We’re in the middle of the summer and I have been loving contemporary books lately. The Facebook group TBR & Beyond is doing a group read of Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington. Of course that meant I needed to read this as well. It’s been on my TBR since I heard about it, so I was excited to see if I would love it like I thought I would.
It’s summer romance and second chances, the songs that stay in your head, and the boy you’ll never forget.
Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.
Love Songs & Other Lies has the perfect cover for a summer contemporary. I love the guitar pick that is on the cover and the three polaroids. The colors are perfect and really makes me want to pick this book up.
“Sometimes you don’t know what you want until you just do. It hits you like a wave, knocks you underwater, and when you surface, all you want is this one thing. It’s like gasping for air.”
Love Songs & Other Lies is unique in a couple ways compared to other Young Adult books. This book has chapters in the past and now, but it’s also told from both Virginia and Cam’s perspective. That really made me fall in love with this book. A lot of time in a contemporary we only get to read about how one character experiences everything. Also, because this book keeps switching back and forth between the past and now, we slowly figure everything out. I loved not having all of the information in the beginning and having the puzzle pieces settle in to place as time went by.
Virginia is excited about her summer internship on the tour bus with her best friends. She is unpleasantly surprised that Cam is on that bus as well. At first, she’s ready to go home, but in the end she just wants to ignore him. Being followed by a camera takes some getting used to. They literally film everything. It’s exciting to go along on the road and see the guys perfom. It’s her dream to perform after all.
Cam was excited when the guys called him and asked him to participate in the competition. He didn’t know Virignia was going to be there, but he sees this as the perfect time to try and ask for forgiveness. He really messed up and knows this very well. Neither of them expected to be in the spotlight so much and don’t realize how far fans can go. Being a tourbus doesn’t give much privacy, but they slowly start to get to know each other again. They both feel something, but can they get over the past?
The whole idea of a band competition was so much fun. I loved that we got to read about everything they had to do and how far the camera men went with filming. There lives aren’t private anymore, but if that can make their dream come true. Why not? Virginia and Cam both have a past and as we read more, I love how we find out what was going on. I loved Virginia’s grandmother. She only wanted what was best. The past kept getting in their way though. Virigina always felt Cam was hiding something and Cam isn’t sure how to talk. Even though they both love the other, Cam and Viriginia have to get past their demons before they can move on.
Jessica’s writing is amazing and I love the song lyrics mixed in. I would love to hear the actual songs! We really got to know both characters and it made me understand them so much more. I loved going on the adventure with these characters. I loved them both in the end and was really hoping they would get their happily ever after. The grand gesture at the end of this book left me with a huge smile on my face. I don’t think she could’ve ended this book better than she did.
“I wonder if this is what falling in love sounds like. Like butterfly wings in my ears and trumpets in my stomach and like the pound of bass in my chest.”
Virginia is shy and a little insecure when it comes to her music. She wishes she could follow her grandmother’s advice and just say yes to things. Music is a dream of hers, but she doesn’t dare to get in front of the people to sing. So she plays it safe and writes song for her best friend’s band. That is until Cam comes along and flips her world upside down. Definitely not something she saw coming. I love how we see Virginia get more confident throughout the book. She learns to deal with her parents and what she really wants.
Cam has clearly been through a lot, but we don’t know what at first. He move so people would see him as Cam, not someone who lost his parents. He sees it as his fault they’re gone. This guilt really eats at him and he doesn’t know how to open up. Cam still doesn’t know how to when he sees Virginia again. I think it was good for him to go on tour and see her again. Cam really had to dig deep and open up. I think this slowly made him realize it wasn’t his fault and that it’s okay to move on.
The band members were also fun to read about. I kind of hope we get more books with the other characters, haha. I didn’t want to say goodbye!
Love Songs & Other Lies is the perfect summer read. If you have read it or are interested, come check out TBR & Beyond. The author will be doing a live chat tonight in the group!