Inspired by Alice in Wonderland
There are a lot of great book bloggers and reviewers out there. Each month we chose one of our favorites to put the spotlight on their work as an effort to amplify their voices and their blogs. If you would like to nominate a blogger for a future feature, please contact us.
Sarah Perchikoff is a writer and blogger who loves watching too much TV, participating in different fandoms, and reading until the early hours of the morning. She currently cohabitates with her miniature dachshund, Gracie. She is a contributor at Guilty Eats, and writes book reviews on her blog Bookish Rantings.
She recently wrote a book review for You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn we are reprinting here because we thought it deserved more attention.
There is absolutely no reason I should have liked this book but I absolutely did. I am not the biggest fan of country music and a romance set around it was really the last thing I should have wanted but You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn is a wonderful, heartfelt romance that I really enjoyed reading. I think it was the backstories of the two main characters that really drew me in. But before I get too deep into the story, let's get to the review!
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.
Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.
Clay Coolidge is a mess. He drinks too much. Sleeps around too much. Fights too much And is just a bit out of it. He's been doing the country music thing for a while and is wildly famous. But he's gotten a little sick of the same old he's sung over and over again. They don't mean much to him anymore or at least not as much as the songs he's been currently writing do.
But he has one too many late nights and his record label is fed up. If he wants to keep making music, he needs to get Annie Mathers, a legacy to country music, to agree to be his opening act on tour.
And that's how we meet Annie. Annie is not a mess. Well...we'll get to that in a minute. But compared to Clay, Annie doesn't drink, doesn't sleep around, and has a pretty great life set up for herself. She records videos of herself singing and performs at festivals with her band every now and then. She is also the daughter of one of the most famous country music couples in history. But when Clay comes to her grandma's house in Michigan (I love when Michigan is in any book lol), she does not know what to say. Sure, she loves music and loves to perform, but she doesn't want to end up like her parents.
And that is a perfect lead into Annie and Clay's demons. To say they have a lot of them would be an understatement. Annie is still dealing with her parents' deaths. Her mother died from an overdose and her father, after finding her mother dead, died by suicide, leaving her alone. While she certainly can't escape being associated with them, she wants as little to do with them and their way of life as possible.
Clay's demons involve his grandfather dying but mainly revolve around his brother dying on the battlefield. He was a soldier and pretty much Clay's biggest role model, and his death is what caused Clay to spiral out of control.
You can see how putting these two together might cause sparks and not necessarily the good kind.
But, after much cajoling, Annie signs the contract and agrees to go on Clay's tour with her band. And that sets them on a path neither of them thought possible.
It's clear from the beginning that Clay and Annie are attracted to each other but he finds her to be too good for him and she is not messing with a guy that reminds her of everything that was wrong with her parents.
But, this wouldn't be a romance if they didn't fall in love.
So, as they go from city to city together and get to know one another better, their bond begins to grow. And then THE KISSING HAPPENS! Unfortunately, those demons we talked about get in the way. (Don't they always??)
There is also a little bit of jealousy in the way as well. As they go from festival to festival, it's clear that Annie is a star and everyone almost immediately falls in love with her. Clay has been used to having the crowds screaming just for him, so to have to share that makes an already self-conscious Clay feel worse.
This book was very much a rollercoaster for me. For most of it, Clay was not my favorite character and I was not sure how I was going to be happy with him and Annie getting together. But somehow (authors are tricky people lol), I grew to like him! As I said in the intro, these characters backstories and their demons are what really drew me in, especially to a story I was so unsure about.
It kind of felt like I was one of the side characters in the story in a way because Annie was so easy to like and Clay took some time to really endear himself to me. The stories of Annie's parents and how she has had to deal with it is absolutely heartbreaking and when you read about Clay's family and background, it's hard not to have a soft spot for him as well.
OMG, I haven't mentioned the format yet! It is split into Annie's perspective and Clay's perspective, alternating every other chapter. And...THERE ARE LYRICS!! The songs that Annie and Clay write are all in the book, so you get insight into what they're thinking/feeling and you get to read the songs and imagine what they sound like!
Overall, You'd Be Mine (wait until you get to what the title means OMG) was a lovely break from some of the darker books I've been reading lately, although it did have its dark moments. I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars. While this is primarily a romance, have some tissues nearby as well.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martins Press/Wednesday Books for the free ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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If you could go on a road trip, where would you go?? . At this point, I would just go to Target 😂😂 📚 Happy Memorial Day to everyone celebrating. Hope you're eating some good food. 🙌 📚 I WENT OUT IN THE SUN TODAY! And on purpose too! I sat on the porch and listened to music and doodled in my notebook. It was really nice, especially when a cloud came by and I got some shade 😎. And Gracie had a bowl of ice water 🐶. 📚 Hope y'all are doing well and that your current reads are as satisfying as you want them to be! 📚 #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookish #libros #hellogirls #emilyhenry #brittanycavallaro #booklover #bookworm #bookaddict #booknerd #bibliophile #booksofinstagram #bookphoto #bookphotography #flatlay #bookblogging #bookblogger
Sarah has reviewed over 243 books on Goodreads. She writes honestly and it's not afraid to say what she thinks. Here's an example: "Ok, this is akin to sacrilege for me but... Jane Austen doesn't know everything. *faints*" She has a kind of subtle cynism going on that could be appealing. Check her reviews out to see what we mean.
Sarah mainly reviews ARCs in her blog, so you can look for upcoming books there. In her reviews you’ll find flailing, screaming, LOTS of all caps, lots of talk about some amazing characters and as she self-describes "some talk about problematic stuff when it, unfortunately, ends up in a book."
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