My rating: 3 of 5 stars
*I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review*
This is the story of loss. And love.
Cassidy Evans recently suffered a loss, the death of her brother, and no one in her family is accepting is loss well. She is tired of the hole where he used to be in their home, and trying to fill that hole. Freeing herself from the confines of her home and family Cassidy takes up residence bartending for the summer and playing a dangerous game of no-strings attached with the sexy Gage Logan, the local guitarist with a voice of honey.
She makes friendships, and ruins them. She learns more about herself and life in that one summer as the people she comes to love help her to move on from the tragedy of the past.
I honestly had a very hard time reading this story. It wasn’t due to trigger-inducing content or any thing that would normally cause pause in reading a story, but rather my own reaction toward the main character.
I could not stand the lead.
I have read plenty of novels where the main character made you made, or you hated them–but you were supposed to feel that way about those characters and I don’t think as a reader I was supposed to feel so much disgust and hatred toward Cassidy. She was the antithesis of everything she said she stood for, which I can understand that she was just as distressed and grieving as her parents, but everything was portrayed poorly in my opinion. I think there could have been a better way of going about it, seeing as all the other characters were much better set-up and developed throughout the story.
With her dialogue and mannerisms, I’ll be generous and say she has a handful of saying/words that she circles back to, whereas all of the other characters seem wonderfully dynamic, thought out and developed.
Even past the dreadful Cassidy, I had to love the romance–Gage. Gage is what made me keep reading when I wanted to give up. When I really wanted to throttle her, or didn’t think I could take another second of the same words repeated. Gage was there evening out my temper and making me swoon. And in the end, when Gage needed somebody, I had to hand it Cassidy…she wasn’t too bad. But even when she had her ‘revelation’ and changed–she still kind of sucked in my book, and I don’t say these things lightly. I don’t like to hate on characters. It’s actually very hard for me.
So many things in the story seemed to be vague, and even when an explanation came up it was either strewn together or still vague. Not many over-all sub-themes and plots seemed resolved or answered. She seemed to be trying to give more steam, and that took away from the plot advancement.
I would probably give Riley Edgewood another chance with a different book, but Rock & Release just wasn’t a favorite for me.
If you’re into Boys with Musical talent, and going on the road with rock Gods–give this book a shot. It may be just the thing for you.