ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: Scratch Track by Eli Lang


36268960Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 28, 2017
Received From: NetGalley

Being a roadie isn’t everyone’s idea of a dream job, but it’s all Quinn wants. He loves touring, loves getting to hear amazing music every night and, more than anything, loves being someone the band members of Escaping Indigo can lean on.

When Quinn joins the band in the recording studio, it’s supposed to be fun, but it only seems to remind him of doubts he thought he’d left behind—doubts about his brother’s death, his place with the band, and his ability to care for and support his friends. So when his ex, Nicky, tumbles back into his life, Quinn’s completely unprepared.

The failure of his past romance with Nicky is yet another strike against Quinn’s confidence. But Nicky’s unassuming kindness makes it hard for Quinn to resist a new entanglement. Quinn isn’t sure they won’t make the same mistakes again, but he wants a second chance, even if that means facing the past, learning to let his friends support him, and proving to Nicky that, this time, he’ll be someone Nicky can rely on.


GENDER: cisgender
SEXUALITY: bisexual, queer


TROPES: second chance romance, single parenthood
TAGS: adult, contemporary, romance, queer romance, queer characters
WARNINGS: ableism


I kept glancing over at him, though. I couldn’t help it. Even when I couldn’t see him, I could feel him. As if kissing him had restarted some internal tracker that was specifically designed to alert me to Nicky.

This book is definitely my favorite of Lang’s that I’ve read.

The second chance romance between Quinn and Nicky was so good to read. Lang did an amazing job of making them both awkward and comfortable with each other at the same time, and I appreciated the fact that they actually talked about things, even if it sometimes made the situation worse. Their communication wasn’t always the best, but they still tried. And it was really nice to see them have to work out their issues together, and separately, on Quinn’s side since there’s none of Nicky’s point of view. I also really liked seeing the interactions with Nicky’s son, Josh, and how Quinn was clearly taking him into consideration in the whole picture of a future with Nicky.

As with the first book in this series, this one deals a lot with death and accepting the loss of loved ones as part of your life, as well as trying to reconcile any regrets you may have now that they’re gone. It was so hard to watch Quinn struggle, over a year later, to accept that his brother was gone and there was nothing he could’ve done to save him. But it was also reassuring to see Micah, Ava, Ty, Nicky, and all the other characters having his back and holding him up when he needed it.

Also, I loved how seamlessly Lang introduced Ty as nonbinary. The characters just use “they/them” pronouns for them without question, and there’s nothing within the text to even hint at what gender Ty was assigned at birth. It was nice to see their gender as something that didn’t require questioning.

The one thing I didn’t like about the book is that Quinn is coded as being on both the arosexual and asexual spectrums, but nothing is ever said or even indicated on page. Which struck me as strange for his character because he talks about always wanting labels for things, but then is so nonchalant about labeling his identity.


Eli Lang photo_web cutEli 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:


Riptide Publishing
Amazon (to be updated)
Barnes & Noble (to be updated)
Book Depository (to be updated)
Kobo (to be updated)
IndieBound (to be updated)


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