December 23, 2015

Title: This Song is (Not) for You

Author: Laura Nowlin ♥ @Laura_Nowlin

Expected Publication:
January 15, 2015

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Pages: 224

Genres: Young Adult ♥ Contemporary ♥ Romance

Source: NetGalley

Summary from Goodreads: Bandmate, best friend or boyfriend? For Ramona, one choice could mean losing them all.

Ramona and Sam are best friends. She fell for him the moment they met, but their friendship is just too important for her to mess up. Sam loves April, but he would never expect her to feel the same way–she’s too quirky and cool for someone like him. Together, they have a band, and put all of their feelings for each other into music.

Then Ramona and Sam meet Tom. He’s their band’s missing piece, and before Ramona knows it, she’s falling for him. But she hasn’t fallen out of love with Sam either.

How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 12/20/2015): 3.26

  • Christina thought this title was okay. It goes on her third shelf. To find out why…

**SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating:
2.5-3 stars! 
It’s been weeks since I’ve read this book and I’m still not quite sure how I felt about it. It was…slightly weird–sometimes even good weird–and I’m not really able to formulate my thoughts into something that’s review-worthy, to be honest. It wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, and had some pretty great quotes and ideals worth sharing, but overall left me feeling generally indifferent about it all.

♥ The Lowdown: Ramona and Sam are best friends and bandmates, but also secretly in love with one another. When they find their missing sound in oddball artist, Tom, everything seems to be looking up for this duo. But then Ramona starts falling for Tom while she’s still in love with Sam, and Tom loves Sam and Ramona, but has zero sexual interest in either and everything is suddenly…weird. But when the group has a major communication breakthrough, they manage to find a rhythm that suits their personal interests, the group’s interest, and romantic interest all in one go that creates a perfect harmony and a satisfying ending.

I am in love. With Tom. And with Sam, who I knew was my Sam as soon as I met him. 
Some people don’t think this could be true.
But I do.
I am.
I love.
~quote taken from the eARC of This Song is (Not) for You at 59%

♥ Review: I’ve spent the better part of a couple of weeks trying to untangle all the opinions in my head when it came to this book, and I still don’t feel like I’ve successfully managed them at this point either, but I’m going to give it an honest-to-goodness go. In the beginning, I found it rather difficult to connect to the characters. The pacing was slow-going and each of the characters felt almost caricature-like and very one note: Romana was always hyper and cheerful, Sam was super pensive, and Tom appeared to be quiet despondent. For it to have been written in alternating first person POV between all three main characters, I felt a general lack of varying “voice” between them all. However, over time and as the story progressed, allowing the their stories to finally intersect more, I came to appreciate the uniqueness of each character and the differences they brought to the story. I also enjoyed all the musicality that the story had in it, but I’d imagine for those that aren’t aware of certain music elements or those that don’t care to go in-depth about it will find it difficult to trudge through, even skim-worthy at some times because music seems to be at the heart of who these kids are. I also respected the way the author decided to handle the ending, and while it felt a little open, I can see the need for it to happen this way in this situation.

The biggest reason I feel like people need to read this book is because of Tom. He was the first asexual character I’ve read about, and while I would have loved to have delved into his character a little more, I liked the brief explorations into his mind when dealing with his sexual desires–or lack thereof–arose. I almost wish the author would have spent a little more time on this particular aspect, but seeing that sex didn’t necessarily interest him that much, I can see why it wasn’t in his thoughts a little more.

“I’m not gay. I’m not straight. I just don’t really care about sex.”
“You don’t care. About sex.” She said it like I’d said I din’t care about curing cancer.
“I don’t know why,” I said. I tried to gather together my years of puzzling over this and lay it all before her. “I just never developed this obsession with sex that everyone else has. It’s never interested me, and it just seems to cause everyone else a lot of trouble. I love you, Sara. I think you’re so smart and beautiful, and I love being with you. I just don’t want to have sex with you.”
~quote taken from the eARC of This Song is (Not) for You at 45%

–♥–

I have a lot of love in my life. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. 
I don’t know why I don’t feel sexual urges, but I don’t. 
I didn’t have anything horrible happen to me as a child. 
I’ve told a doctor and been checked out. Nothing’s wrong with me.
Except that something must be wrong, right?
Right?
So I should try to be with Ramona in the way she wants. I should try to feel sexual desire. Maybe it’s like a muscle that can be exercised. Maybe I can be jump-started, and then I’ll still be me, but I’ll have this thing that everyone else feels.
~quote taken from the eARC of This Song is (Not) for You at 55%

♥ Rec it? Maybe. Certain elements in this book give me the perfect reason to push this on others (namely Tom and his asexuality), but other reasons (love triangle-y bits and music music everywhere!) make me a little more hesitant to tell people to jump on it. Mostly, I appreciate that with the setup, it could have been drama overload, but it was relatively light and ended on a good note (heh, see what I did there?).

Mostly I appreciated this book because it once again reminded me that love isn’t quantifiable or can’t be shoved into some tidy label, nor does it look or feel the same to everyone. We’re all different with our own unique experiences, and that means that love is going to be expressed and excepted differently by each individual in our own way.

I love how they laugh together. I love how Tom is able to get mellow, dreamy Sam excited. I love making music with them in pairs and as a trio. I love listening to them as they make music together. I love how Sam can get hyper Tom to stop and think, just like he can with me. I love it when they tease me together.

I love them. Their friendship is at the center of my mind’s maze, and their love is the highest-flying banner on my heart. Loving one does not take love away from the other. There isn’t a limit to the amount of love I can feel. 

There isn’t a limit to how much I can love, and this knowledge makes me want to fly. Lying here on the couch, I feel as if I could lift off and away. The boys laugh and grin at each other.

This love makes me want to love everyone more. Everyone.”
~quote taken from the eARC of This Song is (Not) for You at 74%

♥ A very special thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

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