On odd days, Tripp Broody uses a school practice room to let loose on a borrowed guitar. Eyes closed, strumming that beat-up instrument, Tripp escapes to a world where only the music matters.
On even days, Lyla Marks uses the same practice room. To Tripp, she’s trying to become even more perfect–she’s already a straight-A student and an award-winning cellist. But when Lyla begins leaving notes for him in between the strings of the guitar, his life intersects with hers in a way he never expected.
What starts as a series of snippy notes quickly blossoms into the sharing of interests and dreams, and the forging of a very unlikely friendship. Challenging each other to write songs, they begin to connect, even though circumstances threaten to tear them apart.
Yay… Pretty covers make me happy….
This book reminds me of a book. The format, I mean. What was it….. Oh yeah! TTYL by Lauren Myracle. TTYL is told entirely in texts, emails and IMs. I think it would interesting to see how this book would’ve turned out if Mary Amato had formatted this book like TTYL.
Right around the middle of the book, I seriously wished that Mary Amato had formatted it differently. In the beginning and the end, I actually really enjoyed the format. Just near the middle, something about all the elements of this book trying to come together annoyed me somewhat. In the endish-middle part and the end of this story though, I really appreciated how the format worked to provide deeper levels to this story.
But Tripp and Lyla? Forget it. I was impressed by their characters. One of the reasons why I didn’t like Mary Amato’s format was because of their voices. I really liked Tripp and Lyla, and I loved their voices as characters, but I hated how it felt like their voices were muffled. Maybe I’m just judgemental, but I’m a first person writer who reads first-person. I believe it provides the reader with the deepest relationship with the character. I mean–great books are those where I don’t openly acknowledge that it’s third-person narration until about the middle of the book. But this story started out rough for me, because it was driving me crazy how I felt like Lyla and Tripp’s voices, especially Tripp’s, were just coming in really fuzzily.
Second issue with this book? Anna. Anna was annoying, to be honest. She reminded me somewhat of Elizabeth Eulberg’s Sophie in Take a Bow, except less masterfully created and more just…annoying. I hate it when people try to force something onto me, and when Anna was getting way into Lyla’s business where she didn’t belong, I got really frustrated.
Pacing was steady. I really got that contemporary story pacing feel to this book. I don’t mean to say that contemporary books don’t or can’t have fast pacing, it’s just that the feeling of steady pacing is something I see a lot in contemporary stories. And that’s nice. It’s what makes a beach read a beach read and a “to-read-before-bed” book a to-read-before-bed-book. This book was great in that sense. I would love to take it to the beach someday…
Plot was good. I really liked how the whole reason why Lyla started leaving Tripp notes was way more than the usual oh-this-guy-is-so-infuriating-but-so-beautiful or gonna-get-to-know-this-guy-by-leaving-him-notes or i-loathe-this-dude-with-all-my-heart-and-I’m-gonna-annoy-him-as-well.
I really liked the transformation that Lyla went through. I loved the way that Tripp helped transform her and the way she viewed music. It’s a topic I’ve seen before, especially in anime, where someone is so talented at something but they’ve lost the ability to feel joy in it. But there was a way that Mary Amato did it, the certain way that Mary Amato was able to change both Lyla and Tripp through each other, it was great. Dare I say beautiful? Naw. It wasn’t quite there. But sure, it was close. 4 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 272
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