REVIEW: This Song Is (Not) For You

BOOK: This Song Is (Not) For You18626414
AUTHOR: Laura Nowlin
PAGES: 241
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
MY RATING: ★ ★ (2.5/5)

Bandmate, best friend or boyfriend? For Ramona, one choice could mean losing them all.

Ramona and Sam are best friends. She fell for him the moment they met, but their friendship is just too important for her to mess up. Sam loves April, but he would never expect her to feel the same way–she’s too quirky and cool for someone like him. Together, they have a band, and put all of their feelings for each other into music.

Then Ramona and Sam meet Tom. He’s their band’s missing piece, and before Ramona knows it, she’s falling for him. But she hasn’t fallen out of love with Sam either.

How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?

I received a copy of this publication in exchange for an honest review.

This book is not for me.I struggled with deciding on a rating for this one, I truly did, but 3 stars just feels too generous. I really thought that I would enjoy it simply because of the musical, which wasn’t so bad, but it didn’t redeem the story enough for me. While the writing itself isn’t terrible, the story as a whole is just not working for me. The prose was actually quite lovely at times, and I’m really trying not to let this book define the author for me. Let me try to explain.

Ramona and Sam are best friends. Ever since the moment they met, Ramona knew that Sam was meant to be in her life. The two are attached at the hip, and while Ramona loves Sam, she doesn’t want to ruin their relationship with romantic feelings. They both love music and have a band, and after their final year of highschool, they are both going to get into a college where they can focus on their art and music. At their auditions they meet Tom, and Ramona quickly does her best to add him to their group, and eventually their band. The three outsiders realize that they work really well together, and Ramona finds herself also enamored with Tom. Love triangle ensues.

“‘You know you love me,’ I say.
‘Yeah, yeah,’ he says, but he gives me that crooked smile and I know it’s true. I just wish it was a different sort of love.”

The characters in this book are really nothing special. As much as I wanted to like Sam and his sense of practicality, I found him quite boring. Ramona didn’t stand out to me either, though I didn’t have much of an opinion of her either way. Tom was about the only character that I was actually interested in. He is the first asexual character I have ever read about, and I really appreciated that. I also really liked that he was passionate about making change to society with his PSA art and his glitter bombing. It was very unique and made his character actually stand out in the novel.

“I hope that in the future kids can just bring whomever they’re dating home without any sort of announcement. There are already enough awkward puberty conversations with parents. Adding a ‘So, I only like people with these kinda genitals’ conversation is just cruel and unusual.”

I was hoping there would be more focus on the events surrounding the senior year of these three, and a little less on the romance aspect. I didn’t get my wish. The only character that really grows from their relationship is Tom because he learns more about his sexuality. If there had been more focus on the fact that nobody was actually going to go to the music college besides Ramona, or other life dramas, their might have actually been some significant character growth and development. As it is, I feel like Tom was really the only one who felt a great impact.

I hate, hate, hated the love triangle. More specifically, I hate, hate, hated the resolution of the love triangle. Seriously? I am a very open minded person but that just felt like a very juvenile solution, like a disaster waiting to happen.

This is the first novel I have read from this author, so I’m not going to write her off. However, if you’re thinking of picking up this book, I’d say pass.



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