This Is for Tonight
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 4th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
When Andi attends a music festival with one goal in mind – capture an interview with a famous band so she can pay for college – she gets more than she bargained for in this YA novel about family ties and finding your own way.
Andi Kennedy needs to make money for college, and fast. But her little YouTube crafting channel, while fun, isn’t exactly a money maker. So she’s heading to the world-famous Cabazon Valley Music and Arts Festival with a goal – film a video that will launch her channel into popularity and turn it into a legit money making venture, even if it means selling out her creative vision.
Instead, she finds obnoxious Jay Bankar, the annoyingly hot host of a popular prank channel who is the actual worst. Andi hates everything Jay stands for, which makes the undeniable connection she feels with him really freaking inconvenient. Soon she finds herself competing with Jay for an interview with the festival’s headlining band, which could be the key to turning her little channel directly into college tuition. But she’s starting to discover that there is more to Jay than his jerky on-screen persona, and she has to decide what’s more important – winning, or giving a second chance to a guy who couldn’t be more wrong for her.
Two things drew me to Jessica Patrick’s This Is for Tonight: the cover which gave me the vibes of the great movie about a rockband and its groupies, Almost Famous, and the fact that it took place at a music and arts festival. Since I’m not one moved to read a book because of its cover, this was pretty significant! Great cover!
Andi Kennedy, a crafts vlogger, and her twin brother Jordan are going to the world-famous Cabazon Valley music festival after Jordan gets two tickets from a friend. In tandem with that fantastic news is the news that Andi didn’t get the expected college scholarship to SCU where Jordan has received a baseball scholarship to go and now has to find a way to make money for tuition. A viral video at Cabazon might just be the answer if she can think of an idea.
On the first night of the festival, Andi meets a hot boy who helps her set up her tent when her brother deserts her for a girl. She and this boy click and she’s looking forward to seeing him again, maybe this time in the daylight when she can really see him and figure out why he seemed so familiar. The next morning Andi discovers via a selfie they took that her hero was none other than Jay Bankar, a video prankster, who she considers to be evil incarnate.
While I liked most of the characters (Jay’s dislikable brother, Dev being an expected exception), I was not an Andi fan. Like that old adage, actions speak louder than words, I never believed Jordan or Jay when they said how amazing Andi was because throughout the novel she moved from being exceedingly rude and nasty to drama queen clingy to hypocritical and judgy to un-self-aware via her actions. Despite being a self-proclaimed feminist, her main motives to going to SCU with her brother are to follow in the footsteps of her parents who met each other, their soulmates. Andi wants to meet her soulmate there too. Unfortunately, I would have liked to hear what she wanted to be and do with her life other than just being the other half in a relationship.
That was a vent. Now on to the good stuff.
There were some extremely cute scenes in This Is for Tonight. From the scene in which Jay helps Andi set up her tent to an impromptu craft video later in the novel are just great happy scenes. During the crafting video scene, I was just smiling away–I can’t give details, spoiler alert!
The novel is also filled with sage advice and introspection. From beauty influencer and kind person, Sadie, who shows that beauty doesn’t have to be just skin deep:
“. . . second chances aren’t always bad, you guys. It’s not like they show some kind of weakness. Sometimes they’re about forgiveness. And forgiveness is something that heals you when you offer it to the other person.”
Jessica Patrick did a good job of making the experience of a music festival come alive. We experience a touch of the electricity of the bands and feel-good atmosphere as well as the sweat and grime that can’t diminish the excitement.
I would recommend This Is for Tonight for the older ages among YA readers because of explicit language.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
3 out of 5 butterflies
JESSICA PATRICK runs a high school library by day, writes YA romance by night, and pets as many dogs as possible in between. She lives in Southern California with her cute family and she has an MFA from Spalding University, an annual passport to Disneyland, and about 75 tabs open on her internet browser. She is the author of This is for Tonight.
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