Sunday, 2 November 2014

Melodies by Pamela Srey ~ Review

Melodies (The Bianca Grey Series, #1)
By Pamela Srey 

Rating: 3.9

'You come from a broken home and you know nothing of who you are or where you came from. He wouldn't understand some of the things you have to go through. It's not a good idea to share your world with him, Bianca. It just isn't.' 

A story of teenage self-discovery, Melodies is an intriguing read.

This book has all the makings of a good contemporary romance novel. If you stick to it and get past the first few chapters, you're rewarded with a multilayered story that definitely becomes more engaging the further into the book you get.

Melodies was a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I loved the art and music elements, as well as the underlying lessons.

Bianca's love of art reminded me of Ashley in Aimee L. Salter's Every Ugly Word. This concept of characters using art as a means to escape the troubles of their life, is a bittersweet one. I thought that this was used consistently throughout the book, and made Bianca seem more three-dimensional as a character.

Pete's music is another definite plus. I loved the songs he composes! The lyrics are heartfelt and beautiful to a fault...and I totally have a weakness for guys who play an instrument ;)

But it's the underlying lessons that shine most brightly.

I think the most important lesson Melodies has to offer, is the lesson of what it means to love and to be loved. Chasing after love leads to confusion - especially when neither party is mature enough to understand what love is and what it means.

Bianca grows to realise that as much as she likes Pete, it's not going to be easy for her to just throw the word 'love' around. Mainly because she's never truly seen it, never experienced it. She doesn't even have much self-love. She's still trying to find herself and her place in the world, and being in a relationship with someone who wants more than she can give isn't the best idea for the moment.

She needs time to heal. Time to grow. And time to figure out who she is, and what her feelings are. Not everyone's ready to fall in love forever at seventeen. Bianca's journey highlights the importance of sometimes waiting before making life-changing decisions.

This book has a bit of a shaky start.

Although Melodies didn't quite 'knock it out of the park' when it came to certain areas of concept execution, it was still an enjoyable read. I think the first few chapters tended to lack a stream of consciousness - there's a little too much explanation rather than action (e.g. describing mundane tasks and routines in detail, and giving a little too much backstory when it comes to secondary characters).

The basis of the story did have a few plot holes. You kind of wonder why no one at any point calls the authorities. What kind of school allows kids to pour gasoline on one another?! I question the need for the teenagers to do all of the tracking down of criminals and bullies on their own. Maybe if Pete had just dialed 911, things would have been a lot simpler!

On the topic of the teenagers in this story, I will give one small critique: they do tend to come across as college students. Their vocabulary, their drinking and clubbing, and even their ability to take trips away and stay in fancy hotels without parental supervision - it's all a little surreal. Maybe there are teenagers who do this! If so, they must have really chill (and loaded with $$) parents.

I really do feel like all of these ideas would have made so much more sense in a more NA/contemporary romance story with college students. The stalking, the nasty pranks, the trips away, the 'I'm totally in love with you''d be a lot more believable if the characters weren't all seventeen/eighteen year olds.

I do feel for Pete's parents. They seem like wonderful people and you kinda wish he'd have confided in them a bit more! Maybe then he could have avoided some uncomfortable situations.

But overall, Melodies is a read that leaves you wanting more.

Which is mainly thanks to that cliffhanger! You're left wondering what happens next for Bianca, and whether or not she and Pete are meant to be. I guess we'll just have to wait to find out - but hopefully, fingers-crossed, everything works out.

**A big thank you to Pamela Srey for giving me the chance to review her great book :) **

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