Songs About A Girl by Chris Russell
I actually received this book for free from an event I attended in London last April, for the Young Adult Book Prize, so thank you to The Bookseller for that!
I am not a big fan of boy bands or their music, and not often the guys within the band, either (although 5 Seconds of Summer is my guilty pleasure), so this book probably isn’t something I would have picked up of my own accord. However, this book was definitely worthy of a read, even if it isn’t my usual kind of thing.
Charlie, a fledgling photographer, is given the opportunity to be the backstage photographer (is that an actual position??) for the massive boyband Fire & Lights. The band’s guitarist, Olly, used to go to her high school, so she managed to fall in with the band that way after he found her on their school website.
Of course, a love triangle between Charlie, Olly and their frontman Gabriel ensues. Except, because Olly and Gabriel are part of a massive boy band, nothing can ever be simple…
I surprisingly really ended up enjoying this book. I loved Charlie, she was a really fun protagonist and made me laugh out loud a fair bit. I also loved her best friend Melissa, although she seemed to be there as a cliche boy band obsessive, rather than anything else. Their friendship was one of the best I’ve read in a while, especially as it seemed to transcend much of the petty silliness that inhabits YA books of this type.
Although, of course, Charlie suffers from absent parent syndrome. Of the mother variety. It does work in this book, and actually forms the basis for a major plot point, but it would be nice to read a YA book in which both parents exist, for once.
This book is also the first in a series, so the way it ended seriously annoyed me until I realised it was a series. I think it would have worked better as a standalone, but the way it ended makes me think that the author was definitely setting it up to be one – this book would not work as a standalone. The cliffhanger is just too major.
So, I will be reading the next book in this series, without a doubt. I need to know how this story ends – will Charlie end up with Nice Guy Olly (note the capitalisation there… He is that special brand of Nice Guy) or Bad Boy Gabriel? Will she become a photographer, or will she fail her GCSEs because she spends so much time hanging out with boy bands?
If you’ve read this book, let me know what you think about it? Who are you rooting for (because at the present moment, I’m not really pushing for either relationship – just anyone but Gabe, please)?
This was a four out of five stars, unlikeable love interests on both sides, but a really fun plot, and lovely characters.