by Tracey Martin
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Publication Date: December 1st 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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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 catapulted 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? (Goodreads)
The main character in the story is Claire. Poor Claire, she definitely hasn’t had it easy. At her dying mother’s request, she breaks up with the only boy that she has ever loved, the boy who proceeds to move on and become famous by writing songs about their breakup. Claire is very exasperated by the whole situation. How dare he make money off of her pain?? Not only that, her mother was gone, her home life is a mess, and her plans of the future have all but disappeared. Yes, Claire had every right to be furious about everything amiss in her life. And while she does act bitter in some ways, for the most part she holds in all of her emotions. I love that the author made Claire this way; I found it a lot more realistic, and I definitely felt her pain.
In true Persuasion fashion, I knew I wouldn’t care too much for Jared at first. And I didn’t. But he did grow on me, and by the end of the book I definitely liked him so much more. He was definitely different than most of the male characters we read about in books. He was very down to earth and even a little awkward at times. I found his reactions to everything that had happened to be very realistic as well. Most guys probably would have done the same thing he did when Claire broke up with him, but we also see some regret in him as well. While I didn’t care for the way he acted in the first half of the book, I understood him so much better by the end.
I found the book to be very well paced, and the storyline to be a great modernized retelling of the original story. I think the author did a great job of portraying the characters emotions. There were a few times that those emotions got to me, mostly with Claire. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the kid! I found myself liking most of the secondary characters as well. The book wrapped up nicely in the end; much like the original did.
Overall, I found this book to be a quick, enjoyable read. Sometimes retellings are hit-or-miss for me, but the author did a really good job with this one. If you’re looking for a fun read, you should definitely check this out!