Do you guys read books by indie authors? Some weeks ago I was contacted by Dallas Coryell, a singer/songwriter who recently self-published his romance novel Melody’s Key. He asked me if I would be interested in reading his love story, and of course I was really excited about reading and supporting an independent author! Because I’m sure there are great stories out there that haven’t been published by big companies.
Melody’s Key is a contemporary romance about Tegan, an artist who interrupts her education to support her family, and Mason, a famous pop star* who is looking for some meaning behind his catchy songs.
*For some reason I kept writing Pop Tart instead of Pop Star (I just did it again!), this has to be the most corrected paragraph in the history of my blog.
- Family plays a realistic role. I love it when stories show a healthy and realistic family. I don’t mean to say that ALL families are loving and do everything together, but most of them are close enough to play a big role in everyone’s life. Especially when it comes to teenagers and young adults. I like how Tegan’s family has its quirks and traditions, and keeps getting in the way whenever she wants to be alone with her new boyfriend. See, that’s totally realistic.
- Interactive! Okay, I’m a sucker for ‘interactive’ anything. If a book has a weird way to read it… I WANT IT. Since the main characters of the story are musicians, whenever they write or play a song, you can go to the author’s YouTube channel and listen to the song while reading the lyrics on the book.
- The ‘Not Like Other Girls‘ trope. Sadly, the whole main romance is basically constructed over this cliché. Mason the pop tart can’t stop comparing Tegan to other girls and she, of course, can’t stop feeling flattered. Thirteen-year-old-me might have found this romantic, but early-twenties-slightly-feminist-me throws up at these poor attempts at compliments.
- In one scene Mason calls Tegan a girl-unicorn because she is ‘funny, smart and pretty’ AT THE SAME TIME, and he never thought that such girls existed. (Notice that he didn’t say ‘such people existed’. He said ‘girls’. And she feels so flattered because she’s so much better than all the other girls…). /Feminist rant over
- 388 pages of flirting. I get it that Melody’s Key is a romance novel and therefore it contains romance. It also contains love letters, love songs and a lot of flirting. Very descriptive flirting. Very descriptive mental images of a hot guy taking off his shirt. And very descriptive scenes of a girl positioning her behind to tease the hot guy. Apart from that, there’s not a lot happening. The main conflicts are easily solved or predictable.
- I think this kind of plots revolving around flirting and making out are great in fan-fiction, when you already know and love the characters and just want to read about them having a good time. But for a standalone novel (in my opinion) you need something else to keep the readers interested in the plot. Because I do read books because of the plot. If I just wanted the hot bits I would read erotica short stories.
- You like to daydream about a celebrity falling in love with you.
- You enjoy reading spicy fan-fiction.
- You are between 13-16 years old.
- You take things like ‘you are not like other girls’ as a compliment.
- You are just looking for a light flirty romance to spend some time.