Five Night Stand

There are books. There is music. And sometimes there are books that read like music inside your head. You swear you are in one of those dark, smokey clubs. The ice might as well be clinking in your glass, and you get goosebumps on your arm as if the melody rose or someone’s suit jacket ran across your shoulder in the packed aisle. The upright bass thumps, the horns blow, and the piano, well, that piano just sings.

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That is what reading Five Night Stand by Richard J. Alley is like. The entire book is an ode to old-timey jazz, as we watch the retirement of a jazz piano legend. Or maybe, I should say we listen. Because while we are reading words on the page, it sure doesn’t feel like it. The moment you put the book down, you feel empty, as if you have turned off a radio. The music has stopped.

There aren’t very many characters in this story, and there don’t really  need to be. It really is a very simple narrative. A few people meet in the span of five days, and their lives intertwine for a few moments. But every moment was lovely and interesting and beautiful.

This book is a big yes for me. I just fell in love with the whole thing. Every breath, every song, every moment. I wanted Oliver to keep on playing, I wanted Agnus to find her music again, I wanted Frank to get the stick out of his ass, and I wanted Pablo to get everything he ever wanted. You’re going to have to find out what all that means. The book comes out on May 12. Buy this book. Go find the music.

 

NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review.

 

Good Girl

I geek out about a lot of things, but music has never been one of them. Don’t get me wrong–I like music, and I have really eclectic tastes in music. But mostly I listen to it in the shower, in the car, or when I’m working on something. I almost never listen to it when I’m reading–which is most of the time–or when I’m on the clock–which is the rest.

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However, I know some serious music geeks who Good Girl reminded me of. This book has 80s & 90s punk references out the wazoo. Most I didn’t know at all, but The Cure is listed in there, Zepplin…and a whole bunch of garage and grunge and I should stop talking because obviously I don’t know what I’m talking about! Let’s just say if you like true stories about the teenage music scene, you’re going to love this (*nudge* Nicole *nudge*).

Sarah Tomlinson is mostly a ghost writer, with a few journalistic credits. Good Girl is her memoirs of the rocky road she had to take to get to where she is. Her Goth party girl 15 year old college admissions, a tragic school shooting, all kinds of messy daddy issues, and boy after boy after needy fucked up boy.

This is by far one of the darkest and drama packed memoir I’ve ever read. It’s like if Sylvia Plath grew up in the 80s, that’s how much self pity there is in this novel. There is definitely a journey to take, and you can feel Sarah growing stronger, even though she does take some pretty heavy falls.

Good Girl comes out on April 21. This book won’t be for everyone, certainly, but some people are really going to connect with it.

 

NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review.