Title: More Than Music
Author: Elizabeth Briggs
Series: Chasing The Dream #1
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Music
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Published by: Victory Editing
Format: ARC from publisher through Netgalley
Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars.
Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.
Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.
As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.
Music has been part of my life since grade school. I played piano at school, church, and sometimes concerts too. So whenever I see books that has a music theme in it, I can’t help but be interested in those. I have to say this book did not disappoint me in that aspect, but it doesn’t mean it was perfect. It somewhat had ways to make readers feel what musicians feel, but the romance? Did not work for me.
Maddie is a music major student who have always dreamt of playing guitar and performing before an audience, but her parents’ past is hindering her from following what she really wants to do. She is geeky in a way that she dreams of doing movie scores and she professes herself as a classical piano player. In what I think was a very refreshing take on a female NA main character, I liked that Maddie wasn’t the usual NA character that has a very dreaded past she can’t seem to run from. Although she has a runaway character, the author provided legit reasons why she runs. She broke her mask and unleashed her inner rockstar, and she sure did impressed me. Musician to musician, I’d love to meet this gal, and jam the night away.
Jared, on the other hand, is the usual cliché male character NA books usually have. He’s tattooed, has a bad image, and likes to messed up with girls around him, even girls who are member of their band. According to him all these are just a façade so he could get their band selling, well for me all this were all BS. He is the most conceited, selfish, a**hole NA male character I have ever met. Again, the author provided reasons why he turned out the way he is, but unfortunately, those reasons did not convinced me. He was all “do this all for the band”, “we have to win so we should lie”, “music is all I have in my life”, and I was like GO TO HELL.
To some people, what he has done to get back Maddie after all the douche-ery he did might have been an “AWW” moment, but to me it was an eye-rolling-Maddie-you’re-stupid-if-that-works-on-you feeling. I know I kept on saying that I like my NA males to be badass from start to finish and doesn’t turn into lovesick puppies, but I never said I like them to be jerks. I knew from the moment he asked Maddie to lie about them that he’ll be doing f*ck-ery things but I never expected him to be this bad.
I might have hated Jared a LOT, but that doesn’t mean this book sucked, actually I loved the main characters in this book. Their band had an interesting name, Villain Complex. You know the phrase “hero complex”, well they like to be the opposite because they are a rock band that does unusual twists to mainstream songs, hence the name. Kyle (Jared’s brother and Maddie’s friend and the band’s keyboardist), and Hector (the drummer), were actually pretty nice characters. Although I wish for more stories about them because I felt both of them trying to put humor in the story, which I have to say lacked. The band was on a reality show that showcased their talents in music, and it sounded a bit like The Voice. It was actually funny how the author ended the contest, very well written. (pun intended haha!)
So what’s new, right? If you’ve been following me here or on any social media sites, you’ll know that I’ve always had a thing for books that has a music theme in it. This kind of books, books that try to incorporate music into the character’s life, have always been my weakness so when I saw this book, my impulse automatically clicked the request button. I was glad that even if the romance did not work for me, the part wherein the book showed how music affects one’s life was almost near to reality, for me. The passion, the feel, and the high of the moment you’re holding your instrument was realistically narrated by the author. Aside from the story paced perfectly, the way she described the people living the life of music was thoughtfully told in this book. I really wish the author releases a prologue to before Maddie saw Jared, because I can’t decipher if this was an instant love or not. The book started with a vague description of Maddie’s attraction to Jared and I think this was a reason why I was not convinced with their love.
Overall, I liked this book. It had shortcomings in the romance department, but I think this can be solved with a prologue, or maybe a book before all this happened. This was the first time I wasn’t disappointed with the author putting elements of music into a book. I believe More Than Music could have been better in a lot of aspects, but nevertheless it was a nice read. The steam was good, not too much angst, and the music was very good. So good, I followed every song they played and they were a perfect companion to reading this book.
3.5 out of 5