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 mind-blowing secret, hidden in the lyrics of their songs…
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Fans of Ali Novak’s “The Heartbreakers” will love this book! While they both share the plot of having the main female character unexpectedly become the photographer for the world’s most famous boy band, that’s about where the similarities end.
It’s not secret that I love reading books about people in bands, and this book is especially special because Chris, the author, is actually in a band himself! Just a fun fact. 🙂 I actually won a signed copy of it from a contest he did on Twitter awhile ago, which I was excited about because I’ve been wanting to read it for awhile. I also traded for an ARC copy, so now I have both! The book is a trilogy, with the second and third books being “Songs About Us” and “Songs About a Boy,” respectively. I ordered mine from Book Depository, so hopefully they arrive soon!
While the book is about romance, there are themes of friendship and family interspersed throughout as well. Surprisingly, there are a few mysteries in it too. We find out the answer to one of them, but that leads to more questions and a cliffhanger ending. I have my own theories, but I won’t tell you what they are in case I’m right. (or wrong!)
There’s a love triangle between Charlie, Olly, and Gabriel. I’m not a huge fan of love triangles, but I haven’t read one in awhile, so I was fine with it. It did seem like both of them fell for her really fast, without knowing her at all. Charlie and Olly had barely been acquaintances, let alone friends, in high school, but at least he might’ve had a crush on her then. I don’t really have a preference for who she eventually ends up with, although I’m pretty sure it’s going to be Gabriel. Gabriel has got the “troubled childhood, tortured bad boy but vulnerable on the inside” thing down pat, while Olly seems like a really great guy. If him and Charlie don’t end up together, I’d be down with him (and the other boys as well) each having their own trilogy.
The friendship that Charlie and Melissa have seems really great and supportive, at least until a certain plot twist. (Which, I actually saw coming, although it wasn’t made obvious–I really liked the twist.) Regardless, Melissa and Melissa’s family are really supportive of Charlie, and that’s really nice to read. Charlie’s relationship with her father is rocky at times, especially because Charlie keeps lying to go hang out with the band, and there is a lot to be discovered regarding the mystery of what was going on with Charlie’s mom when she died. (I have a few theories on that, too!)
Yuki and Aiden were great side characters, and they have a great dynamic with Charlie. Like I said, totally down for companion books focusing on them. Just saying.
One thing that threw me off a little bit (and I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just something I noticed) was that it sometimes felt like Charlie was acting young. Not stupid, just young. Granted, she does just turn sixteen at the start of the book, but she’s off doing mature things like going on tour with a mega-famous band, and then handling herself in other situations a bit immature. I know that sounds vague since I can’t really point to specific instances, but it was just a vibe I got. I did like her as a character, I just liked who she was when she was with the band members better than I did when she was around her friends, family, or at school. Totally different settings/people, and I know that influences everyone differently, it’s just something that I noticed.
Overall, I really liked the book, and I can’t wait to read the rest of them!! Like I said, if you loved “The Heartbreakers” by Ali Novak, or even “Tone Deaf” by Olivia Rivers, you’ll like this book too!