Blurb from Goodreads:
Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.
But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.
Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.
Erin Hahn brought us an engaging story of young love and boot stompin’ music in her debut novel, You’d Be Mine. It’s a book about two uprising musicians who are both broken and carrying some serious issues. It’s about their journey towards healing, and forgiving, doing what they love most, and falling in love in the midst of it all.
The book cover suggests that this is a cute read. The title screams “teenage romance”. But this is actually more than just that. Although this is clearly YA, the book delves into sensitive issues like alcohol addiction, drug use, suicide, and trauma, which are also adult issues. We still get the usual fun and fluff of a YA contemporary romance, and the occasional highs of young people falling in love for the first time. But the demons that our main characters are facing made this book heavier than the others in this genre.
Erin Hahn’s writing is wonderful. It’s concise and direct without sacrificing the fun. She was able to express a lot without overloading the book with information. Unlike most YA contemporaries, this book’s filler scenes are at a minimum. Most of the scenes—no matter how small—contributes something to deepen the characterization or further the main story.
I honestly think the plot lacks a bit of strength and solidness, but I love it anyway. Annie and Clay aren’t very different. Music is in their blood. They both have tragic past. And both of them aren’t stranger to grief. Annie has these walls up around her. She was on the front seat watching her parents’ downward spiral until they meet their tragic end, and she has no intention of letting history repeat itself through her. Problem is, she meets Clay—the handsome country music hit maker. And despite Clay’s bad reputation, his bad habits, and poor choices, Annie find her walls melting and her heart slowly opening up for him.
He’s a fiery summer storm and I’m in the middle of an open field.
Clay is everything Annie had pledged to guard herself from. Staying away from him would have been the smarter choice. But, I guess, it’s easy to fall in love than keep your distance from someone who shares the same passion as you. I’m happy to see that their love for each other didn’t just magically made their demons go away though. They both have to put on some great effort to slay it.
Overall, there’s a lot more to this book than the bad boy falling for the goody two shoes trope that we’re all so familiar with. It’s more than just music and popularity. It has warm and enviable friendships, strong family elements, and slightly broken characters who struggles to be better. This is definitely a romance book, but it also focused on some important issues like grief and its many different forms.
You’d Be Mine, with its awesome characters and feel good ending, would be perfect for your summer TBR.