Victoria Cruz inhabits two worlds: In one, she is a rock star, thrashing the stage with her husky voice and purple-streaked hair. In the other, currently serving as her reality, Victoria is a shy teenager with overprotective Cuban parents, who sleepwalks through her life at the prestigious Evanston Academy. Unable to overcome the whole paralyzing-stage-fright thing, Victoria settles for living inside her fantasies, where nothing can go wrong and everything is set to her expertly crafted music playlists.
But after a chance encounter with an unattainably gorgeous boy named Strand, whose band seeks a lead singer, Victoria is tempted to turn her fevered daydreams into reality. To do that, she must confront her insecurities and break away from the treadmill that is her life. Suddenly, Victoria is faced with the choice of staying on the path she’s always known and straying off-course to find love, adventure, and danger.
From debut author Janelle Milanes comes a hilarious and heartfelt tale of the spectacular things that can happen when you go after what you really want.
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher. This did not affect my review in any way.
It has been a long time since I last read a book, and I’m glad I picked this up because I really enjoyed it! The concept of the book is fairly familiar to me, since I love reading stories with characters in journey towards finding themselves and doing what they love. Despite the familiarity, the book managed to stand out in terms of the writing, and character dynamics.
I can definitely relate to Victoria in many aspects, and it was nice be able to identify myself with another character. Victoria’s friendship with Annie felt really genuine, same goes with Krina and Strand. I love their banter and the whole dynamics of their friendship. I also love the family relationships present in the book. Victoria’s parents may be overbearing but they mean well and most of the time they’re pretty cool.
“Chemistry doesn’t always have to be instant. It can be learned.”
It’s worth noting that this book has Latinx representation and an #ownvoices for that matter. Bisexual rep was also present in the book, which was truly lovely for me because YES GIMME ALL THE BI CHARACTERS AND I’LL LOVE THEM FOREVER.
Another thing that I really loved about the book was the music aspect. Every chapter has a song dedicated to it and I love that most of the songs were familiar to me (Hello Hozier, The Wombats, The Black Keys, Sonic Youth, and Arctic Monkeys). It added an extra kick, as if I didn’t have enough feelings for it. It was both exciting and scary for me to tackle the chapters with my favorite songs as the chapter header but the anticipation was worth it.
I had minor issues with the book, such as the pacing, but Janelle Milanes’ writing style was superb that I was able to overlook them. I just wished there was more closure towards the ending, especially to the band. Overall, this book was such a great read. I’m so glad I picked this book up and it totally helped with my reading slump. I totally recommend it to YA readers who are music fans as well!