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?
|Publisher:||North Star Editions|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||12 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Christine Hurley Deriso is an award-winning author of YA novels, including Tragedy Girl, Thirty Sunsets, and Then I Met My Sister. She has also contributed to Ladies’ Home Journal, Parents, and other national magazines. She lives and writes in South Carolina. Visit her online at www.christinehurleyderiso.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
All the Wrong Chords based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I received a copy of this story from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The initial draw for me was the cover and title. The cover is elegant in its simplicity. The title does a fantastic job of setting the tone of the book. Intrigued, I read the summary and immediately wanted to see how it all played out. This book is lovely. The place is specific; the characters feel real; the pacing is well-timed. I want to hear all the songs! I love that Deriso chose to tackle heavier subject matter with young-adult characters. I wish I had this book when I was in high school. The things that Scarlett and Zack go through are very familiar to me. It would've been wonderful to be able to read about people - even fictional ones - learning the new shape of their lives while living with the weight of that kind of caring, that kind of grief. Even at my age now, it was a wonderful read. At first, I kept getting annoyed at Scarlett. She was acting so naive and oblivious! And she was completely misreading situations by reading to much into them or willfully ignoring things. And then I realized that my annoyance was a good thing. I was annoyed because Scarlett sounded like a teenager, which is exactly what she's supposed to be. The dialogue and point-of-view were spot on. All the characters sounded age-appropriate and as soon as I figured that out, I was happy to go with it. There were some technical issues with the book. A lot of authors will use *** or multiple spaces between one paragraph and the next when the scene changes within a chapter. This one was not laid out that way. It made reading difficult at times because I didn't immediately switch gears with our narrator. The texting was handled a little strangely, too. But it was a minor hiccup in an otherwise lovely novel. I would absolutely recommend this to people! I've already raved to my roommate about it!
When I read the synopsis for this book I was expecting something a little... different. I had expected to read a story about a girl still grieving her brother and finding it difficult to enjoy living life again, but joins a band on a whim and meets a cute guy then that - and playing music - helps her heal. What I wasn't expecting was feeling frustrated with Scarlett for more than half of the book because she's hooked on a selfish jerk and is completely oblivious to all his red flags. But more on that later. First, let's go over the points of the book that I actually did enjoy. Family was a huge theme in All the Wrong Chords. This was the first book I've read where the relationship between an elderly family member and their grandchild is highlighted and depicted so positively; it was really heartwarming to see. I adored Scarlett's grandfather and their interactions with each other. They have such a supportive and close relationship, and his personality was the most amusing one in the entire book. Scarlett was so devastated with the loss of her older brother, mainly because they were so close - she was even in his high school band - and I felt her grief very poignantly in the first half of the book. The sharp truth of their grandfather always explaining Liam's death as "heart failure" and refusing to acknowledge his drug addiction felt so real and accurate. The writing style was engaging and easy to follow, and I really loved the description of the music and how it made Scarlett feel. The lyrics were a nice touch but I did feel that there were too many and that caused it to feel boring after a while. I know most of the songs had meaning for Scarlett and Zach (who wrote them), but I would have preferred if only the significant songs' lyrics were shown and not most of their songs. That way, the writing wouldn't have felt as cluttered. So, yes, if it wasn't apparent enough, I detested Declan and could not wait for him to just get out of the picture. There were so many red flags about him and his attitude that Scarlett blatantly ignored, despite Sara warning her. I spent more than half of the book frustrated and annoyed with Scarlett for always giving in to Declan when he was clearly bad news right from the start. Zach, the complete opposite to Declan and obviously better guy for Scarlett, was great and such a gentleman. I adored his character and loved how he was always positive, the mediator, and had such an inner strength that you couldn't help but want to lean on him, despite all the stuff he already was going through. My only gripe about him is that there was no clear indication that he was even interested in Scarlett until he suddenly was? It was weird and felt like it came out of nowhere and absolutely did not flow. Something else that felt inconsistent was Scarlett grieving Liam because it was mainly addressed in the first third of the book, but then suddenly became lost and just disappeared in the middle when she was infatuated with Declan. Then resurfaced again briefly in the last quarter of the book. I nearly gave this less than 3 stars because I was so frustrated with Scarlett, but I think Zach helped make up for Declan. Overall, All the Wrong Chords was just okay but I enjoyed it enough to recommend it for people looking for a quick contemporary read. Just be warned that you need more than a little bit of patience for the main character.