All The Wrong Chords
Christine Hurley Deriso
4★ – HEARTFELT AND SWEET
PUBLISHED BY FLUX DECEMBER 12, 2017
GENRE(S): YOUNG ADULT, CONTEMPORARY, ROMANCE, MUSIC
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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?
All the Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso is an emotional, but heartfelt story about family, love, loss and learning how to move forward.
Within the first few chapters, this book had me feeling all kinds of happy. The writing style was smooth, easy to read and had a sense of sincerity and heart which I really appreciated. I absolutely loved the family dynamics and reading about the other relationships in the story was positively heartwarming. The interactions between the characters and the way the author demonstrated them grieving felt incredibly realistic. Those were definitely the best parts and totally gave me the feels.
The romance wasn’t particularly my favorite. I didn’t expect there to be a love triangle. Not that there’s anything wrong with having more than one love interest. Sometimes, love triangles just work and make the story more interesting and fun. The one in this book though… kind of irritated. Scarlett’s infatuation was understandable, but I thought she was a little too whiney. I mean she’s a great character – smart, determined, and talented. I really liked her and rooted for her the entire time. But, seeing her outrageously lovestruck and continually chasing after the wrong guy was a little bit disappointing. I guess I was expecting more from her — but when I think about it, she’s just being a love sick teenager and I shouldn’t be too hard on her. I’ve been there before so in the end, I did get it. That being said, I’m so glad that Scarlett did go through a change of heart. Oh and the romance wasn’t a complete dud. There were some cute and swoontastic moments – like the ending which was surprisingly adorable and really romantic.
There were some minor misses here and there, but all in all, this was a fun and heartfelt read that ended on a high note! The characters were great and I did liked them all. Even if some were frustrating, I thought they acted their age. Zach was amazing. He’s kind, sweet, charming and totally swoony. I adored Scarlett’s grandfather and his relationship with her was so endearing. Like I said, the relationships were the best parts of this book and I honestly enjoyed getting to know all the wonderful characters and their stories.
This is a fantastic YA contemporary story that will make you smile, fall in love, hope and have an amazingly good time. Definitely recommend you check this book out if you’re in the mood for something quick, entertaining and also emotional.
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher, Flux (Imprint of North Star Editions, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
One thing that strikes me about my writing is that the process has changed very little since I first started jotting down stories around age six. An idea fills my head and whines, cajoles, begs or bullies until I pay attention. Sometimes the ideas are so charming that I scoop them up in a hug. Other times, they’re so annoying that I snap, “What?” at their insistence. But either way, I can no more walk away from one than I could walk away from a child in need.
The ideas originate in my head, but they seem to have a mind, an essence, an existence of their own. I feel more like a vessel than an owner. Succumbing to these ideas’ insistence to flow through me is profoundly joyful, but also utterly involuntary. And that hasn’t changed since I was six.
What has changed, I hope, is my wisdom, my insight, my courage . . . my head’s ability to make enough sense of these ideas to shape them into something meaningful, even the ones that scare me. Especially the ones that scare me.
I’m guessing you’ll glean from my books that I love all words, any words. Whether I’m writing for a young child, a tween, a young adult or a Ph.D., I try hard to move my reader . . . to make his world a little bigger or his heart a little fuller. Hopefully both.
So there you have it: I love words and I love ideas, and if I didn’t love them, they’d badger me anyhow.
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