Wednesday, February 5, 2014

This Book Stole Another Little Piece of My Heart

Book:  Another Little Piece of My Heart
Author:  Tracey Martin
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
Date:  Available now
My grade:  A+

What if your devastating break-up became this summer’s hit single? In this rock-and-roll retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, music can either bring you together or tear you apart.

At her dying mother’s request, Claire dumps Jared, the only boy she’s ever loved. Left with a broken family and a broken heart, Claire is furious when she discovers that her biggest regret became Jared’s big break. While Jared is catapulted into rock-star status, another piece of Claire’s heart crumbles every time his song plays on the radio.

The summer after her senior year, it’s been months since the big break-up, and Claire is just trying to keep her head down and make it through a tense trip to the beach with her family. But when Jared shows up, and old feelings reignite, can Claire and Jared let go of the past? Or will they be stuck singing the same old refrain?

Initial reaction
Can I just pretend I haven’t read this so I can start all over from the beginning and experience it again for the first time????

Cover story
It’s ok.  I don’t love it or hate it.  I DID however, like the title!  In fact, this Janis Joplin song is what caught my eye on this one.  I love Janis and I like the way the author used the title from a sixties musician when it was a story about kids who are musicians that like sixties music…  Talk about your run-on sentence.  But still.  The title worked in so many ways for this one.  I think a nice psychedelic cover would have been cool also, but what do I know?  I don’t get paid the big bucks to make these covers……

What’s the story?
The first thing that attracted me to this book was the Janis Joplin title.  But when I read the description and saw that it was a Jane Austen retelling, I was sold!  This is loosely based on Persuasion, Jane Austen’s final completed novel.

I loved this book.  I seriously loved it.  I read it over a week ago and I still keep thinking about it.  So here’s the story:  Claire is sort of the black sheep of her family. (Totally identified with that one!)  Her parents are very wealthy and they run in some high class society circles.  Claire, however, does not buy into all of that.  She makes friends with Jared, whose mom is divorced and they live in a small house and they are not wealthy.  Eventually, Claire and Jared start dating.  They bond over music (The Beatles!!!) and he teaches her how to play guitar.  But Claire’s parents keep pressuring her.  And when Claire’s mother is dying of cancer, Claire gives in and breaks up with Jared to make her dying mother happy.  He takes off for the summer and the next time she hears from him, it is through a hit song on the radio.  One that he wrote.  About a rich girl who broke his heart because she thought she was better than him.

Great setup, right?  And it was well-executed.  I felt Claire’s pain acutely in the beginning of the novel.  And when she runs into him unexpectedly in New Hampshire after graduation, things really start to get fun!  Now the tables have turned and Claire’s family is in financial trouble while Jared is making tons of money on his heartbreak song.  What follows is a hilarious, if sometimes frustrating, comedy of manners with lots of near-misses and dumb decisions until everything comes together at the end.

Now, I know that there are going to be people who will give this a negative review because they will be upset that Claire and Jared didn’t just come right out and talk to each other.  Do you remember when you were a teenager?  Or not even just a teenager?  When you had been hurt by someone you love?  Did you open yourself up and spill all the truth or did you play around the edges?  Because that’s what a lot of us do.  It’s easy to stand on the sidelines and give advice, but I can remember well doing exactly what Claire and Jared do.  And it must be pretty commonplace or else there wouldn’t be so, so many stories that make use of this trope.  Even the Bard uses it.  Just think of all the misconceptions and issues that arise in Much Ado About Nothing because of people not being straightforward!  So to the naysayers, I just want to point out that if it was okay with Shakespeare, I think it’s ok with me. : )

On a side note, I have not been able to find this book as an actual book, only as an e-book.  Am I missing something here?  Because that is very disappointing!  I want this book for my library, dammit!

In spite of my occasional frustration with the characters, I loved this book.  It was a cute, sweet little story that was so much fun to read!  The characters reminded me a lot of myself and my friends in high school, so that made it even better.  If you like music and you like Jane Austen and you like comedies of manners, you can’t go wrong with Another Little Piece of My Heart. Just be prepared because this book left me with a raging book hangover and it was hard to extract myself from the story!

The Soundtrack

Well, Janis Joplin, duh!  What’s really cool is that Tracey Martin put her own soundtrack at the end of the book!  I’m only taking a couple of her songs though.

Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin

Piece of My Heart by Erma Franklin (Aretha’s sister who actually performed the original of this song!)

Thinking of You by Katy Perry

You’re the First, the Last, My Everything by Joshua Radin

1234 by The Plain White T’s

Love Comes Tumbling Down by Matt Nathanson

Here, There and Everywhere by The Beatles

The Final Grade

My final grade for this one is an A+.  I loved this book. I can’t stop thinking about the story and I think this may be one of my favorites for the year.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for stopping by my post on Rock Star Romance/Famous People Romance -- this book fits in perfectly -- thanks for mentioning it :)
    Jen @ YA Romantics