Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Date: July 05, 2011
Age:12 – 17 years
ABOUT: (from Borders)
Teenaged Paisley Tillery dreams a career as a professional drummer will take her out of her small Texas town, but when her country rock band gets a handsome new lead singer from Paradise, Texas, those dreams may change.
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.
First off, I would like to Thank Jen for including me in her ARC Tour of Paradise. I had not read any reviews for it before I got Paradise and I am really glad I didn’t. Reading what other bloggers had to say may have warped my perspective a little bit with this book. I really didn’t know what to expect from the cover and the title. I am really bad about taking a lot about a book from the first glance. I really liked the rural setting and the characters from the start. I found myself smirking and laughing a little bit right along with them, that is how real the characters were to me.
One thing that I really liked about this book is that even though the main story was focused on Paisley and Paradise, I could not help but really get into Waylon, Cal, Levi and Gabe (Paradise). I found the stories of Paisley’s family even intriguing. Paradise wasn’t a typical teen romance for me. There were no pretty, popular girls to compete with, no triangles, nothing supernatural. Just a country girl knowing her dream and working her tail off to achieve it. What happens along the way is just extra, even though it makes for a great story.
So, here’s what I loved…I loved that even though Paisley was the main in the story, there were so many interesting stories that surrounded her. Her story was really built up by the stories of each of her band mates and her family. It was all so connected and so fluid. It really made it easy to become immersed into this little Texas town. As much as I enjoyed Paisley and Paradise, I have to say that Paisley’s mother’s story really got me. Maybe it is because I am a parent. Maybe it is because I can relate to wanting more for your kids. I was able to take this story and turn it on myself. Do I push my kids too hard? Do I push too much of what I want onto them? Did I stop living my life to live my kids’ life? Why do I want “more” for them? What is it that I ‘don’t’ want for them? Am I allowing them to grow into who they really are or growing them into who I think they should be? It was really an eye opener for me. This is why, as a parent, I really enjoy YA. I learn a lot from it. I find there is something that I can take and turn into dialog to communicate with my teen and tween. Sometimes I even learn from it (just proving old dogs can learn new tricks).
What I didn’t love…I thought the cover wasn’t good enough for the story. While it was a great cover, I felt it was too summer lusty, didn’t really capture the characters or the story. Not enough edge for the book.
What I REALLY didn’t love (but really did)…the ending. I felt cheated, angry, defeated. I mean this is the most complementing way to Jill Alexander. That was a story.
I hope you enjoy Paradise as much as I did. I can honestly tell you, I am still turning the story over in my mind.