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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Review: I Want You to Want Me by Erika Kelly

I hit a few bumps along the way but overall it’s not a bad story.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 7, 2015

Derek Valencia finally has the success he’s worked so hard for. His band is touring its debut album and great reviews are rolling in. But when pictures of him tossing naked groupies off a balcony go viral, it’s damage-control time. He’s assigned a “babysitter” whose sole job is to keep him out of trouble.

Violet Davis swore she’d never work in the music industry again, but being a minder for a rock star will earn her enough to pay off the mortgage on her wildflower farm. And for a girl brought up in the foster care system, owning her own home means more to her than anything.

Though at first the two bang heads, the rocker and the farm girl soon grow close and realize that they make sweet music together. But can a girl who craves the stability of life on a farm really make it work with a man whose life is spent on the road with his band?

I had a love/hate relationship with I Want You to Want Me. The story was a solid one, pretty realistic in my opinion. Rock band gets out of control and needs someone to rein them in. Some poor shmuck is stuck with what is essentially a babysitting job. Problems, hijinks and a near death experience ensue before the band realizes that they’re headed down a destructive path. Erika Kelly didn’t sugar coat what was going down on that tour bus and on the road. These guys were little boys who had too much freedom and too many people kissing their collective butts so they desperately needed a reality check before they crashed and burned.

I appreciated the dive into the dark and gritty side of Derek’s life. Had that aspect been glossed over or just briefly mentioned I doubt I Want You To Want Me would have had the emotional impact it needed to make it a strong story about redemption and avoiding the pitfalls of fame. All that disruptive and destructive behavior really gave the book a sense of realism.

So, the story line I loved but what I hated were the attitudes of the two main characters, Derek and Violet. I felt like I was reading a New Adult romance with all the dramatics and over the top angst from both characters *checks books classification* Nope, it’s an adult romance. Go figure. There was too much back and forth whining and “Woe is me” type scenes between them that I wanted to reach in and slap the crud out of both of them.

And Derek? Dude had a seriously vindictive side towards the Violet in some scenes and that was not cool with me. He was supposed to be an adult man who by his own thoughts and declarations felt he had to be the responsible one in a group of out of control rockers. He was the “father figure” to them yet with the Violet he was a petulant child prone to tantrums. Then there was Violet and her somewhat door mat acceptance of Derek’s behavior. She didn’t need a man who reacted with an “Do you even know who I am? I can have any woman I want and I’ll show you” type attitude every time they hit a snag in their relationship. Sheesh, it was like a soap opera with them. They had a strong attraction to one another but it’s like they didn’t know what to do with it.

The band’s problems as a group and how they had to work to fix them was what kept me reading but I could have done without all the drama from Derek and Violet’s personal relationship.

Final Verdict: I didn’t fully connect to Derek and Violet as a couple but I do want to see if the band does manage to get their crap together and be the rock group that they want to be.

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