Paradise had me completely engrossed from the start. It actually reminded me a lot of the movie Whip It, except, swap the skating with drumming and the roller derby with playing at Texapolooza. Paisley’s parents really reminded me of the parents in that movie. Paisley’s mom wants her to have opportunities that stretch beyond their small town. Her dad supports this idea, if not a little more leniently than her mom, but backs her all the same.
I loved the way Jill S. Alexander wrote the music parts in this book. Reading about the sounds and how Paisley heard and experienced all of it felt like I was actually hearing and experiencing it all myself…it was practically tangible! The Waylon Slider Band, of which Paisley’s the drummer, is comprised of her friends Michael Waylon, Levi, and Cal. Michael is from a family of musicians and is trying to come out from under their shadow. He is AMAZING on guitar, as is Cal and Levi is great on bass. All they needed was a singer.
Enter Paradise, whose actual name is Gabe but is given this nickname because he comes from Paradise, TX. The boy is beautiful and he knows it. Tall, broad, dark hair, green eyes, half Colombian. Oh, and let’s not forget his deep, sensual voice. Paradise can sing. Most importantly, especially to himself, is that he can play the accordion like no other. He is slated to become the next accordion king. His style is Vallenato though, which I was totally floored to read about in this book, especially when Paradise mentions Carlos Vives to Paisley. (If you want to hear what it’s like, watch the music video below!) Being Hispanic, I grew up listening to a few Colombian artists, such as Shakira, Juanes, and Carlos Vives, so reading that was beyond cool.
There’s an instant attraction between Paradise and Paisley, and she doesn’t really know what to make of it. Until he came in the picture, her focus was solely on drumming. She tries to ignore him, but he makes it pretty difficult, teasing and flirting with her any chance he gets. However, his whole attitude changes after he lets the band down at a barn party where he took over the stage and basically left them in the dust. Paisley and the rest of the band were through with him after that. That was the moment he made a total turnaround. He becomes this thoughtful, sweet, sexy guy and Paisley was a goner. Their relationship was sweet but also steamy, and it was nice seeing them open up to each other and share their dreams and ambitions.
I was a goner myself. Completely invested in these characters and their aspirations.
Then, when I was at a complete high right along with them…the unimaginable happens. It’s safe to say I was shattered by the end of this book. I still don’t want to believe that’s how it really ended. I want to rewind however many pages it is to the part where my heart was walking on cloud nine and pretend it ended there. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
Call me a masochist, but I’m SO going to buy this book when it’s released. Despite how the ending affected me, I loved the story and all the relationships in this book. To some, hearing about the ending might discourage them from picking up this book, to others, it might intrigue them enough to pick it up. To the ones on the fence: this book is great, don’t let my sensitive heart scare you away.
Paisley Tillery is the drummer for a country rock band. If they can make it to the stage at the Texapalooza music fest, then Paisley will be closer to her dream of a career in music and a ticket out of her small Texas town.
Drumming and music are what Paisley has always wanted. Until the band gets a new lead singer, the boy from Paradise, Texas. With Paradise in her life, what Paisley wants, and what she needs, complicate her dreams coming true.
Thanks to Jen from I Read Banned Books for the opportunity to read and review this book as part of her book tours. :)
Now for a special Music Monday, today I will post a video by an artist who is mentioned in this book. It’s the style of music the character Paradise is influenced by in playing his accordion. Also, the kind of hat the accordion player is wearing in this video is mentioned in this book. The song is La Tierra Del Olvido by Carlos Vives.