High school junior Charlie Blake has never seen anyone quite like Micah Jacobs in her small town of Grand Lakes. With his carefree spirit, rough-around-the-edges personality, and handsome grin, Charlie is transfixed. But Charlie's been burned before with her first crush, at the hands of an ex-friend and a cruel joke. Because of those scars, Charlie keeps her guard up when it comes to boys. But a class project - that may or may not involve kissing for the camera! - forces her to not only confront Micah, but her true feelings.
While prepping for the assignment, Charlie finds herself in Micah's car accompanied by the music of Journey, Elvis, The Cars, and Peter Gabriel. Between slushies, burning rafts, pizza, and great music, Charlie and Micah bond as she learns the importance of letting go of the past and opening herself to new people. When their project comes to an end, Charlie wonders if she should finally confess everything she's been denying before she loses the chance. When words fail, will the songs in her heart be enough?
Here are FOUR reasons why you should read "The Songs in Our Hearts" and discover if Charlie's songs will be enough!
1. The Music
Music is a major element of "The Songs in Our Hearts," I mean - it's right in the title! Micah and Charlie connect as friends through their shared appreciation of each other's music. Each chapter begins with a song to "set-the-mood" so to speak, so readers will be able to listen to music, while Charlie and Micah fall in love THROUGH music. (A bit Inception-y, isn't it?)
Songs range from Louis Armstrong, Journey, The Cars, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Kodaline, Muse, Sia and Taylor Swift. (A range per-say) You can take a listen here!
It's not everyday that a young adult novel touches upon a classic like "Frankenstein." Most novels center their plots around "Pride & Prejudice," "Jane Eyre" or "Wuthering Heights." Micah and Charlie are paired off in their shared English Class to present a more "modern day" book report - on none other: Frankenstein. There's a twist to this school project. They have to make a film about the movie - and that means they have to get a bit close and personal. (Especially since he volunteered himself as Dr. Frankenstein, leaving her to be the Doctor's sweetheart, Elizabeth.)
Micah's friends, Paul and Marshall team up with them to help make their film extraordinary! (Marshall was pretty excited about wearing a not-so-realistic Frankenstein mask. I guess it's the small stuff, right?)
You might walk away with a renewed appreciation for the square-headed monster!
3. Memorable Characters
You are bound to laugh with many of the characters in this novel. There are an abundance of friends and family that I promise you'll love. Charlie has two great girl-friends, Rachel and Jennifer... who play her voice of reason whenever she needs it.
Rachel is a bit more mellow and reserved, and tries to always talk things out first. (And she might have a thing going on with Josh's friend, David.)
Jennifer is the crazy, wild friend who loves to have fun.
Samantha Walters is basically the Regina George of the school. (You're bound to hate her.)
Charlie has an older brother, Josh - who is one of the "stars" of the Football team. He has other friends who hang out with him on the daily: David, J, and Ben. All of which bring a sort of comic relief to the novel when it's needed. Marshall and Paul are friends of Micah's who come to help out with the book-to-film project. Paul is a great carpenter and special effects guy, while Marshall. . . well, Marshall is good at doing crazy stunts. (Like jumping over wild bon-fires.)
A Contemporary Young Adult novel is never complete without the element of "romance" - and "The Songs in Our Hearts" does not disappoint. While Charlie resists her feelings for Micah due to a painful experience with a past crush (and Samantha Walters - of course), Micah does everything to make us swoon.
you ever seen one of those chick flicks, when the guy is out in the rain and
the girl opens the door to find him soaked, and yet super handsome? She’s left
breathless by the sight of him. In the movies, the guy usually smiles and
slides a casual hand through their rain-soaked hair. And everything in that
moment, despite the downpour, is perfect. The girl usually realizes her true
feelings for the guy and they kiss. In that moment, I was that girl. As I gazed at Micah, I fought back the unfamiliar urge
to push myself up on my tiptoes and kiss the rain from his lips."
Yeah. Micah. In the Rain. Queue the score music now. . .
girl, at some point in their life, dreams of sharing a dance with her crush at prom
or homecoming or a party. We see these fantastical moments in our favorite
films, and it becomes an unspoken expectation. As I danced with Micah, all of
the fantasies I had painted fell away. Everything I had envisioned as perfect
was gone, and replaced by here, now. I
could only hear the sound of those actualized dreams—like shooting stars, in my
ears as Micah grinned at me."
A school dance with some romantic music . . . and a charming boy who knows how to dance.
think we should give that another go,” he said, as though reading my mind. He
hovered over me, his hand brushing my neck, his thumb skimming smoothly over my
skin and through my hair as his lips lowered to mine a second time. I lifted my
hands to his sides, and held onto him tightly. His lips slanted slightly,
deepening the kiss. My heart pounded loudly in my ears."
And there's nothing quite like a romantic kiss to seal the deal.
Are you still with me? Does this sound like a book you'd enjoy? (I thought so too!)
"THE SONGS IN OUR HEARTS" will be available on September 19th 2017.
Just in time for those back-to-school / almost- Halloween tingles!
You can pre-order your copy today on Amazon!
Bonus: There's Pizza. Need I say more?