A Song Apart

A Song Apart

by Jeffrey Baer


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781456492922
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/15/2011
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.74(d)

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A Song Apart 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
GRgenius on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Shannon Kistler and Kevin Derow. Two teens seemingly world's apart that are about to find out it matters not how you got your start...its what you do with the chances you're given....or at least that's my best guess at the intended message. Allow me to explain my confusion...Shannon seems like a likeable enough girl. Yes, she got some grand breaks in life and sure, some may be jealous that she rose to glory and fame so quickly but does she deserve to be hated by pretty much one and all? Not in my book and yet everyone has such a visceral reaction to her very presence you'd think she had typhoid or something. Same goes for her number one fan, Kevin. Kevin is certainly not on the fast track to success or anything but to be beaten down (verbally and physically) by his friends, family and heck, even strangers he's merely passing on the street simply because his fashion sense may need some help? I'd say it's a bit extreme. I can't say I've ever run into that large a group of random people that would be in such an uproar over a shirt or one fans love of an artist. The reactions just didn't seem authentic given the situation or perhaps we're missing a needed back story to explain the vehemence felt.In any case, the unlikely (yet plausible) meeting of these two wayward souls sets off a chain of events that both betters and worsens their respective lives. You'd think dating a celebrity would be all roses and sunshine but here it's anything but. The celebrity getting to spend time as a average Joe (or Susan as she is a she) allows for the human side of her to emerge from the media personality but not for a long enough time for you to really care about her. On the positive side, I will say I enjoyed the author's quote at the beginning..."Enjoy a good challenge? Try being yourself. It's tougher than you think." Very true. Also, the lyrics included for Kevin's song are a perfect picture of his devotion to Shannon and the respect he has for her work. Lastly, the ending was a sweet (if not slightly predictable) success. I wasn't quite sure where it would all end up seeing as how the story was going in all directions...but I was hopeful and justly rewarded. Would a sequel be called for? Probably not although the ending allows for it should the author choose to pursue that avenue.In summary, not my particular cup of tea but perhaps I simply missed some of the key ingredients in my reading of it. Everyone's perception of a story is different and if a kinship with the characters is felt, it gives the story greater merit. A potential read then for struggling artists out there looking for a glimpse inside the world of music and just how far a fans adoration can really take you.
RabidReaderReviews More than 1 year ago
When Kevin and Shannon get together the objections to their relationship are downright unreasonable. I wondered while reading if Baer was using this text as a commentary about how much society is in our daily life and how little they really should be. Kevin’s boss, Dan, instructs him not to wear the shirt again because he co-workers won’t take him seriously but in a real world sense, does it matter what he’s wearing when he works in the sort of job he does? As much as I liked Kevin, I found Shannon to be a caricature. She was well written and likable and worked well in the storyline but 100 authors writing a character sketch of a pop star could have come up with the same character. She is a spokesperson for Autism and Aspergers and we’re left with a sense that perhaps one of the characters is suffering from Aspergers Syndrome but the answer is left hanging. I would have liked to have known more. “A Song Apart” is less a love story and more a human story. I was surprised to learn that Baer is a first time novelist. His narrative style and plotting speak to a practiced hand. Each scene is a stepping stone to the next in a very logical sense.
MariaSavva_Author More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for music fans, but I don't think you have to be a music fan to enjoy the story. It's a clever story, very well written, and an exceptional debut novel. It kept me hooked from the start. I enjoyed the humour. Poor Kevin Derow seems to be the unluckiest man in the world, just being himself he attracts so much negativity. By wearing a T-shirt to support a singer he admires, he is ambushed by a sequence of different characters, random strangers, like the builders on a local construction site, a group of strangers on a train, his colleagues at the Jewish Society at university, his coworkers... the list goes on. I think the message the author is trying to get across is that when someone stands out from the crowd, it's not always a great place to be. The quote from the author at the beginning of the book, sums it up: "Enjoy a good challenge? Try being yourself. It's tougher than you think." It's definitely tough for the two main characters, Kevin and Shannon. When Kevin meets his idol, Shannon Kistler, a famous pop star, he is slowly drawn into her world, and soon they become a couple. Kevin admires Shannon because she knew what she wanted at such a young age and accomplished her dreams, while he had some aspirations for a musical career but instead started a course in accountancy, and does not really seem to be sure what he wants to do. The book deals with, among other things, the subjects of media intrusion, unscrupulous dealings within the press and the music industry, relationships, peer pressure, autism, and bullying. It's an entertaining book that looks at such topics as the preconceptions people have about music fans and musicians, from a different angle. It's a love story, a story about family relationships, a story about how our differences make us unique but how it can also take a lot of courage to face up to them and follow our own individual path. I liked the original song lyrics in the book, which were songs Kevin had written. There is just so much to love about this novel. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
KayleeeKS More than 1 year ago
more like 4.5 stars but I'm rounding up :-) Okay so to be totally honest, at first I thought the main character (Kevin) seemed like a crazy stalker guy and thought it was pretty unbelievable that a celebrity rock star would want to date him because she saw him wearing her t-shirt. I mean, hello! That’s probably the last guy she’d want to date, especially one who calls himself her “number 1 fan” (“Misery” anyone?) Yet for some reason when Kevin and Shannon come together, their relationship is sweet and believable. Kevin grew on me and I really liked the way he handled himself in situations, even though he makes mistakes. I liked that the characters weren’t cardboard cutouts but three-dimensional human beings with flaws and all. Yet they were all very likeable (well, not the jerks), and there were many subplots to this overall story that kept me flipping through the pages of my kindle as fast as I could. In the end I can say that I really liked it and think others will to. It’s a pretty original spin on the average “boy meets girl” storyline, and the writing is strong, compelling, and from what I saw, free of any glaring editorial errors (always a big plus in my book!) I give “A Song Apart” by Jeffrey H. Baer 4.5 stars
SamRyan More than 1 year ago
Right away I was sucked into this book by the interesting opening, clear narrative, and great dialogue. Then it slowed down considerably for my as the author did a bunch of “telling” back story that in my mind would have been better shown in bits and pieces throughout the novel instead of info dumping right off the bat. But then it picked up again and was very good! I felt like I was a part of the story (instead of outside looking in – I hate that!) and the pace was nice and quick. I finished this book in the course of an evening and was happy with the ending. It was a satisfying and sweet conclusion that was natural and not forced. This novel will definitely appeal to music fans and teens, but I also think it has qualities that an older audience can appreciate – there are many layers, each with its own lessons to be learned. I’d be interested in reading more form this author in the future and recommend this novel to others.
ClaireBear74 More than 1 year ago
Kevin Derow had dreams of being a musician, but after 9/11 decided on being a numbers cruncher instead. I have to say I disagreed with his logic on this, as I would think one would realize how short and precious life is, so one should live life to the fullest and follow your dreams, but his attitude was the opposite. But to each his own… Then one day he comes across the hottest new thing in music (I pictured her as being like a Taylor Swift), and a relationship develops between the two. I appreciated that the romance took its time in unfolding, and it wasn’t a case of “insta-love” that we see so often these days in teen books. Instead, it developed naturally…first as a friendship, and then something deeper. You can’t help but root for these two as they navigate their way through increasingly difficult conditions regarding both her fame, and his ordinary existence. Both have problems, the celebrity and the plebeian. But both manage to find a way to connect in a very endearing and charming way. I recommend this book to fans of contemporary fiction who enjoy a good story, great writing, and a sweet romance that is not over done and cliché.
BookPrincessSF More than 1 year ago
Kevin is just a normal kid minding his own business when he happens to catch the eye of his dream girl. This is no ordinary crush, this girl is the biggest sensation in music since Brittney Spears (I’m gathering). Shannon Kistler is a celebrity, sure, but she’s also down-to earth and she and Kevin connect. What follows is a friendship turned romance that faces unusual conflicts and threatens to tear them apart at every turn. I genuinely enjoyed this story. Mr. Baer is an excellent writer and storyteller, and I found it to be an extremely easy read. The dialogues were real and funny, and felt authentic. I liked how I was able to picture everything that was happening, feel the city scenery, imagine the characters as they were – and not once did I feel bogged down by an overabundance of needless descriptions. To me this is a sign of a great writer, one who can paint the scene perfectly while utilizing word economy. I recommend this book not just to music or romance fans, but to anyone who has ever been young and dreamed of bigger things…and to have those dreams come true.
SDecker More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one sitting! It was a fast, light read, but packed with drama and growth. It’s not what I’d consider “fluffy”, as there were some serious themes and moments that made this novel deeper and more complex than it may first seem. I like that there was a depth to the characters, and even though Kevin is living out sort of a “fantasy” life, he stays grounded in reality. Sure he meets and hooks up with a rising pop star, but the novel also touches on things like 9/11, autism, family conflicts, and harsh judging. I’d even go so far as to say that Bullying and intimidation were themes here, along with the difficulty of standing up to those intimidators and doing the right thing and believing in oneself.