Sunday, 7 August 2016
Songs About a Girl - Chris Russell
Heartbreak, romance, fame and pop music - for anyone who's ever dreamed of saying 'I'm with the band'.
Charlie Bloom never wanted to be 'with the band'. She's happiest out of the spotlight, behind her camera, unseen and unnoticed. But when she's asked to take backstage photos for hot new boy band, Fire&Lights, she can't pass up the chance.
Catapulted into a world of paparazzi and backstage bickering, Charlie soon becomes caught between gorgeous but damaged frontman Gabriel West and his boy-next-door bandmate, Olly Samson. Then, as the boys' rivalry threatens to tear the band apart, Charlie stumbles upon a mindblowing secret, hidden in the lyrics of their songs ...
It's no secret that I'm a total fangirl. Bands, especially boybands, are my thing, and I'm not ashamed of that. I also adore YA books with a musical element so I'm delighted there's been a bit of a boom in 'Boyband Lit' during 2016.
Chris Russell's debut novel Songs About a Girl follows Charlie Bloom as she becomes a backstage photographer for Fire&Lights. She knows they're ordinary lads in an extraordinary situation - she sort-of-knew band member Olly before he became famous as they went to the same school - but although Fire&Lights are the hottest group on the planet right now, Charlie has no desire to be a groupie. All she wants is the opportunity to improve her photography skills.
As the novel progresses Charlie learns more about each band member, discovering both their flaws and strengths as she sees them in and out of the spotlight. Yet it's only as secrets reveal themselves that she realises just how bound she is to Fire&Lights...
I loved the themes in this book - friendship, trust, finding youself - and thought Russell did a brilliant job of capturing the essence of what it means to be a fan. As a musician himself, I'm sure he drew on his own experiences of being on stage and also watching live bands when writing the scenes where Fire&Lights perform - these are some of the strongest in the book, perfectly encapsulating the unique experience of gathering with likeminded people to enjoy the shared experience of a gig.
This book is a mustread for any fangirl and is one of my books of the summer. I'm already bursting for the next book in the series to be released to find out what's in store for Charlie and the boys!
Songs About a Girl is out now in both ebook and paperback.
With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a galley copy of this book in return for an honest review.