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Terri E. Laine
February 19, 2019
She’s his best friend’s little sister and off limits.
College freshman, Finley Farrow, has two fairly ambitious goals this school year: make the football team and get over Shepard Connelly. The gorgeous football player with the magnificent voice would one day be a star on or off the field. But he’ll never see her as more than his best friend’s sister. Now her eye is on the end zone. Making the team could turn out to be the easy part. Practicing with Shepard every day while ignoring her feelings? The real challenge.
Shepard hasn’t had it easy like the Farrows. He won his ticket to the prestigious Layton University through football. Yet his passion lies in music. His killer smile can get him almost any girl he wants, except the one he can’t have. Everything he’s wanted to say to her is channeled into his soul wrenching lyrics. But he’s been sitting on the sideline far too long and it’s time to make a move before the team’s starting quarterback wins her heart.
A life altering accusation could fumble everything for him. Most importantly, his big play for the only girl he’s ever wanted.
Family, friendship and love bind them together. Secrets, lies, and rules keep them apart.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
A Your-Mileage-May-Vary (YMMV) Review
With sports and music in the same novel, I thought I’d finally found a New Adult novel that I could come away liking. Unfortunately, Songs for Cricket isn’t going to be that novel.
Songs for Cricket is told in first person POVs of Finley, the young woman who wants to make her college football team, and Shepard, her brother’s best friend who she’s crushed on forever. And this is problematic because the narrative is extremely stingy in providing details regarding other characters, environment, etc.
The first chapter dumps the reader into a narration of how Finley has always been with August, Cooper, and Shepard, but doesn’t take the time to point out that August and Cooper and her are triplets until a few paragraphs down. And as for Shepard, we get a clumsy sentence like: “However, I didn’t share DNA with only one of them.” And, then we’re expected to know who Finn (no relation to Finley), Sawyer, Ash, and Chance are (they all appeared in previous novels). Frankly, I was so confused by this first chapter that Songs for Cricket almost became a DNF right there.
Like many novels in the subgenre, Songs for Cricket excels at sex, angst, and melodrama. Where it shines, from my perspective, is when it finds something to focus on rather than the repetitive character drama. Such as when there are football games or Finley attends her architecture class and researches her project. I loved the kick competition between Finley and Bryant, the other kicker, as well as the scrimmage when Finley, her brothers, and Shepard get a chance to show off. That was good fun in a novel where there’s not much fun.
If you follow my reviews, you know music is one of my favorite subjects. Here it was a bit of a let-down. I would have loved it if we were shown that Shepard was absorbed in and by his music but no. I expected there to be some tension between him fulfilling the requirements of his scholarship (which were totally disregarded here, by the way) and chasing his dream of music but, again, nothing.
The writing itself is frequently uneven and cliche driven. Characterization is minimal with both August and Shepard demonstrating Neanderthal testosterone levels by wanting to punch anyone who looks at Finley, and, of course, there are actual punches thrown. Eyeroll.
However, and this is where YMMV comes in, I know that many readers love the angsty drama-laden, testosterone-driven romance that is Songs for Cricket and they won’t be bothered by the elements that bother me because they’ll be far too caught up in the story of Finley and Shepard. And that, my friends, is why there are different strokes for different folks. Or, rather, books for every reader.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.