I’m so excited to bring you my stop on the Chasing Eveline Blog Tour today. This book was so much fun. I never was interested in books that hugely featured music – I mean, how do you capture music in words when it meant to be heard? But I’m a believer after this book. ❤
Title: CHASING EVELINE
Author: Leslie Hauser
Pub. Date: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Pen Name Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.
Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.
The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.
So, I was sold on this novel by its summary: journey to Ireland, frisky meerkats, some major feely feels, and super non-mainstream band love. And goodness, does this book provide! Every new development was so intriguing and made me feel even more for Ivy.
And let’s get one of my favorite things out of the way first: this is one of the most realistic contemporary books I’ve ever read. Okay, there was one thing that I thought was like, oh, kind of convenient, but I’m dead serious: this book is SO. REALISTIC. Nothing went perfectly for our two heroes of this story. They encountered obstacle after obstacle, and it was dealt with in such realistic manners. The road to get to Ireland in the States is NOT an easy one when concerned with money, and Hauser portrayed it in the realest of ways. In so many contemporary novels, when an obstacle comes along, things are usually tied up with a nice little bow, but Hauser shows the true struggles, and I don’t think she even knows where that nice bow is – WHICH WAS SO BRILLIANT.
And no spoilers from me, but I have to say: this has the most realistic ending that I have seen in a contemporary book, I think ever. I literally sat there after the fact and was like, um, time for a round of applause. SO. RELATABLE. OMG.
Now, that I’m done fangirling about the realisticness, onto the glorious music references. Hauser showcases her brilliant writing abilities in all forms in the novel, but where she really shines is in her musical descriptions. When I was putting in the about section for this post, I was shocked to find out that this was her debut novel. She has a voice, and her musical descriptions were the best that I’ve ever read. While I couldn’t imagine the music, I had the same feeling as if I was listening to it with her words. Blown. Away.
The characters were great as well. I really connected with the characters as well. I really enjoyed Ivy, and I thought she was a brilliant heroine. I ached for her and I rooted for her – sometimes in the same paragraph. XD Matt and Sean were cool as well, and I did enjoy them as supporting characters. I even really liked Ivy’s dad. Everything about these people felt real.
The only issue I had with it is sometimes I felt the pacing was a bit slow. I got drawn out of the story, but really, it didn’t take away too much from the story. It just got me a bit disconnected occasionally in the beginning.
Overall, though, this was a brilliant story. It had so much realism, so much beauty, and so many feels. If you’re looking for a story that showcases all of that (and I mean, who isn’t?) plus a glorious cover, this is the book for you. I super enjoyed this, and I’ll definitely be picking up anything by Hauser again. Four crowns and an Ariel rating! Also, let’s end with one of my favorite quotes from the novel:
“She said, ‘People don’t know what they like until they hear it. And that is the magic of music. Every song is a possibility, and all it takes is the right chord or the right beat and the heart is hooked.'”
About Leslie Hauser
I am a YA writer and middle school teacher. I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently reside in Los Angeles, California, with my dog Mr. Darcy.
When I’m not living in fictional worlds inside my head, I run all sorts of distances, torture my body at CrossFit, and DVR entirely too many television shows. I dream of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.
My debut novel CHASING EVELINE releases in 2017 from Pen Name Publishing.
3 Winners will receive a finished copy of CHASING EVELINE, US Only.
7/17/2017- Novel Novice– Excerpt
7/18/2017- Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile– Review
7/19/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post
7/20/2017- Book Princess Reviews– Review
7/21/2017- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview
7/24/2017- Bibliobakes– Review
7/25/2017- Wandering Bark Books– Excerpt
7/26/2017- The Pages In-Between– Review
7/27/2017- YA and Wine– Interview
7/28/2017- Book Briefs– Review