A love story. But someone pressed the pause button.
Daniel saw Casey for the first time the first day of classes their senior year in high school. Well, really saw her. There was attraction there but they struggle with their differences. The two create a song for a school event and find that they can write good music together. College separates them by distance yet they try to maintain a relationship. They write a few more songs, hit songs. Finally Daniel decides he has to try to make a name for himself in the music industry in New York. Life for each of them goes on. She marries the rich college football quarterback. He ends up writing songs for a kids' television show. He'd dated, even been engaged once. Then he's fired. He'd heard from a friend that Casey had divorced. His heart still longed for her. He knew they could make beautiful music together. Was there even a chance?
The authors use flash backs to take us along in the present while giving us the background of the last seventeen years. Theirs was a rough relationship, knowing they should be together but having so many impediments in the way. This is a novel of second changes, of remaining faithful to a dream even when it seems all is lost.
I am sure people interested in music, who listen to popular songs, will enjoy this book. While it does not reveal anything about the music industry, it does show the struggles musicians have to “make it” in the industry. It seems a certain chemistry is needed to compose a winning song. For me, the getting together to write a song, having a tiff, going apart – that was a bit repetitive.
There is a little mention of God and going to church but there is also mentions of swearing and lots of beer drinking by Daniel. I know, the Christian message does not have to be overt in every novel, but this one does come under the “Christian” imprint of Simon & Schuster, Howard Books. I would think there should be something Christian about it.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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Review 2 for Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not? - eBook
As a country music fan, I was immediately intrigued by a novel based off of the hit song "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" Thompson Square and Travis Thrasher collaborate to bring the catchy hit song to life. The song "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" is catchy and uptempo, but the novel offers more depth and drama with the classic elements of a country song: love and heartbreak.
Daniel and Casey's love story takes a long and winding road to fruition. After their initial high school and college relationship, Daniel and Casey's path diverge but continue to intersect through music. Their bond is undeniable, but their choices pull them apart for years and lead them to heartache. Daniel's dependence on Casey becomes heartbreaking midway the novel. Present day finds him in his mid-thirties with mostly unfulfilled dreams; dreams that he doesn't believe he can achieve without Casey. It is sad to watch Daniel stall his life while Casey moves on, even though satisfaction remains elusive for her as well. At times, I had difficulty connecting to either character. The last few chapters switched to first-person perspective, which I enjoyed more than the third person. The plot relies heavily on the emotional journeys of Daniel and Casey. As a reader, emotions resonate with me more when told in first-person.
Thompson Square lends an authentic country and creative flair to the novel, with unique chapter titles and verses of original songs to begin certain chapters. I enjoyed the beginning and ending portions of "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" The novel comes full circle in a sweet closing scene, and wraps up nicely in the epilogue clearly inspired by verses of the song. The next time I hear "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" on the radio, I will listen to it with a backstory that makes it more than just a catchy tune.
I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from NetGalley, courtesy of Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”