Thank you to Wednesday Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!
Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.
Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?
Erin Hahn ripped out my heart with her debut novel You’d be Mine. It left me a bit raw and deep in my feelings. It’s not everyday you come across a book like that and how could another book ever come close to that? Then came More Than Maybe. If Annie and Jefferson were an epic and devastating love then Vada and Lucas are the always meant to be, easy-going kind of love. Lucas and Vada were relatable, they didn’t have these huge tough issues to work out but everyday issues that we all go through. It was the perfect amount of teenage angst, romance, everyday life and music. So. Much. Music. And it was nothing like I expected, it was more than anything I could have imagined.
The falling in love was predictable. It’s a contemporary YA romance though so of course it was, but what wasn’t were Lucas and Vada or how they fell in love.
➽ Lucas – Son of a British punk rock music star, the other half of not only “The Grass is Always Greenly” podcast but also to his out and proud twin Cullen and musical prodigy extraordinaire. He hates the spotlight and preforming in front crowds but that’s all his dad seems to want for him to do. An introvert in a family of extroverts who loves music and has had a secret crush on the town’s up and coming music blogger for quite some time. Senior year is ending fat though and it might be time to make his move.
➽ Vada – Part time bartender at the Loud Lizard where her boss is the drummer from her Dads’ old band and her moms maybe-maybe not boyfriend and music blogger for her boss’ blog “Behind the Music.” She eat, sleeps and feels music in her blood and has a plan to make her goal of music journalism a reality. All she needs is for her deadbeat dad to help out financially and to cover Ann Arbor’s annual Save Liberty Live concert series for the blog to get into UCLA. Luke Greenly was not a part of the plan, but fate has thrown them together a lot lately and she has been crushing on him for years. Future and music fist though.
Slow-burn, swoon-worthy romance. I was torn between reading faster to finally get to where they kiss and wanting the savor the innocent song-sending flirting along with the hilarious witty banter. It was a sweet romance, the kind you find in high school or college and hold on to forever. There was a tiny hiccup in their journey, but otherwise it was just two teens trying to find their place in the world while making place for each other. They discovered themselves a bit more while also discovering each other. I was enchanted by how well they just seemed to flow together and how music was their form of communication. It worked from them, even upset with each other the music still spoke of love. Following Lucas and Vada not only through their separate life journeys, but watching them become intertwined took my breathe away. It was everything little girls growing up to punk rock could ever dream about when it comes to falling in love. All we want is someone to not only fall in love with, but share our music library with.
Have I mentioned all the music in this book? I think the best part, for me, was rushing to Spotify and looking up the songs Luke and Vada sent to each other along with other songs mentioned throughout the novel. I ended up keeping track of all the songs and posted a teaser playlist (HERE) if you don’t want to track down a song every time its mentioned. This was a new experience for me, playing music while reading that is. In addition to the music there were a ton of pop culture and mainstream references mentioned. Think Gilmore Girls but more updated with the times. My favorite would have to be all the Teen Wolf references though. It’s mentioned quite a few times and from following (stalking by accident) Hahn on Twitter I know she’s a huge fan of the show and a big Stiles fan. It was fun while still being relevant. I love when references of the kind are made because time is frozen in the book and years from now someone will pick up More Than Maybe and have a time capsule of not only music but other references that they might not be well known anymore. Like us with some of the music references, they’ll be googling what Teen Wolf is.
I could go on and on about how much I love this book, but no one likes a lengthy review that picks everything about the book apart. I want people to pick this up and find the magic I found when reading it for the first time. What I personally took away from this book is it’s okay to not be the leader of your own pack. Both Lucas and Vada are introverted and even discuss it. They don’t want to be in the spotlight, but on the sidelines assisting others succeed while succeeding in their own ways. Whether it’s being a kickass music blogger finding the next big bands or owning a local dive bar for the up and comers to play at. They understand and respect that about each other. It’s okay to be on the sidelines and not do what others think you should be doing. Find your own path and fight for it. Hard work can take you a long ways. I’m excited to see where Hahn goes next and who we will get to be on the journey with. All I know for sure is I’ll be along for the ride wherever it goes.