Friday, February 14, 2014

Review: In the Lyrics by Nacole Stayton

*I received a copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.
*SPOILERS ABOUND. 

I wanted to like this book, I really did. It has amazing reviews on Goodreads already, not to mention a 4.47 average star rating. So, it looks like I'm in the minority here when I say that I did not like this book. The plot was incredibly boring, and at times, seemed pretty unbelievable and way too high school for these characters' ages. I hated Hensley, one of the main characters, and I found the romance rushed. And there was just no real depth to the story-line.

Rating: 1.5 stars!
I'm quite sad that this book fell short of my expectations. I've read A Graceful Mess by this author, and I really liked it! However, even though this was a pretty quick read, I found myself incredibly bored. 

And. I. Hated. Hensley.

She was one of the worst characters I've read. She's a selfish little brat who thinks the world revolves around her, and her only. Sometimes, she can set her desires, wants, and needs aside for her friend, Dusty, and Colby. But most of the time, she's a horrible character. She doesn't deserve love; she doesn't deserve friends. You want an in-depth look into who Hensley is? Read these lines. 

Examples:
My heart aches as I sit getting my hair and make-up done, knowing how my dad's doing, how his condition has been diminishing at an alarming rate. It makes me feel guilty about being here, living my dream. ...I know I need to get home and visit - it's been a while - but we just started this tour. My very first with me as the headlining gig. If he can just hold on, the holidays are right around the corner.
Dad, could you, I don't know, stop dying until after this tour is over? Kay, thanks!  
I abandoned him to live my dream. I deserve to be told to stick it where the sun don't shine. But other than that little fact, what does he have to be upset about? His dad didn't just die.
She's selfish, so damn selfish that she didn't even think about Chasing Strings and decided to sign with a record label. I get it, she wasn't letting anything stop her from her dream of being a country singer. But seriously, you never once thought about your fellow group members? And you picked it over love? Not to mention, just because your dad died, it doesn't give you the divine right to be a bitch. He can be upset if he wants to, because you just walked back into his life when he was trying to forget you!

And my personal favorite:
We've been sitting in this stuffy funeral home for hours now. The clock on Mr. York's desk says six forty-six. Yawning, I try to seem interested in the flower debate. Really, I don't know why this wasn't all done and figured out sooner. Dad's been sick for a very long time, and my mom is a nurse. You'd think she would had all of her ducks in a row.
When are you EVER prepared for death? You can spend months, days, even years talking about arrangements, but it doesn't matter. Are you seriously going to sit there and blame your mom for not thinking things through? God forbid she ever have hope, ever believe that her soulmate would make it. You know what, Hensley? Fuck you. Just, fuck you. I can't believe I actually liked her in the beginning of the story. All of these lines are just from the last half of the book. But she's just as worse in the beginning as she is in the end. 

Thank God Colby makes up for her, except he's a pushover when it comes to her. He does everything for her, gives up his dream for her. You know what she does? Leaves him behind. Colby has been through a lot, but he's not a douchebag. He's a great guy, and I think he deserved more than he got from Hensley. He's got a bad home life, been through a painful tragedy, and just wants to become a country singer to make his brother proud of him. I liked his voice, his POV. He's a very genuine character that is easily relatable. He's funny, kind, and has that good-boy southern charm that is just irresistible. 

But his relationship with Hensley was very boring. It seemed to move way too fast, and they were never honest with each other. They never worked out their problems; they let them either die or fester until one of them walked away. They never really communicated. BUT. THEY. WERE. MADE. FOR. EACH. OTHER. It was love at first sight! Seriously, gag me. There was nothing different about their relationship, and it wasn't swoon-worthy. It was pretty damn ridiculous.


***

Here's the plot:
Beginning: cue girl and guy staring into each other's eyes, mesmerized. Completely overtaken by lust at first sight. 
Then cue in the petty antics and jealousy that should stay in a high school setting.
Girl and boy fall in love quickly. They were just made for each other!
Then ensues mindless drama and unnecessary angst.
Girl and boy realize their mistakes and make up: the end!

Oh, you wanted more out of this story? Well, so did I! I swear, there was no actual depth to the story-line, or to the characters. Actually, Colby did have depth. But I didn't really connect with him on an emotional level. Nothing about this story made me feel. Even when Hensley's dad died, I felt nothing. But, I think that had to do with my hatred of Hensely (especially considering how she acted when it happened). I get it, she was grieving. But she acted so damn self-righteous (even though she had no right to be considering that she wanted nothing to do with her father), and she was patronizing to everyone, even her mother! 

And honestly, this story-line was a lot like one that I'd see in a young adult novel. NOT an NA one. It was way too high school for my tastes, especially considering the age of the two main characters. The additions of Brittani and Logan were absolutely ridiculous and didn't add anything to the story-line except unnecessary drama. Especially with Logan. That attempted rape scene was completely ridiculous and just randomly thrown in there. It didn't serve any purpose, nor did the drama with Brittani (except, of course, to create jealousy). Because, obviously, you need jealousy in a relationship. *rolls eyes*

But what I really hated about this book, was how everything wrapped up too nicely, too perfectly. Life is not that perfect. Nacole Stayton has a tendency to set up her books with some (tragic and painful and difficult) subplots that should give her characters major development. However, her execution is poor. Hensley has daddy issues? Let's just kill him off and not even let her try and fix their relationship. Colby's father is an alcoholic? Oh, let's put him in AA and give him a 6 month sober chip so that Colby will see the effort he's made and forgive him. Hensley takes the road to stardom and loses everyone she loves because she's a horribly selfish person who doesn't take the time for them? That doesn't matter; she's too amazing not to forgive. None of it was actually brought up as conflict, and neither did it add to the development of the characters. It all seemed too unreal in this story, too unnatural. You want your characters to actually have growth? Don't take away the conflict. Don't make everything too easy for them. Make them suffer. Then let them heal

The only thing I liked about this book was the fact that it was a quick read, so it didn't take me long to finish. 


Rant. Over.