I received this from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Music
Kindle 256 Pages
4 out of 5
Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.
When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved. – Goodreads
Thoughtique: I greatly enjoyed this book! For once there was no insta-love, and the main character is deaf! Both of which you don’t see often in books now a days.
Truthfully I don’t read the whole entire blurb before I downloaded an review copy of this book from Edelweiss so I didn’t know immediately what had caused Ali to go deaf. I found out later in the story what caused it. I enjoyed finding out this way versus knowing right from the start. It gave the book an air of mystery about it. Especially because Ali never wanted to discuss what had happened.
At the start of the novel we are introduced to Ali, a deaf girl of seventeen who is dragged to a concert by her best friend. Not being a fan of the band Tone Deaf, Ali is not happy to be there. Even more so when she wins a backstage tour with the band.
She outlines who the members of the band are once she gets backstage. There’s Jace, the lead singer and guitarist of the punk band, Arrow and Killer. Killer was by far my most favorite character. He was so bubbly and happy all the time, and being British was a major plus. He’s in a relationship with the Bassist Arrow who was my least favorite character of the book. I can’t find anything redeeming about him. He was mean, rude and untrustworthy. I thought Jace could be mean, but this kid had major issues. Jace and arrow are cousins, and Arrow states that he trusts him, but then doesn’t as soon as Jace helps Ali, who desperately needed help.
The initial meeting between Jace and Ali is not a pretty one. Upon finding out that Ali is deaf, Jace flies off the handle, flips her the bird and leaves. Ali both hurt and angry asks to leave as well, not wanting to finish the tour that barely got started.
We are then introduced to Ali’s home life, and boy was that a twist. I was not expecting it at all! I wasn’t fond of it at first, as the heroine is abused by a family member is an often used cliche. But the author did it right! She made the story and actions of her father very believable. And even now after finishing the novel I feel a small tinge of sadness and pity for the man. He clearly needed help but he chose alcohol instead. She hates her home life and vows as soon as she is eighteen she will move far away from her father.
As compensation for how poorly Jace treated Ali he agrees to give her eight thousand dollars. Ali desperate needs the money although she doesn’t want to let Jace know that. She wants to take the check and leave.
When Ali and Jace meet up in order to give Ali her money Jace see’s how much trouble Ali is in and offers her a way out. A way to escape her abusive father and get somewhere safe from him. Ali doesn’t want to take his help because she doesn’t like him in the slightest. She’s still hurt about how he treated her when they first met. Understandable! She turns it over in her mind all night.
Ali finally accepts Jaces help and she sets off with them on their cross country tour. The author did an excellent job of portraying how uncomfortable Ali was to be on the bus, as if she didn’t belong, she was in a whole nother world.
Killer makes her feel welcome by being friendly, nice and all around a good guy. He was the goofball and nerd of the group, which Ali could identify with. Arrow on the other hand wants nothing to do with her, and hardly interacts with her.
There was absoultuely NO insta-love! I could cry tears of joy at how happy that made me. There was also a welcome absence of those sappy lines often associated with love at first sight.
Jace and Ali took time to get to know one another, especially since they were both so closed off from everyone, unwilling to let their walls down to talk about sensitive issues. Jace understood Ali’s pain and living situation which was why he helped her out in the first place but he was unwilling to talk to Ali about how or why he could relate to her.
Although as early as 25% Jace really wants to help Ali, it’s not because he wants to get in her pants it’s because he knows the pain she has been through and wants to help. No anterior motives at all.
Ali spends a lot of time on the bus thinking about her life and what it could be like. She also thinks about Jace a lot and what it meant for him to help her. Jace and Ali have some sweet moments, their feelings for each other gradually building as they travel.
All good things must come to an end though. Ali is eventually found and is being sent back to live with her father. Both her and Jace are crushed at the thought of Ali leaving to back to her abusive dad. Jace comes though in the end though and saves the day! I was so so happy for that to happen. I couldn’t imagine Ali having to go back to her father.
Everything wrapped up nicely and I hope that the author will write more about this couple! I’m not sure how much the author researched sign language and deaf culture but everything seemed solid! (I work on a sign language database. I know a thing or two.)
I give it a 4 out of 5.