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.
I went into this book with absolutely no expectations and OMG did it ever grab me!! There was so much win going on in this book. I don’t even know where to start.
Paisley Tillery is the drummer for the Waylon Slider Band. She’s really good but she has to hide the fact from her mother. Her mother plays a very big role in Paisley’s life and kind of controls all of her actions. You see, Mrs. Tillery had big dreams but they all went down the drain when she got knocked up while still in high school and had to stay in their small hometown. She’s a bit bitter about it all. So she watches her two girls, Paisley and her older sister Lacey, with an eagle eye and steers them in the direction of their dreams. But Lacey doesn’t really want to be a singer and although she wears the purity ring her mother got her, she’s not so pure anymore. So Paisley hides the fact that she’s in a band from her mother, and that doesn’t just affect Paisley. Her father knows something’s up and he has her back, her uncle covers for her and all the members of her band cover for her too. Someone in the book said Paisley’s lies were like shotgun blast, they don’t just hit one person, and it’s so true. But for Paisley, she’s going to follow her dream and when the time is right, she’s going to tell her parents. But that time won’t come until after the Texapalooza – where her band is performing. If Paisley can just keep things together until then…but the band also needs a lead singer and so Paradise enters the story. Paradise is this oh-so-dreamy cowboy type who has crazy singing skills and can also rock the accordian. Yeah I said that right. LOL Paradise’s grandfather is a vallenato king. Colombian accordian king, and Paradise is a chip off the old block. Suddenly drumming isn’t the only thing Paisley focuses on. And Paradise can’t get over her purity ring, always bringing it up when they’re together.
There was so much going on that centered around Paisley and I was totally caught up in her story. Paisley is a very interesting character. She’s afraid of her mom, but not so much to not go after her dream. She’s wicked talented on the drums. She’s a great sister, covering for Lacey even when Lacey isn’t who she thought she was. This was a definitely a summer of growing up for Paisley. But what I absolutely loved about Paisley was her belief in herself. What am I talking about? Check it out:
He kissed me then whispered,” Paisley, I love that you’re fearless. You know what you want. Don’t let some fake, forced promise scare you.” His hands pressed around me. “This is between you and me. Don’t be afraid to say yes.”
“I’m not afraid to say yes to you.” A part of me wanted to. I held on to him. “But I’m also not afraid to say no.”
I love love love the fact that Paisley respects herself enough to say no to the guy she really really likes. She’s not ready and she stands up for herself. Not that Paradise forces her or anything, but he asks a question and she tells him no. Really, I loved that.
Another character that really stuck out for me was Paisley’s dad. He was going to be a big shot professional baseball player but he injured his shoulder before he could get there and he’s not bitter, he just does what he needs to do. All this in the face of his wife’s bitter disappointment over the way her life turned out.
Mother’s voice cracked. “This is not what we’ve worked for with the girls. I can’t turn Lacey loose with Levi Tucker. I won’t do it. She’s got to stay focused on her own dreams and plans. I won’t have her toss it to the side and lose it all because of some boy.”
That comment set my teeth on edge. I could’ve bit through a saddle strap. Mother threw the “some boy” remark out more than I cared to hear. No one in the house was confused that who she was really talking about was Dad. I wanted to tell her that it took both of them to make their choices, that she should back off Dad.
Dad squeezed her tighter. Her remark had to torture him, but he always managed to push past the pain. He’d lose a battle but win a war.
“You’re going to have to trust me on this one,” he whispered to her. Dad had an impressive amount of patience and conviction. Watching him love my mother – day in and day out – almost made me believe there was really something to the whole one-life-one-love thing. They hadn’t settled for each other just to do the right thing. He loved her.
Awww, I loved Paisley’s dad! Even when it was hard for him, he backed his wife up when she had to make a tough decision for Paisley. He wants to support his daughter’s but he needs to respect his wife. This guy was just as swoon-worthy as Paradise. LOL
All right, I know I’m just going on and on but I really enjoyed this book. A lot. Everything worked for me. All the characters were interesting. Even one character that stayed pretty much in the background. The author made him pop by showcasing a few of his songs. His lyrics were kind of heart-breaking because his could have been an interesting story too. And even the ending was a bit of a shocker. But it was all good in the hood. I’m giving this book an A-. And I’ll leave you with one last thing:
In his arms, I slowly unfolded like a love note read in secret.
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com