I do not have time to read, but the books just keep getting stuck to my face. UF, HF, YA, fluffy romance, whatever. I love it all.
But I might judge you if you hand out five stars all willy nilly.
This book has been blowing up my feed lately. Lots of people have been throwing glittery stars and puffy hearts at it, and I was intrigued. A small-town girl, recently orphaned, who heads to Nashville to follow her dream? She somehow gets noticed and brought on tour with a handsome older star, but they don't like eachother and the sparks fly? Yes, please.
But...I don't think I read the same book as everyone else.
Admittedly, I didn't go into this book expecting an epic read. I expected a fun guilty-pleasure book to pass some time in between heavier stuff. I wanted to spend some time in Nashville and experience what it would be like to work your way up the ladder in the music industry and finally get your big break. I wanted to know how a girl would feel if she went from being a struggling-waitress nobody to suddenly being the opening-act for last year's Country Music Artist of the Year, literally overnight. I wanted to see their relationship progress from hate to love and feel happy for them in the end.
Maybe my expectations and wants were unreasonable.
What I got was a frustrating mish-mash of plot devices, a girl who started out strong and like-able and wound up weak and co-dependent, a hero with a drinking problem who I didn't like or care about, inconsistent and unbelievable behavior from the main characters, and some really ridiculous WTF moments that made my suspension-of-disbelief switch short circuit.
I actually really liked the beginning of this book, especially the scenes set in the bar and her interactions with Tonya, the single working mom who helped her get the job. I liked the idea of her signing up months in advance to get a single shot at amateur night and having to re-work her song at the last minute and get someone to cover her tables so she could run up there and sing. But after that it just started going downhill.
There was no fleshing out what happened between her big performance and her suddenly standing on stage as opening act for Trace Corbin. We are told she did this and did that, but didn't get to see any of it or experience it with her. It all felt very forced to me. This book was all about her relationship with Trace, but that was a mystery to me as well. I had to wait half the book to find out Trace was 26... I honestly expected him to be a lot older with the way he was described. What exactly did he do or say, besides glare at her a few times and make her look like an idiot at her very first show, to cause her to suddenly develop feelings for him? Lust I could understand, but feelings strong enough that she would give up her goals, her promise to her father, and her self respect? I think this book just pushed one of my big "hell no" buttons: the one where a girl gives up who she is and everything she says she wants to get the guy, and then something silly happens that makes him doubt her and he treats her like crap, and then she winds up apologizing to him.
I don't have a problem with bad boys, or guys with issues to work through. I do have a problem with guys who(show spoiler)
I'm also not one to be overly feministic or do a cheer over girl-power, but during Kylie's speech to Trace on the bus, the one she gave after he said some really hateful things, I wanted to shake the girl and beg her to just. stop. talking. Where is your self-respect?? Please, shut up and walk out with some dignity! But she wouldn't listen to me and I was embarrassed for her.
In conclusion, I didn't like this book. It didn't meet my criteria for what constitutes an enjoyable smutty fluff read, because for me the key is the suspension of disbelief. Did the author suck me into her world and make me like her characters and the story enough that I could forget the scenarios are far-fetched and stuff like that doesn't happen to normal people? Did she make me root for the characters? Did she keep me guessing a little even though a HEA is pretty much guaranteed? For this book, for me personally, the answer is 'no.'