contemporary · review · young adult

All The Wrong Chords – Christine Hurley Deriso

“Sticking music in front of me is like putting a map in the face of a driver who already knows the way.”

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Blurb: “Scarlett Stiles is desperate for a change of scenery after her older brother, Liam, dies of a drug overdose. But spending the summer with her grandfather wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Luckily, Scarlett finds something to keep her busy–a local rock band looking for a guitarist. Even though playing guitar has been hard since Liam died, Scarlett can’t pass on an opportunity like this, and she can’t take her eyes off the band’s hot lead singer either. Is real happiness just around the corner? Or will she always be haunted by her brother’s death?”

*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

The story follows a girl called Scarlett who goes to stay with her Grandfather for the summer, following the death of her brother. She gets a job as a lifeguard, focuses on her upcoming college enrolment and tries to get on with life as normal. Through an almost unfortunate event, Scarlett meets a boy called Zach and learns that he is in a band. After his fellow bandmates learn of her talents on vocals and with a guitar, she is quickly asked to join.

At its heart this is a tale about grief. While it has been a few months, Scarlett is still deeply affected by the loss of her brother; and it doesn’t help when the real cause of his death is shielded from outsiders. Music is her connection to Liam as he taught her how to play guitar and she has shied away from the instrument since his death. What I loved is seeing Scarlett channel her feelings back into music. When she joins the band, memories are shared of times when she bonded with her brother through melodies.

While I enjoyed reading everything to do with the band and their performances, I found it hard to connect because I feel like it’s something that needed the visuals I struggled to conjure up enough of an image in my mind of the scenes in motion.

At the start I really didn’t like the Grandfather but as the story progressed I started to see the softer side to him and grew to really appreciate his relationship with Scarlet.

A must for music and romance lovers, and anyone wishing it was summer!

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