Review: You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn


Songsabout

Tim’s a young singer-songwriter with a guitar case full of songs and dreams of finding an audience to embrace his tunes.

Mandy’s obsessed with music and a compulsive dreamer. She’s longing for something more fulfilling than daytime TV and cups of tea with best friend Alice, something like the excitement and passion of rock ’n’ roll.

When their eyes meet at a gig, sparks fly across a crowded room and hope burns in their hearts.

But in a city of millions and a scene overrun with wannabes, can they ever get it together? Will Mandy’s nerves doom their romance before it even starts? And where does the darkness in Tim’s songs come from?

This is a story of Sydney’s Inner West, of first love, crush bands and mix tapes; of the thrill of the night and what happens when the music stops.

Set in the cafes pubs and dives of Sydney’s Inner West YOU’RE THE KIND OF GIRL I WRITE SONGS ABOUT is a ballad to that time of your life when you are trying to work out who you are, what it is you want and what will it take to get you there.

Almost as soon as I read this title I knew I needed to read this book. The blurb promised so many great things – a Sydney setting, the music scene, contemporary romance, and an Aussie author – I couldn’t wait to get started!

I wish my enthusiasm had been rewarded.

To be fair, there was a lot of high points to this book. Mandy and Tim were both relatable and likeable characters. I loved the glimpses of Sydney, and seeing some of the places I knew and had been in a novel. The whole music scene was a great feel and some of the secondary characters (Alice and Justin, mainly) were just gorgeous.

I think the main reason I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, was because of the writing. There was a lot of tell and filter words which isn’t good for a present tense book. It stopped me from feeling involved and invested in the characters, which in turn made me feel like I was missing out. There was so much going on and I wanted to be a part of it.

The second issue I have is with Tim’s past. This is an area that I feel pretty strongly about and I couldn’t believe how misrepresented it was. An abusive family history is not something you give a character just to add depth, and the way it was glossed over was insulting. That said, Mandy’s reaction to the revelations were pretty spot on with how a teenager would react.

There were also story lines that just didn’t seem to go anywhere. Mandy applies for a job with a music company and it’s never heard from again, Kiera hits on Tim but she’s already hooking up with his mate and everyone’s okay with that, Mandy’s dad and Tim know each other and it’s not A THING, and both Tim’s parents and Mandy’s Mum could have been taken out of the book and not made a difference.

I really do hope others can connect with this book more than I have because there really are some great points but unfortunately, for me, there were too many missed opportunities.

AOaR_3star (3)

Heather is beta reading two different MSs, slush-diving for #Nestpitch, and editing and planning her own WIPs, but she is still contemplating a reread. And she's twittering over here.

Heather is shopping one MS, editing another, and has just started on lucky number three. She’s also huddled in front of the heater because it’s cold.
T-weets are here.

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