Saturday, 13 December 2014

Only the Good Die Young (Review)

Hi there!

Title: Only the Good Die Young
Author:  Douglas Trueman
Publisher:  Chaos Theory Press  

Published Date:  22nd July 2014

Rating: 2.5 Stars

*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for the review copy*

Synopsis: A sharp drama that never loses sight of the humor in life, Only the Good Die Young tells of a teenaged girl's first romance that goes horribly wrong. Set to the music and lyrics of rock and roll, the love triangle in this dark comedy has kept readers turning pages well past their bed time.

Rebecca Lockhart moved to Vancouver to start a new life. What she found felt more like the end.

Raised with Victorian values and classically trained as a pianist, seventeen-year-old Rebecca takes solace in the prose of Jane Austen and the music of Debussy. But when a virtuoso guitar player exposes her to the free spirit of rock and roll, Rebecca's outlook on the world begins to change. She dares to take risks her old self couldn't imagine.

Hallway rumors of her new behavior reach the high school office, and Rebecca comes face-to-face with the vice-principal - Catherine Lockhart, her mother. Desperate to remain in mom's good graces, she lies. Before she can blink, Rebecca is caught in a web of deceit that envelopes her entire life. If she reveals the truth, she and her mother will have to face an unspeakable secret from their past. If she doesn't, a fellow student could be sentenced to prison.

Only the Good Die Young is a coming-of-age story for the teenager in all of us, laced with the dry, deadpan humor of a shy girl struggling to find her way.
 


Review: Hm. This is another one of those books which are hard to review. It had its good moments and its bad ones as well, and reading this felt like a rollercoaster ride. I would love it, I would hate it, I would just think meh.

I didn’t read the synopsis until now, so reading it now makes me notice that there is a promise of a love triangle. Well, if you’re one of those people who try to avoid love triangles like the plague, then you can still read this book. I wouldn’t even consider there being much of a love triangle, but if there is one then the outlines of it are very faint. It was never the main focus and it’s not like the main character spends her time running between two guys. That doesn’t really happen at all.

The main character, Rebecca, was someone I would like and then hate. I would sympathise with her situation sometimes and understand why she acted the way she did. But then at times I thought she was being pretty cruel to people who cared about her, or made some pretty frustrating decisions that would only land her in trouble. And she didn’t realise what she was doing, even though she had her reasons. Sometimes I would love to be a best friend to her, and sometimes I wanted to knock some sense into her head.

That being said, her best friend, Kyle, was my favourite character in the novel. He was blunt at times, honest, and always concerned about Rebecca. He solely had her best interests at heart even though he didn’t look the part to lead onto a romantic interest, in Rebecca’s eyes. He’s also someone who knows his music, and we really get that impression as we read through the novel.

There is a lot of mention to music – which you probably gathered from the cover. I liked how that theme ran through it, and especially what the author writes about the difference between being able to play music and making music. It made me think about it, and I suppose there is a difference. At one point in the novel there is a mention to Christina Augelira’s song Oh, Mother. Being a fan of hers, I loved the mention and how well it tied into the novel.

That being said, there are a lot of serious themes in here. There is mention of rape, divorce and drinking. Because of this the book is for mature readers. And I think the topic of rape was the most focused on in the novel.

The plot twist was… predictable. Sadly, there is no other reason for it. The moment Rebecca met a certain character and around 30% I kind of predicted the whole novel. Which made reading it a bit more boring and that kind of fell flat for me :/ In fact, the beginning of this novel was good, the middle dragged, and then it ended on a nice note that I enjoyed reading.

To conclude it was a reasonable book. It was simply predictable and nothing new to me. Almost like a lesser version of the book What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell.

Olivia’s Question: What’s your favourite song?

Olivia-Savannah x

38 comments:

  1. You're right. The mere mention of a love triangle gives me the twitch. So I'd probably stayed away had I not read your review. However, there doesn't seem to be anything remarkably enticing about this story, so I'll probably pass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I was pretty glad the love triangle wasn't too big. But it wasn't an amazing story either.

      Delete
  2. Hi Olivia - It's also harder to know how to rate novels in which you find good parts and bad parts. I just rated one in which I enjoyed, but yet had a couple of issues with the protagonist. Just makes you want to grab them out of the book and give them a good talkiin' to. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes it does! If I could just talk to her and make her see light, then I am sure she could've made some wiser decisions. But sometimes when you're in a situation it can be hard to see beyond it as well.

      Delete
  3. I would have stayed away from this book because of the mentioned love triangle, I either love or hate them to be honest. Anyways, great review and a shame this book didn't do it for you

    http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/top-five-friday-5-book-boyfriends.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, love triangles need to be handled carefully!

      Delete
  4. Ah, shame this didn't really work out for you, but great review! Hope your next read is better :)

    I've also nominated you for the Sisterhood of The World Bloggers :D Check out the post here :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too :) And thank you for the tag!

      Delete
  5. Hey, everyone, and especially Olivia.

    I think your criticisms of my book are fair. It was never written to be a love triangle, per se. But it's incredibly difficult to get noticed on Amazon and I put that term in the description so it would show up as a key word if people searched for it.

    As far as the plot twist goes, I'm not exactly sure which what you're referring to. There aren't any "twists" in the Hitchcock / M. Night Shyamalan fashion.

    Rebecca's story is essentially what happened to a girl in my high school when I grew up. I thought it was compelling enough for a novel and so I did my best to breathe it to life.

    Thanks for your review. I'd love it if you could post it on Amazon. The link is here:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M1X3VF0

    If you want to discuss the book further, you can look me up on Facebook.

    Cheers,

    Doug Trueman
    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, this is a surprise! I didn't know you would find my review in particular.

      I don't have an amazon.com account, so I am unable to post there. But you'll find the review on Goodreads, amazon.co.uk and on Shelfari. And I understand why you put the love triangle key word in there! It's a gamble because some people love love triangles, and some don't.

      I would say the plot twist would be when we find out what she did that made her want to lie, and then the first chapter we read (the prologue) can be understood. That moment was what I referred to when I used the word plot twist.

      Thanks for stopping by! It was a huge surprise and greatly appreciated.

      Delete
  6. Ah, I see. I understand. :)

    It's too bad you can't post on Amazon.com. I need twenty reviews for the book to be entered into more prestigious promotional campaigns and I'm halfway there. Thanks for reading.

    Doug
    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I hope you manage to make it there!

      Delete
  7. Oh these are hard..I find I want to take a pen and scratch out sections..lol. You have me singing Only the Good Die Young now my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The music and how well it was tied into the novel was one of the best bits! But yes, sometimes I would like to scratch out what I didn't like :3

      Delete
    2. Haha. Well, buy a copy! :)

      @Olivia: This just goes to show how incredibly difficult and subjective writing is. I gave my manuscript to an agent to read and she told me if she wanted her to represent the book I had to cut all the music sections and change the title. And you thought it was the best part!

      Doug

      Delete
    3. D: Oh no, I would definitely say not to do that, and I am glad you didn't! I liked the title and thought it represented the book perfectly, and I also think the music was very well done on your part. But yes, writing is very subjective and based on what the reader tends to like/dislike. Even my review is only one of many opinions.

      Delete
  8. I haven't even ever heard or seen this one. o.O I do like music (but not too much....like I used to be all over music, but now I kind of like silence. XD) but I don't think I'd rush after this one? Sad it was a bit meh. Favourite song oohhhh, I DON'T KNOW. I like Runnin' by Adam Lambert. xD
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. D: It always surprises me when people say they aren't too keen on music because I couldn't live without it!

      Delete
  9. Ha! It It's just that way sometimes, Olivia. Some books just make our eyeballs roll.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, there are always the mediocre books out there.

      Delete
  10. Yikes, it's depressing you weren't a fan of this book. I had requested this book from Xpresso Book Tours and I was planning on reading it, but I'm not sure now ! :( Let's see, thank you for the honest review as always!

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you requested the same book as me! Maybe you might like it more than I did :/ I would be interested in knowing your opinion.

      Delete
    2. @Benish: Go for it! I need all the exposure I can get. I consider myself a feminist and my writing has been greatly influenced by Joss Whedon. I tried to make Rebecca as three dimensional as I could. She's trying to do the best she can in a bad situation. And my book passes the Bechdel test. :)

      Doug

      Delete
    3. Yes, it would be doing an author a favor ^^

      Delete
    4. I'll still review it though, I found the premise quite interesting. Let's see how it turns out :)

      Delete
    5. I will be looking out for your review, then :D

      Delete
    6. I reviewed this book on my blog as well now,
      it was a let down for me as well .. :(

      Delete
    7. I will go check out your review.

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. It was hard to rate this one. I was debating between this one or 3.

      Delete
  12. This book sounds intriguing I may have to give it a try. I think I will find Rebecca very relatable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, then this sounds like it is for you!

      Delete
  13. Great review. This book sounds okay, but not something that would be worth trying myself. I hate when the book is far too predictable, I don't like being able to tell exactly what is going to happen in the story. Favourite song... that is far too difficult and I could never choose haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a good read, and I don't like mine being predictable either. I like being kept on the edge of my seat. I wouldn't be able to choose a favourite either! I made a list of 100 songs I love, but was already upset because I couldn't fit all the ones I loved it there :P

      Delete
  14. Keep in mind that while Olivia might have found the book predictable, everyone brings different life and literature histories to a work of art. I had one reader on Amazon tell me the book kept her up all night and she compared it to The Fault in Our Stars. In the end reviews are all subjective. If you want to read more reviews of the book, you can find them here on Amazon. :)

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M1X3VF0

    ReplyDelete
  15. I reviewed this book a couple of months ago! Kyle was most definitely my favorite character. I feel as if it wasn't for him, Rebecca would have made even more crazy decisions than she already had. I will agree that the plot was predictable, and I would have enjoyed the story more if I connected with Rebecca more as a character. Good review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will go back and try to find your review! I am always interested in seeing people's thoughts of books I have also read. I also really loved Kyle. He was so steady minded and a good friend to have.

      Delete