to hard to make it go away, until he finally realizes that it’s likely never going to disappear, he just has to learn how to accept Eric’s death and his grief so he can live with it. I wish Micah and Quinn, Eric’s older brother, had been able to have more page time alone together to see them come to grips with the fact that they no longer have Eric but they still have each other, but I’m also happy with the scene between them near the end.
Eli Lang is a writer and drummer. She has played in rock bands, worked on horse farms, and has had jobs in libraries, where she spent most of her time reading every book she could get her hands on. She can fold a nearly perfect paper crane and knows how to tune a snare drum. She still buys stuffed animals because she feels bad if they’re left alone in the store, believes cinnamon buns should always be eaten warm, can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the tardigrade, and has a book collection that’s reaching frightening proportions. She lives in Arizona with far too many pets.
Connect with Eli:
- Website: www.leftoversushi.com
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- Twitter: @eli__lang
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