Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Review: Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper
In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband...and discovers a love that defies classification.
It's been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth...the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.
Recluse rocker Adrian "Digger" Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids' TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.
Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it's unclear whose past looms larger: the widow's or the rocker's. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?
I'm going to go ahead and get this little tidbit out of the way. I'm going to put it all out there. I am embracing my past.
Confession time...I may or may not have had a slight crush on the blue Wiggle back in the day.
Do. Not. Judge.
Ok, now that that's out of the way, I can get back to talking about this story and what I liked so much about it :)
I've read a lot of romance and while I'm almost always entertained and enjoy the stories, I don't always connect with the characters. I totally connected with Kat. I get her. Her reclusive tendencies make total sense to me. She has been hurt by something completely out of control and she is determined to protect both herself and her daughter. Makes complete sense.
BUT...I also have a thing for musicians. They make me swoon and giggle and blush like I'm 13 so I get the draw she feels for Adrian. And as a writer of children's music, he is obviously safe.
What she doesn't know about Adrian at first, however is that children haven't always been his audience of choice. He also has ghosts in his past and events that have altered his path in life.
And I think that is what appeals to me so much about this book. That even with everything that has happened to Kat and to Adrian, the pull between them is so intense that they are forced to take risks. They can't ignore the chemistry and pretend that they are content with their lives. They start to live again.
There was a maturity to this book that pulled me in and made me feel. I didn't have the "awwwww" moments and the "gah, I remember those days". It was more a book of **fist pumps** and "unfs" and "I want to trace your scars". It was intensely mature...does that make any sense at all?
I often say that the reason I read so much YA is that as a wife and mother and someone closer to 40 than she cares to admit, I don't want to read about my problems. But every once in a while, I find a book that reminds me that being a grown up isn't all that bad.
And if there happens to be a guitar thrown in the mix somewhere, all the better.