YA / NA Contemporary
Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.
She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball-the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite-forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.
Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her.
I'm going to start out by saying I LOVE THIS COVER. So beautiful.
I’ve read a few disturbing books this year, but none quite like this. The MC in this story of a music genius is only 17. Her level of emotional upheaval is ten times worse than what I’ve seen before with artistic virtuoso MCs. She’s physically, emotionally, & mentally abused by the one who should be nurturing her. Damaged goods to say the least.
Yummies: Getting the facts straight when it comes to the piano - the colors and emotions especially. I really enjoyed how Ms. Lawton used words to explain what is meant for the ears.
Totally believable characters - wounded and reactionary. I’d say the homework was done for this roller coaster ride.
The southern, conservative setting was the perfect place for this story to take place. I grew up in a conservative church and let me tell you ... the portrayal of hypocrisy was SPOT ON. Seriously. So much so that I cringed as memories from my childhood swamped my mind. Well done.
When I saw ‘The End’ I actually said, “Aw! Come on!” While excellent, I wanted more. I wanted that last chapter - the epilogue to give us the HFA you’d never expect this story to have.
Yuckies: This book started a bit slow for me. Could be the present tense. Not sure. I definitely felt a lack of emotional connection with the MC. It’s as if her secretive nature is TOO evident, almost too true, keeping me from empathizing in any way. It wasn’t ‘til a little farther in when the MC starts to let her walls down and tell the reader about who she is & why, that I felt for her. This could have been Ms. Lawton’s intent (which the idea totally rocks if its true) but it honestly didn’t work for me.
Recommend: Yes. While I’m not leaping out of my skin, the emotions of this book wouldn’t let me put it down.