Book Review: For the Record by Charlotte Huang

for the record

For the Record

3.5 stars

After losing a reality singing competition, Chelsea was expecting to face into small town obscurity as she went back for her senior year. One phone call changed all that. She’s offered the chance to become the new lead singer of the band Melbourne, traveling with three hot guys and performing at sold-out shows. But with the band barely tolerating her and only having the summer to make the guys and the fans love her, Chelsea begins to feel in over her head. When heartthrob teen actor Lucas Rivers begins to show an interest, things get even more complicated as she’s suddenly making a name for herself for all the reasons she never wanted. Throw in confusing feelings for Melbourne’s bassist, Beckett, and this will definitely be a summer Chelsea won’t forget.

This was one of my most anticipated books for 2015. I admit, for a while I was pretty addicted to all the singing competitions that were always on TV and I loved the show Instant Star when it was on. Books with a music focus have been pretty hit or miss so far so I was hoping this one would end up rising to the expectations that were surrounding it. And for the most part, it did.

Chelsea was both an interesting and frustrating character. She was insecure about her position within the band, which made sense since she was replacing a previous lead singer and the others had all been together for a while. She was the trespasser, even though they needed her. She was a pretty passive person, especially when it came to making decisions for herself. It was frustrating to watch her continue to be miserable in situations when she did nothing to try to change things. I liked that it was easy to tell how much she loved music and performing but maybe I would have felt more ‘this is the only life I want’ from her if the book had started right after her loss instead of at the offer of lead singer.

One thing I definitely would have liked to have seen more of was friendship. Chelsea’s three bandmates are very aloof toward her, with Beckett being the most open and friendly. It did make me question why Chelsea would even want to stay in a band where she was constantly made to feel like an outsider. Their aloofness from her also meant it made it hard for me as a reader to feel connected to them. There were many times they easily floated around as background characters to Chelsea’s drama instead of being important to the story. The one thing I definitely did feel about them was that they really cared for each other. Chelsea’s best friend Mandy was great at first but she also fell to being more of a background character once the romance with Lucas took over the plot.

The romance was another things that was a little disappointing. At least the Lucas Rivers side of it. I really enjoyed the eventually flirting between Chelsea and Beckett and thought they would be really cute together. Lucas just seemed to be that guy who was too good to be true and there was something about him that I just never trusted. Maybe it was because once he came into the picture, all the other characters seemed to fade into the background and Chelsea was more about him than with connecting with her band. Once he came into the picture, he was always there.

The touring and music plot were my favourite part. The way Chelsea would lose herself in performing, the fear of the audience turning on her, needing to set herself apart from the band’s previous lead singer, all of it was so well written. It would have been nice though, to see Chelsea or someone speak up against Pen or Beckett about them being such huge music snobs. If Chelsea didn’t like the same singer or bands they did, she was allowed to without being judged, and I really wanted her to say that without being told she just didn’t understand or couldn’t comment until she’d listened to the CD ten times.

Overall, it was entertaining to read but if there had been more interactions between Chelsea and the band, I think I would have connected more with it.

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4 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, reviews, ya books

4 responses to “Book Review: For the Record by Charlotte Huang

  1. Such a great review! I love how you described Chelsea so in – depth! Sorry you didn’t connect with the book as well as you had hoped to!

  2. Pingback: Weekly Reading Recap | Overflowing Bookshelves

  3. Pingback: January Wrap-Up/February TBR | Overflowing Bookshelves

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