Sunday Review: Rock N Soul

Rock N Soul by Lauren Sattersby (2016)

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book when I saw the really nifty cover where it was sitting with the new acquisitions books at the library. It was pretty hefty, but I was immediately intrigued by both the cover and the description, so I figured it would be a good read while on my vacation.

Oh boy was it.

I super loved this book just in general, so I’ll try to piece together exactly why for you here. In the usual format.

Summary

Tyler Lindsey is a bell boy with a mediocre life. Then, he finds rock star Chris Raiden dead from a heroin overdose in his hotel room. He thinks losing his girlfriend and having a few nightmares is the end of the ordeal, until he finds Chris’s ring under the sink and the dead rock star suddenly appears again. Now, he has to help the ghost move on or be stuck with him forever. As they progress on their journey, Tyler starts to wonder if maybe forever would be so bad after all.

IMG_20160701_135929

See? How cool is this cover?

4 Things I Liked

1. Bi Boy Love

Now, I do want to point out that the summary in the book doesn’t really hint too hard at the fact that this is going to be hardcore M/M sexiness. If you’re not into that, you probably won’t like it as much as I did. It’s not just sex, though. There are real homosexual feelings involved between two bi boys, and I loved that.

I don’t know if I’ve been looking in the wrong places or if there just aren’t that many books available where the main characters are non-hetero without that really being the focus of the book. Now, this is essentially a supernatural romance, so one could argue that the bisexual nature of both guys is the focus, but there’s so much more to the story than that.

Now I just need somebody to give me the same thing for bi ladies, and I’ll be a super happy camper.

2. Romance isn’t the only focus

As mentioned in the last point, there’s a lot more here than just the developing feelings between the bell boy and the dead rock star. There’s also Chris’s struggle for redemption from the people he hurt by his drug use when he was alive. There’s Tyler’s struggle with figuring out what he’s doing with his life since dropping out of Emerson.

Both of the main characters are dealing with so much more than just “Does he like me? Do I like him?”

The story is layered, and so are the characters.

3. The Narrator

Tyler is the narrator of the story. The whole thing is in first person, and sometimes I find that heavy-handed or annoying, but it really works here. Tyler is snarky and sarcastic. Basically, I ended up laughing quite often from his observations and self-deprecation.

Funny narrative aside, I also loved that the first person view allowed me to see exactly how he was changing through the experience of being tied to Chris.

4. Relationships

Aside from the main duo’s evolving relationship, I loved how the other relationships in the book were written. Chris’s estrangement from his best friend and sister were doled out in small chunks and then when they were actually reunited, everything just felt awesome even when people were still hurt. There was a lot of realness to it if you forgot about the fact that Chris was dead.

1 Thing I Didn’t

Ghost Acceptance

I know that it was necessary for the plot, but sometimes it really felt like people accepted all too readily that Tyler really was talking to the ghost of Chris Raiden and not just making shit up.

The book was already incredibly long, so sometimes I’m sure it was just for expedience, but I would have liked a little more explanation on why the best friend and sister of the deceased gave into the idea pretty readily. I know Chris was able to touch them to help convince them, but it was still pretty freaking convenient.

Granted, if that’s the only complaint I have (and it is) I’m perfectly okay with it.

En Fin

I highly recommend this book. 4.5 out of 5. The characters were well-layered, the dialogue was fabulous, and the idea was original.

It was also funny and heart-warming, and if I start using any more vague generalizations and clichés I’m going to hit myself. So I’ll just leave you with this: read it.

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