Love Songs & Other Lies

Love Songs & Other Lies

by Jessica Pennington


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765392275
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 272,228
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

JESSICA PENNINGTON is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. A serial entrepreneur with a BA in Public Relations, Jessica has a passion for grassroots marketing. She lives in a Michigan beach town suspiciously similar to the one in her novel, where she owns more YA novels than many teens and spends most of her time on a laptop, rather than a beach. Love Songs & Other Lies is her debut novel.

Read an Excerpt




It's black, almost liquid looking, and gleaming in the LA sun, like a sleek, horizontal skyscraper. I've only ever seen a tour bus on the highway and I can't believe how gigantic it looks, looming over us. Maybe my fears of being cramped with eleven guys were completely unfounded. Maybe it'll be like a rock 'n' roll palace inside, everything studded and rhinestoned and shimmering. I saw a band special once, where the bus even had a crystal chandelier and a hot tub. How did I even get here? I mean, aside from the four-hour plane ride from Chicago and the completely insane cab-ride-from-hell.

"Are you freaking out?" My best friend Logan's voice breaks me out of my thoughts. "I can't wait for you to see it," he says, pushing me out of the car and into the hot afternoon air. "I dropped my bags off already, but I was waiting on you for the big tour."

For the nine hundredth time since Logan called me two weeks ago, I wonder if saying "yes" to this crazy idea was the right choice. Who just up and leaves everything to join a band tour for three months? And on national television. The thought of the cameras that will soon surround me sends a flush across my face. "The cameras ... they're 24/7 or just for interviews and stuff?"

"Dunno," Logan says, hauling one of my bags over his shoulder as I follow him across the parking lot to the last in a row of five identical buses. "But filming doesn't start for a few days, once all the bands are settled in."

I'm positive Logan is sick of my questions, but I just want to know what I'm getting myself into. I bet I know more about this tour than he does. Logan probably packed his bags two minutes before picking me up at the airport this morning. I'd be shocked if he even knows which cities his band, Your Future X, will be competing in. I, on the other hand, have been quizzing him for the last two weeks. It's the most we've talked in the last year, since he left school midsemester and moved to LA. I even looked up bios for the other two bands sharing our bus — the four members of Caustic Underground (a hipster rock band out of Seattle), and a folk-rock trio of brothers from St. Louis called The Phillips. Which is not their last name. Or anyone's first. Go figure. I'm praying they're nice, even though they're technically the competition. I wonder what they'll think about me. Probably that it's weird an intern is buddy-buddy with another band. "So when do I get this surprise you promised?"

Logan taps twice on the glass door of the bus, and it opens with a loud, breathy sigh. "Right now," he says, grabbing my hand. Climbing up the stairs into the bus, he pulls me in behind him. "Get your asses out here," he yells into the empty space. "I've got a surprise."

Before even clearing the last step, the unmistakable shriek of Anders — drummer extraordinaire, childhood friend, and resident loudmouth — assaults me. "The strippers are here!"

Strippers? God, what are they planning to do on this bus? "Sorry to disappoint you," I laugh as his scrawny body comes barreling down the aisle toward me. "No strippers, just me."

Anders's body collides with mine in the front lounge of the bus, almost toppling me over into one of the leather couches. "I can't believe you're here," he says, holding me in a bear hug. My nerves finally start to settle as I'm engulfed in familiarity. I've known Anders and Logan since elementary school — of course this will all be fine. Anders has barely let me out of his grip when I notice someone sitting on the couch next to us, long legs stretched out like he's been here a million times. Eyes that are so brown. And a smile that would probably draw me in, if I didn't know who it belonged to.

"Hey there, Vee." I've never actually met Your Future X's bassist, Reese, but from everything Anders and Logan have told me since he joined the band last year — flirt, player, man-whore — I'm not surprised by the look he's giving me right now. "You're probably exhausted after your flight." He looks at me apologetically. "I saved a seat for you, if you wanted to get off your feet," he says, patting his thighs as he winks at me.

"Seriously?" I say, laughing. "That's just lazy."

"Is that a no?" Reese says, giving me a gigantic grin as he pats his lap once more.

That grin probably would have done something for me once. I bet it does the trick for ninety-nine percent of the girls he meets. Maybe when I was seventeen I would have melted for the teasing look he's giving me right now — or those brown puppy dog eyes. Not today. Seventeen-year-old Vee feels like a different century, even if it was only a year and a half ago. "That's a no."

Behind me, Anders is laughing. Logan lets out an exhausted grunt. "She's like our sister, dude."

"I guess," Reese says, shrugging his shoulders. "If you've made out with your sister before."

"Logan Samuel Hart," I say, turning back to the front of the bus, where my bigmouth best friend is mouthing "sorry."

"I'm never telling you anything," he says to Reese, who looks happy with himself.

"You can make it up to me by giving me my surprise," I say to Logan. "Let's get it over with, already."

"Turn around," Logan says, looping his finger in the air.

Anders is standing between me and the long line of blue-curtained sleeping cubbies stretching out before me, and something about his face changes, like he just remembered something he forgot. "Don't be mad," he mumbles, leaving me confused.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be looking for in the back of the bus. Then it all starts happening: I see a pair of long legs hanging over the edge of the bunk. My body freezes as I look into his eyes, seeing my own confusion mirrored there. For the first few seconds it doesn't register. Maybe I'm in denial. Or shock. I hate surprises, but this isn't anything like what I had expected. It's so much worse. His hair is a darker blond now, cropped shorter than before. His shoulders are broader, the lean lines of his muscles visible under his shirt, and a faint line of hair prickles along his defined jawline. He's definitely not the boy I knew.

No. No. No.

I can't breathe. As melodramatic as it might sound, if Logan weren't standing between me and the door, I'm pretty sure I'd be sprinting out of this bus and across the parking lot right now. My arm twitches as I contemplate knocking him down to make my escape. This can't be happening. Logan is looking past me, at him, and I can't even bring myself to think his name. I don't want even that tiny part of him in my head.

"Surprise!" Logan shouts, to no one in particular, and for a moment I have to wonder if my best friend actually hates me. Seeing him — the last person I ever expected to lay eyes on again — wasn't in even the top twenty possible scenarios that crossed my mind when Logan called me three weeks ago, promising me a job that would save me from spending summer break back at home with my parents.

"You know you'll be bored," he said. "Come help us promote the band," he said. "We need you," he said. "It'll be fun," he said.

Right. I can't believe how much fun I'm having right now. As I contemplate what I'm going to do about my dear friend Logan, the guy staring at me from eight feet away is headed my way. Time has run out and I have to figure out what I'm going to do. Just get off the bus. Except the reality is, I don't even have enough money for a ticket home. No, like it or not, I'm going to be trapped on this bus for the next three months. Even if I made it home, there's no way my parents would pay for me to stay in Chicago for the summer. I already moved out of the freshman dorm. And at home, I have zero chance of surviving a small-town summer after a year in the city. Stirring up trouble before this bus even leaves the parking lot is the last thing I want. Because I'm out of options. And this is ancient history, anyway.

All I have to do is act normal. He's just some guy — a friend for a few months, almost two years ago. Two years! I'm not the girl he knew then, and he's definitely not going to affect me the way he used to. I need to fake it and not give him the satisfaction of anything more than that.

My eyes are on his brown leather shoes, my voice soft. "Hey, Cameron." I'm trying my best to smile but it feels like my face might crack.

His voice sounds strained, like I said something wrong. "Hey, Vee."

"Your band's in the tour too?" I'm unsure of what to say but I need to fill the silence. I force myself to look him in the eyes just for a moment as I mutter, "Small world."

And really it is, because what are the odds?

"Uh, Vee —" Anders is looking at me like I've got two weeks to live and he doesn't know how to break it to me. "Cam's in our band?" It's not a question — he's gauging my reaction.

Of course he is. The universe hates me.

I'm unable to form a coherent thought. "Oh." You've got this, Virginia. Slap on a smile and get through this.

Logan moves next to Cameron and throws an arm across his back. "We needed to add a fourth guy. We picked him up a few months ago."

This is the new guy Logan has been mentioning for months?

Logan's smile is still assaulting me. "Just like old times, huh, Vee?"

I want to smile, to be happy, because I need to believe that Logan really did believe me when I told him Cameron and I weren't a serious thing. And he thinks he's reuniting long lost friends; bringing back joy-filled memories. Because if it isn't that, then he lured me onto this bus for three months, knowing I'd be trapped with an ex-whatever. Logan and I have been friends since we were nine. He knows how to push my buttons, but I don't believe he has an actual death wish.

I'm trying to smile, but I'm not sure if my lips are actually cooperating, because my eyes are locked on Cam and my brain is screaming, "Punch that asshole in the face!"

God, it's hard not to notice that face.

All of the lines that used to be soft are hard. His eyes seem greener. Gone are the preppy polo shirts and khaki cargo shorts, replaced by a tailored, dark blue button-down rolled up his taut forearms. A pair of perfectly worn jeans hangs low on his waist. He is stunning. And I want to punch him in his beautiful fucking face. Is it thumb-in when you punch someone or thumbout? Too bad twelve-year-old Vee didn't pay attention to any of Dad's self-defense lectures.

Logan strides toward me. "Aren't you glad you came, Vee?" His eyes glow with excitement. "This is going to be epic." Logan lunges at me, throwing his arms around my waist and hoisting me in the air. Our chests press together as he lifts my feet off the ground and bends backward. He has the biggest grin I've ever seen, and it looks like it may split his face in half. Logan thinks he's making me happy. Poor, delusional Logan.




It hurts to move. The beach is nearly empty, my skin is hot and tight, and the walk back to the apartment is beginning to feel like an epic pilgrimage. My sand-covered surfboard, Lucy, is scraping between my ribs and bicep with every step, slowing me down. I could dump her in the woods along the sidewalk and cover her with some leaves. Maybe no one will notice her. I can just grab her tomorrow on my way back. I hesitate along the trees, but can't bring myself to do it. Lucy feels like the closest thing I have to a friend in this town. Or at the least, the closest I want. It's a dick move to abandon your only friend in the woods.

I've spent the last two months in Riverton doing pretty much nothing. During the day, I walk from my apartment down to the beach that edges the town. A lot of my time has been spent making failed attempts at freshwater surfing. I was sucked in by the bastards who sell the fancy, airbrushed boards downtown. I bought myself Lucy as a belated eighteenth birthday present. "Lake surfing is the next big thing," they'd claimed.

Those assholes are delusional.

The store is covered in pictures of surfers standing on top of rolling waves. Every one of them looks carefree. Like the two guys in my junior-year Trig class who always had weird half smiles and reeked of weed every time they came back from lunch. From what I've personally seen of Lake Michigan, those photos aren't the real deal at all. Despite spending most of my time staring out at that giant blue puddle, I haven't seen anything close to a surfable wave. I should know — I'm from California. I've surfed before, on actual waves. Not freshwater hopes and dreams.

Still, I spent six hundred bucks on the board, so the least I can do is drag it down to the beach with me every day. That way I feel like I'm actually using it. Even if I'm just lying out on the water paddling out of view. If I can't ride a wave, then I figure lying under the sun — feeling the swells roll under me — is as close to happy as I'm going to get. Just me, the board, the waves. Life's a lot less complicated out on the water, away from everything. I can shut my brain off for a little while and I'm normal; I feel almost numb out there. Maybe it's just the chill of the water, but I don't think so.

* * *

My new apartment isn't far from the beach, but by the time I take a shower and change into a fresh pair of board shorts and a polo, it's nearly seven o'clock — hours past my normal visiting time. Lake Terrace Assisted Living is only a few miles away, sitting along Riverton's busiest street. It's a long, curved cluster of gray three-story buildings flanking a kidney bean pond. Tiny evergreen trees line the winding sidewalks. There are small patches of flowers scattered throughout the large yard, and wooden benches are everywhere.

I've come here exactly sixty-three days in a row, and I've never seen anyone outside. Not walking the sidewalks or at the picnic tables. Or sitting in the rowboat that lies suspiciously next to the pond (which I'm pretty sure is just a wooden prop to make it look like people actually go outside). It probably makes families feel better to think their loved ones are wandering around in fresh, colorful gardens, rather than lying in stale, white beds. A wave of cool air engulfs me as I enter the double doors and goosebumps spread across my sunburned arms. Behind the half-moon reception desk, a nurse absentmindedly waves me on. Everyone visits on the weekends. It's always quiet — almost eerie — when I come on weeknights, and it's my favorite time to be here.

A nursing home has become your own personal sanctuary. You're pathetic, Cameron.

Down a long hallway — covered in a flowery red-and-green wallpaper my mother would hate — room 207 smells like eucalyptus, baby powder, and lavender. It's a mixture of the two women who share the room — my Gram, and another elderly woman named Evelyn, who, like Gram, seems to be asleep ninety percent of the time.

I sit at the far end of the room next to the bed, facing the blue fabric curtain that acts as a wall, breaking the room into two halves. Gram has one side of the room, farthest from the door but closest to the window, and Evelyn occupies the other. Gram doesn't talk much, especially in the evenings, but when she does it's usually to call me by my father's name.

She usually wakes up to find me sitting beside her bed, scribbling in a notebook or with earbuds in. "Trevor?" "No, Gram, it's Cameron."

Every time.

"Oh. That's my grandson's name too." Her face lights up whenever she says this, and I just nod, holding her hand. When I first started visiting, I tried to explain to her that I was that same Cameron she seemed so fond of. But as the weeks went by and she never caught on, it got depressing. So I keep quiet. I hold her wrinkled hand in mine, and I nod and smile. Nod and smile. Nod and freaking smile. Like a bobble head.

The reasons I moved to Riverton are simple:

1. Gram is here.

2. Lake Michigan is the closest substitute to the ocean.

3. Anonymity.

I'm in Riverton for a fresh start, and anonymity isn't an issue when it comes to my visits to Lake Terrace. If there's one place I can count on not being recognized — in a town full of people who don't know me — it's in room 207. Even though she doesn't remember me, I still enjoy visiting. I like having this piece of my old life. Knowing Gram was here made Riverton a logical choice, over the thousands of other cities I could have fled to, where I'd be equally anonymous.


Excerpted from "Love Songs & Other Lies"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Jessica Pennington.
Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Love Songs & Other Lies 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
tracygib 11 months ago
Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington was a very deep, emotional and raw account of young love and adult circumstances. Going into this book, I expected a nice, quick and laid back easy read with the typical young adult flirtatious, impulsive and adolescent plot. I realized after the first few chapters that the characters had a lot of substance and the plot intrigued me as much as the characters, I was surprised to find that I couldn't put the book down. While young Virginia tries to put her heartache behind her seeking solice in a warm, carefree, no-holes-barred exciting summer, her hot, young adversary to whom she had sworn off forever is led back in to her life, altering her original excitedment-filled summer plans. Get ready for some emotional turmoil!
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington Publisher: Tor Teen Publication Date: April 24, 2018 Rating: 2 stars Source: Review copy sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): It’s summer romance and second chances, the songs that stay in your head, and the boy you’ll never forget. Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps. What I Liked: I think this is a case of "it's not you, it's me". I probably never should have picked up this book in the first place. I usually hate second-chance romances and I'm not really a YA contemporary person, BUT, I am most certainly a romance person, and this one didn't sound too bad in terms of the romance aspect, so I thought I'd be safe. Plus, there are so many positive reviews on Goodreads, by trusted friends and other reviewers. Sadly, I think I should have kept my distance. This book is told in a "Then" and "Now" type of timeline, in Cameron's POV and Virginia's POV. That should have been my first red flag - I don't like reading split timelines. I love dual POVs, but reading then and now chapters doesn't work for me. For me. It starts in the "Now", with Virginia boarding the tour bus with the band - her friends Logan and Anders, a bandmate named Reese... and the fourth band member, Cameron. Virginia and Cameron have history, from two years ago, and it ended badly. But she has to put aside her broken heart and hurt feelings, because she's with the band on an internship in publicity, and the band is going to be followed around by cameramen, getting footage of the band as they compete across the nation. Everything is about to exposed, including Virginia's ever-present feelings for Cameron, Cameron's attempts at reconciliation, and secrets that were never meant to be uncovered. Things I liked: Cameron. He's a sweetheart. I understand he broke up with Virginia two years ago, and supposedly that should make him the villain of this second-chance romance, but I wasn't buying that. Him breaking up with her had nothing to do with her, and her acting like a complete b***h to him in present times was so not called for. Cameron is a decent guy with a good heart. He had a crappy hand dealt to him. He's a good person. I really can't think of anything else I enjoyed about this book. I guess there was a happy ending, but when you don't like the girl, is it really a happy ending? Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
BoundlessBookaholic More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one a lot overall! I’m giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars. This review is for an ARC, and reflects my honest opinion. Full disclosure: I signed up for the Love Songs & Other Lies Street Team (before I received a review copy), and I’ll be promoting this book. So go read it! Now onto my review… The book was told from ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ timelines, but we also got dual POVs for Cam and Virginia/Vee. I adored Vee’s character. She was easy to relate to, which is always a good thing for a main character! I was rooting for these two from the very beginning. And now for Cam’s character: I also adored him…for the most part. He seemed really sweet, but because of his past, he had a hard time opening up about anything personal. I knew he cared for Vee a lot, but I felt a bit bad for her since he was keeping her in the dark. The ‘Then’ parts might have been my favorite. We saw them reunited after two years, and honestly I just wanted to squish them together before telling them to kiss and make up haha. Vee was standoffish for very good reasons, but Cam wasn’t having any of that. He was trying to pick up where they’d left off, trying to win her back. Without being spoilery about what happens, let me just say that I adored the epilogue, and I am so happy with how their journey “ends” in this book; I know amazing things are going to happen for these characters! I could easily read another 200-300 pages of their story. I also really liked some of the secondary characters (band and crew members, Nonni, etc.). They just made the book that much more entertaining, and amazing. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I really liked the glimpses we saw of Reese; I wouldn’t mind seeing a book focusing on him. Check out this lovely debut book, especially if you’re a fan of books featuring music, second chance romances, or (sort of) summer road trips!
Theresajs More than 1 year ago
I love this book!!!! It's a great swoony read about a second chance romance! Here are some of the things that I liked: ~that music played such a huge part in this book! Seeing Vee work through her emotions by writing songs (plus playing her guitar and singing) and finding herself. ~Watching Cam and Vee's relationship develop and the banter between the 2 of them ~Having all them on a bus tour reality show was fun and different! ~The beach town, the mood there was captured so perfectly! ~Vee's grandma was the best! ~Going back and forth in time - seeing Vee and Cam in the past and the present helped put things in perspective. ~Logan's and Vee's relationship - this was something I could really relate to as I had also dated a best friend only to realize we are better off as friends. Yes, just like them, it was a bit awkward at first but many years later, we are still really great friends. ~the drama and the flaws, it all just felt real! even after reading the ebook a couple times and then listening to the audio, I still teared up at parts in the book, even though I already knew what was going to happen.
Sarah Cleverley More than 1 year ago
I won an ARC of this earlier this year in a Debut Author Giveaway and have worked with Jessica on her Street Team! You can see my Dream Cast on my blog (link in bio)! This book was so much fun to read. It's filled with love and heartbreak. I really enjoyed having two point of views and Jessica did a great job of alternating not only between the two POV's but also between past and present. It was very well done and I never felt like I got lost at all while reading. I really enjoyed Vee and Cam's love story. Both of them have secrets and have to learn to cope with certain things that are happening in their lives when they first meet. Through their love for music their connection only grows but are the secrets too big for them? Go on tour through the past, present, and multiple cities along the way while reading this YA Contemporary! You won't be disappointed and if you love a good love story surrounded by music, friends, and the unknown than you'll enjoy this book! It is now out in the world so make sure you go pick it up!
Sarah Cleverley More than 1 year ago
I won an ARC of this earlier this year in a Debut Author Giveaway and have worked with Jessica on her Street Team! You can see my Dream Cast on my blog (link in bio)! This book was so much fun to read. It's filled with love and heartbreak. I really enjoyed having two point of views and Jessica did a great job of alternating not only between the two POV's but also between past and present. It was very well done and I never felt like I got lost at all while reading. I really enjoyed Vee and Cam's love story. Both of them have secrets and have to learn to cope with certain things that are happening in their lives when they first meet. Through their love for music their connection only grows but are the secrets too big for them? Go on tour through the past, present, and multiple cities along the way while reading this YA Contemporary! You won't be disappointed and if you love a good love story surrounded by music, friends, and the unknown than you'll enjoy this book! It is now out in the world so make sure you go pick it up!
TheCandidCover More than 1 year ago
Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington is a whirlwind of a story that combines drama and music in a unique reality show concept. The characters are super relatable and the use of dual timelines and dual points of view give lots of dimension to the plot. If you are a fan of dramatic plots and reality TV, this is the book for you. There is a lot going on in terms of turmoil, as one might expect, in a book that features a reality show. I love how Pennington tells the stories of Cam and Vee’s past and weaves it into a TV show that sometimes takes place on a tour bus with very tight quarters. There is always something happening, and it makes you want to keep reading to find out what is going to go down next. There is a cast of characters in Love Songs & Other Lies that are easy to connect with. They are flawed and likeable, as well as interesting. Vee is my favourite character because her story is so full of angst. She is trying to carve a mark for herself in the world and I love how music helps her define who she is. Her devotion to her grandma is also quite sweet and I really enjoyed reading this part of the storyline. The novel has dual perspectives and timelines set during college years, and it also flashes back to high school. I really appreciated the layout of the book, as it is clearly defines which era the chapter is in and whether we are reading Cam or Vee’s point of view. I love how each part of the narrative is slowly woven in and how things just all come together towards the end. Love Songs & Other Lies is an upper YA novel that will be a perfect addition to your summer TBR. There is a little bit of everything in this contemporary that has a unique concept and wonderful characters. It is a road trip that will most definitely take you on an emotional ride.
Heart-of-a-Book-Blogger More than 1 year ago
~~~Review posted on The Heart of a Book Blogger~~~ Love Songs & Other Lies is told through alternating POVs and timelines. Vee has everything planned out—she knows what college she’ll attend, what major she’ll choose, and what career she’ll pursue. She’s a talented songwriter and is perfectly fine with staying off the stage and managing her best friend’s band. Cam, on the other hand, has no plan other than to make sure no one finds out the real reason behind why he moved to the small town of Riverton, Michigan. As Vee and Cam become friends and more, Cam pushes Vee outside of her comfort zone by helping her form her alter ego, Dakota Gray. Vee tries to uncover the real Cam, but soon the guilt from his past is too much to handle and he suddenly leaves Vee in the middle of their senior year. Two years later, Vee joins her best friend’s band on tour as they participate on a Battle of the Bands reality tv show. The downside of what should have been an awesome summer? Her ex-boyfriend that she hasn’t heard from in two years is in the band. Vee is still angry about Cam’s disappearance and wants nothing to do with him whereas Cam will do anything to try to earn her forgiveness. The novel switches back and forth between past and present as Vee and Cam’s story unfolds, falls apart, and comes back together again. I loved the alternating timelines aspect of the novel. I couldn’t get enough of both stories and was so enthralled by what would happened next in both timelines. The way different aspects of Vee and Cam’s story is revealed is timed perfectly, and I loved seeing what characteristics were different in their older selves and what aspects stayed the same. Both settings are fantastic. In the past chapters, the story is set in a small town in Michigan with many late nights taking place on the beach. In the present chapters, the city is constantly switching as the band travels to new concert venues. The tour bus is a fun setting and the cameras add a new level of drama to awkward situations. The glimpses of the other bands and production team were great details and made the filming of the tv show feel real. Overall, I adored Love Songs & Other Lies and it will be making a home as a new favorite on my bookshelf. Full of love, heartbreak, and music, this is one debut novel you do not want to miss! *This ARC was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.*
kcmmp13 More than 1 year ago
This book was such a fun read. I loved the characters Vee and Cam, and the premise of the battle of the bands competition. It was a fun world to dive into. At times it was heart wrenching, but it just made their story seem more real. The time jumps back and forth also added an interesting layer to uncovering Vee & Cam's stories. The secondary characters were great too, they helped the story progress & added yet another layer to the the lives of Vee and Cam.
MinaTheFangirl More than 1 year ago
**Originally posted on My Fangirl Chronicles** The lyrics within the story was a very nice touch and made the band feel more genuine. I like it when we're given a glimpse of the kind of music the band plays in these types of stories because it gives me a better idea of what their music sounds like. There were some songs that I really wish I could hear in real life because the lyrics sounded so cute, especially the duet. Both Vee and Cam's grandmothers were so endearing and I loved the close relationship they had with them, especially Vee whose grandmother encouraged her right from the beginning to live life to the fullest and take risks. It's always heartwarming to see a close and positive relationship between the younger characters and their elders, even more so if the latter are sassy and have some fun bantering with and teasing the former. I appreciated how the 'reality' of reality TV is portrayed in this book, and how most of the drama is created intentionally for entertainment purposes. The moment Vee and her friends meet the film and production crew, I already knew what was going on in their minds and, yeah, it was predictable and cliche and something I've read in so many fanfiction stories, but it's one of those troupes that I can't get enough of. Haha Maybe it's because it reminds me of some of the fanfiction I used to read that I liked those parts. This wasn't my first time reading dual POV's, or even alternating timelines, but for some reason on the last third of the book I started getting confused, particularly about Vee's fluctuating feelings towards Cam. In the POV's set in the past, it shows how Vee and Cam first meet and fall in love, which then eventually leads to their breakup. Then in the POV's set in present time, they accidentally find each other again, Cam persistently attempts to reconcile with Vee while she struggles to hold on to her grudge against him. Somewhere between their relationship going downhill back "then" and it being in limbo in the "now", I kept switching Vee's feelings around and ended up confusing myself. It may have just been a personal issue, nothing really to do with the writing, but there you have it. Right off that bat, we're introduced to the mystery that is Cam's backstory and are given little bits and pieces of it throughout until we can finally put the whole picture together. In doing so, we also find out the extent of its effects on Cam and how it affected his relationship with Vee in the past. I was surprised and really empathized with Cam, and understood why he was such a mess, but I couldn't understand why Vee didn't. Even after everything, it seemed really awful of her to still hold a grudge against Cam especially when she already knew what happened. I also felt that Vee's "secret" appeared out of nowhere at the last part of the story. It was just briefly mentioned after her breakup with Cam, so I thought that was that, but then later resurfaced on a larger and more serious level than I expected. It would have flowed better if there were more hints of it during the present timeline, at least then the scale of it would have made more sense in the end instead of feeling like a "Oh! How convenient!" quick fix. This book was fairly enjoyable and I really liked the whole battle of the bands aspect, but I was hoping for more and felt that it fell short. I didn't fall in love with the story or its characters, but I did find it entertaining enough, despite some issues I had.
ahyperboliclife More than 1 year ago
I have a thing for contemporaries with music in them. I just always pick them up, and the don’t usually disappoint. I liked Long Songs & Other Lies, but I know it’s going to be a forgettable read for me. While I did really enjoy the Then-Now format and the history it brought to the story, and I always love a good RomCom contemporary, I just didn’t get invested in this. The main problem I had with the story is that my interest started waning and just kept fading the more I read. By the end of the story I didn’t care about it at all anymore and I just finished it because it was so easy to read. This isn’t bad by any means, it just didn’t really do anything for me either. I received a copy of the book from Tor Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.