Release Date: 28th July 2016
Edition: UK proof, review copy
When aspiring photographer Charlie Bloom receives the invitation of her dreams – to take backstage photos for chart-topping boyband Fire&Lights – it’s an offer she can't refuse.
Overnight she is launched into a world of fame, paparazzi and backstage bickering – caught between the dark charms of the band’s lead singer Gabriel West, and boy-next-door bandmate Olly Samson.
But then Charlie stumbles upon a spine-tingling truth: all the songs Gabriel has written for Fire&Lights debut album are, impossibly, linked to her and her past.
What does he want with Charlie?
What's really going on?
Oh man, did I love this book! The recommendations of the UKYA community never fail me.
Songs About a Girl is FUN. But it’s also more than that. Charlie is a fab heroine – I love that she’s not a fan of Fire and Lights, that she’s super chill and quiet and shy. I just want to be her friend, really. Watching her grow across the novel was a pleasure. I love that she made mistakes, got into trouble, made snap judgments and mostly, that she wasn’t afraid to say when she was wrong.
I kinda went in to Songs About a Girl not thinking I was going to be that fond of the boys in Fire & Lights as I’m not a Directioner, I don’t like 5SOS or anything other young, male pop bands, but I totally fell in love with them. Yuki, Aiden and Olly are adorable and Gabe is mysterious and smouldering – though it took me a while to really warm to him. I think my favourite is actually Yuki…
Seeing how being in the band had changed the lives of the guys was fascinating. Their newfound fame meant that everything about their life was restricted, planned, controlled and nothing was off limits to the media. I felt so bad for them, but it was definitely interesting to read about! The tension between Olly and Gabriel is chafing and palpable under the pressure of their situation – glorious! What I wasn’t expecting was the fallout of Charlie spending time with the band. The trolls, the vitriol, the downright abuse. It was scary and really demonstrated cyber bullying and the dark side of social media. I think it’s an important side of these platforms to show.
Songs About a Girl ended on a cruel cliffhanger and I’m dying to hear more from Charlie and the boys from Fire and Lights – thank goodness there’s going to be another book! Chris Russell’s debut is one of the books that I've had the most fun reading so far this year.
Thanks to Hodder for the review copy.