Two reviews for the price of one! Piranhas Pia Fenton and Gill-Marie Stewart give their different take on LOVE SONG the YA novel that won Romantic Novel of the Year 2017!
Pia Fenton writes: This novel recently won both the Young Adult Romantic Novel of the Year and the overall prize of The Romantic Novel of the Year, and I can totally see why. It’s a wonderful, heart-warming story, with a heroine you can’t help but root for. It was almost like a modern day retelling of Cinderella, with a girl who isn’t in the prince’s league but falls for him anyway. And the prince – or in this case a mega pop star in a boy band – turns out to be a lot less shallow than he might seem at first.
Ms Bennett starts the story off quite slowly, but the reader is drawn in and hooked right from the start. Nina, the heroine, is from Croydon and is definitely a realist. Or at last she tries to be as down to earth as possible. She knows you don’t always get what you want in life and it’s best not to aim too high or you’ll get your heart broken. But when she is unexpectedly asked to go on tour with The Point – the boy band in question – as PA to the lead singer’s fiancée, she finds out that even when you’re rich and famous, life isn’t as easy as it should be.
I absolutely loved this story and it was one of those where you can’t wait to get to the end, but at the same time you’re racing towards it because you want to know what’s going to happen. The characters stayed in my mind long after I put the book down and I didn’t want to let them go. As for that house – I definitely I fell in love with that too – it was just wonderful!
Pia Fenton writes contemporary romantic YA stories and her Northbrooke High series features UK heroines clashing with US heroes in an American high school setting. The fourth one in the series – New England Dreams – is out now! http://tinyurl.com/h4agblc
And here’s Gill-Marie’s take:
Love Song is the story of 17-year-old Nina’s involvement with the top boy band, The Point, and how when something seems like the opportunity of a lifetime it doesn’t mean it actually is.
This is an enjoyable and satisfying romantic read, very easy for any pop-mad teenager to identify with. The coverage of the band and their lifestyle is both gripping and appalling. Nina is a great character, with her own heartbreaks, her great family, her art and her ability to cope with others problems. Any one of the four (or even five) band members could be the hero and at first it isn’t clear who it will be – or even if any of them deserves to be one. Gradually the characters become clearer and by the end you’re really rooting for Nina and … well, I won’t give the game away by saying who!
There were aspects of the book that didn’t feel quite right to me. The whole premise of teenager-along-to-work-for-boy-band seemed far-fetched, although I was willing to suspend disbelief because it was such fun to read about. The attitude of Nina, her family (and her school) to her studies was lackadaisical in the extreme. Some of the ‘famous for being famous’ scenes felt stereotypical rather than personal to the characters.
Overall it’s a fun read, with an excellent balance of fame, cynicism and naivety, with a smattering of irony thrown in. I loved the setting of the old house in the second part of the book, which had something of a Georgette Heyer novel about it – and that alone should be enough of a recommendation!
Gill-Marie writes YA mystery/romances as Gill-Marie Stewart. As Gilly Stewart she also writes women’s contemporary fiction. The first book in her YA series about George and Finn is Music and Lies (try the first chapter here).