Published: December 1st, 2013
Another Little Piece of My Heart
By: Tracey Martin
What if your devastating break-up became this summer's hit single? In this rock-and-roll retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, music can either bring you together or tear you apart.
At her dying Mother's request, Claire dumps Jared, the only boy she's ever loved. Left with a broken family and a broken heart, Claire is furious when she discovers that her biggest regret became Jared's big break. While Jared is catapaulted into rock-star status, another piece of Claire's heart crumbles every time his song plays on the radio.
The summer after her senior year, it's been months since the big break-up, and Claire is just trying to keep her head down and make it through a tense trip to the beach with her family. But when Jared shows up, and old feelings reignite, can Claire and Jared let go of the past? Or will they be stuck singing the same old refrain?
Let me just tell you right now (in case for some reason, you didn't already catch on from my other ramblings and related posts: I AM A COMPLETE JANE AUSTEN-OBSESSED FREAK! For some people this would be equivalent with Austen purism and they wouldn't touch re-tellings or posthumous sequels with a 10-foot pole! I am not a purist and adore the chance for more of some of my favorite characters in classic literature. What made this book doubly impossible to pass up was the fact that it was a retelling of Persuasion - my favorite of Austen's novels, now that I've grown older. Maybe it's because I relate almost completely with poor Anne Eliot and her miserable life spent in service of others. Not everyone can be an Elizabeth Bennet or an Elinor Dashwood. Some of us suffer serious heartache for our happiness! So color me excited that this was supposed to be teenaged, modern versions of Anne and Wentworth!
I did enjoy a lot of things about this book. I liked the fact that it was set during the summer, in a beach town. It was a lot easier to have it be during that season - especially in modern America, with all the restrictions on the time and energy of today's teens. I really enjoyed seeing how Claire (Anne) handled the loss of her college fund. At least she wasn't afraid to go out and get her hands dirty to try and save some money for school (not that her family at all encouraged her in this)! The writing was gorgeous at certain points and the descriptions of Claire's feelings after the break up were definitely spot on - take it from someone who knows. My biggest issue was the characters. With the reader limited to first-person point of view (Claire's) and we don't get any insight into what Jared, her Dad, her sister or her cousins are feeling or experiencing. As a result of how closed our window into Claire's world is, us readers really only get to know her and her side of the story. Also, Claire makes some REALLY stupid mistakes. She has an inability to tell anyone 'no' and it almost causes her to have a serious issue, that could completely ruin her life! All because she can't tell someone "no" at the least, "NO FUCKING WAY" at the most!!!
I could understand Claire's reasons for breaking up with Jared, but I agree with some other reviewers that have stated that Claire loved to victimize herself and paint everyone else as the villains. Jared really drew the short end of the stick in this book. The way the reader is introduced to him is as an asshole who asked his girlfriend to choose between her dying Mom who had cancer, and him. Then he ran away in a hissyfit when she chose her family! Plus he wrote a bunch of songs about what a bitch she is and how materialistic she is. I'm supposed to root for Claire to get back with this guy? Also, Claire's cousin is interested in him and Claire says NOTHING TO HER. She doesn't tell her he's her ex-boyfriend or what an asshole he is. Instead she just seethes and plays the martyr of the situation. It annoyed me quite a bit. By the end, I was won over (mostly) by Jared. But I spent the majority of the book NOT invested in the romance, which is a problem for a book that is completely centered around romance/romantic angst. The songwriting and singing bits were fun and I truly enjoyed them. However, overall this book was fun but not very substantial or anything I will reread. More of a summer beach read than anything. In other words, classic Harlequin (even if it is the teen imprint)! :D
VERDICT: 3.5/5 Stars
*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, Harlequin Teen, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published December 1st, 2013.*