Let the Beat Drop – Cheri Ritz

When her band breaks up, Sadie, still reeling from her last relationship to loser Corey, decides to go back home and spend time with her mother, Jennifer, who’s struggling really hard with her grief over Sadie’s father’s death. As a way to help her mother get back out into the world, Sadie suggests she and her best friends play some music together. The idea turns out to be a success until the new band decides to play at the neighbourhood party Marley, Jennifer’s BFF, is planning. For some fathomless reason, Marley’s daughter, the uber-sexy Jess, is dead set against them playing in public.

I tried, I really tried to get into this story but hot-and-cold Jess is too much for me. I thought, at first, that she was really sweet based on her relationship with her mother. And she is, part of the time. But when she gets angry, even for legit reasons, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near her.

There’s nothing wrong with the writing but I’m too character-driven to be able to really enjoy a book when I can’t connect with one of the MCs. I regret that all the more so as the plot is quite interesting, Marley’s secret and all.

Finally, when it comes to songs, I find authors writing lyrics really unnecessary. If you’re writing about a painter and tell me she’s talented, I don’t need to see her work to believe you. It’s the same with musicians. Me, the reader, trust you, the writer. I don’t need lyrics to a song I can’t listen to. It’s not the artist’s art I’m interested in, it’s their relationship to their art, what it means to them, what it makes them feel, and what it makes the love interest feel. Here, the lyrics weren’t bad (I have read much worse, including in really good books), but I don’t think they added much. Sadie’s relationship to her music is probably what I liked best in this book and Ritz described it really well.

3 stars

Let the Beat Drop @ Bella Books

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