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Sometime After Midnight

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#AlexFromTarget meets queer Prince Charming in this glittering romcom following a teen music prodigy and the handsome socialite who unwittingly turns him into an internet sensation. In a dingy Los Angeles club late one night, Cameron and Nate meet and find they have much more in common than their love of an obscure indie band. But when Nate learns that Cameron is the heir t #AlexFromTarget meets queer Prince Charming in this glittering romcom following a teen music prodigy and the handsome socialite who unwittingly turns him into an internet sensation. In a dingy Los Angeles club late one night, Cameron and Nate meet and find they have much more in common than their love of an obscure indie band. But when Nate learns that Cameron is the heir to a record label, the very one that destroyed his father's life, he runs away as fast as he can. The only evidence of their brief but intense connection is a blurry photo Cameron snaps of Nate's Sharpie-decorated Chuck Taylors as he flees. Considering that Cameron is a real life Prince Charming--he's handsome, famous, and rich--it's only fitting that he sets out to find the owner of the Sharpied shoes. Cameron's twin sister, a model and socialite, posts the picture of Nate's shoes on Instagram to her legions of fans with the caption, "Anyone know the gorgeous owner of these shoes? My hottie brother is looking for him." The internet just about breaks with the news of a modern fairy tale and the two become entwined in each other's lives in this sparkling story about the power of music, the demons that haunt us, and the flutterings of first real love.


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#AlexFromTarget meets queer Prince Charming in this glittering romcom following a teen music prodigy and the handsome socialite who unwittingly turns him into an internet sensation. In a dingy Los Angeles club late one night, Cameron and Nate meet and find they have much more in common than their love of an obscure indie band. But when Nate learns that Cameron is the heir t #AlexFromTarget meets queer Prince Charming in this glittering romcom following a teen music prodigy and the handsome socialite who unwittingly turns him into an internet sensation. In a dingy Los Angeles club late one night, Cameron and Nate meet and find they have much more in common than their love of an obscure indie band. But when Nate learns that Cameron is the heir to a record label, the very one that destroyed his father's life, he runs away as fast as he can. The only evidence of their brief but intense connection is a blurry photo Cameron snaps of Nate's Sharpie-decorated Chuck Taylors as he flees. Considering that Cameron is a real life Prince Charming--he's handsome, famous, and rich--it's only fitting that he sets out to find the owner of the Sharpied shoes. Cameron's twin sister, a model and socialite, posts the picture of Nate's shoes on Instagram to her legions of fans with the caption, "Anyone know the gorgeous owner of these shoes? My hottie brother is looking for him." The internet just about breaks with the news of a modern fairy tale and the two become entwined in each other's lives in this sparkling story about the power of music, the demons that haunt us, and the flutterings of first real love.

30 review for Sometime After Midnight

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sana

    a modern m/m Cinderella retelling AHHHHHH this sounds so cute i might die. And Cinderella was and will always be my favorite Disney movie. Im so damn excited for this my hands are SHAKING

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brooke — brooklynnnnereads

    This was the perfect "Cinderfella" novel that I didn't know I wanted! I didn't really know what to expect with this read and I'm happily pleased with it. This was a cute and fun read but actually incorporated quite a bit of heavy content. Prior to reading this novel, I had predicted that this would be an emotional read thinking that it would be a coming out story. That actually was not the emotional part because these characters were both actively out. I don't know why but I actually really enjo This was the perfect "Cinderfella" novel that I didn't know I wanted! I didn't really know what to expect with this read and I'm happily pleased with it. This was a cute and fun read but actually incorporated quite a bit of heavy content. Prior to reading this novel, I had predicted that this would be an emotional read thinking that it would be a coming out story. That actually was not the emotional part because these characters were both actively out. I don't know why but I actually really enjoyed that aspect in this novel. By making it less of an 'event', readers saw more of the side of acceptance from family and friends. I'm not saying that the characters didn't face those emotions when they came out but this story was not centred around that or in that timeline. I hope that makes sense and I'm not offending anyone, I'm just saying that I like how that this story didn't focus solely around being a coming out story. I also really liked the two main characters (along with side characters). I liked their personalities, their authenticity, and the fact that along with them both being mature they did keep some characteristics of a teenager. The writing style was beautiful, it flowed, and was easy to keep reading without wanting to put the book down. I definitely will be looking for more written by this author as the style was just so pleasing to read. I definitely will be recommending this book to others. It was such a quick-paced read that would be perfect for the summer (or anytime really). I do have to make the recommendation and comparison that for those that like Sarah Dessen's novels, check this one out. For me, who loves Sarah Dessen, the writing style was similar but the main characters for this novel are male instead of Sarah Dessen's typical female main characters. A sidenote that I have to mention because I really appreciate it as a reader, I love the cover! It's not the typical 'stock photo' that doesn't relate to the story. This cover is uniquely related to the story and I love that. Well done! ***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review***

  3. 4 out of 5

    - ̗̀ DANY ̖́- (danyreads)

    . : ☾⋆ — 4 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!! https://bit.ly/2wmj2XC girls don’t like boys, girls like SLOW BURN SHIPS AND EXTREMELY WELL DEVELOPED CHARACTERS WITH PALPABLE, UNMISTAKEABLE, TANGIBLE CHEMISTRY !!!!!!!!! dear God, this book was so much more than i bargained for in the best possible way. Sometime After Midnight is definitely the kind of book to read when you’re in a mood so specific that i hardly even know what i should call it. if you’re ever feeling sad and want a warm hug. if you’re f . : ☾⋆ — 4 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!! https://bit.ly/2wmj2XC girls don’t like boys, girls like SLOW BURN SHIPS AND EXTREMELY WELL DEVELOPED CHARACTERS WITH PALPABLE, UNMISTAKEABLE, TANGIBLE CHEMISTRY !!!!!!!!! dear God, this book was so much more than i bargained for in the best possible way. Sometime After Midnight is definitely the kind of book to read when you’re in a mood so specific that i hardly even know what i should call it. if you’re ever feeling sad and want a warm hug. if you’re feeling silly and want a good laugh. if you’re a hopeless romantic. if you like old music. if you want something full to the very brim with the most wholesome and pure tropes in the world. most importantly though!! if you like complex, well fleshed characters and also a whole lot of deep stuff that you definitely won’t expect coming from such a seemingly innocent YA, gay Cinderella/Romeo & Juliet retelling. this book wasn’t perfect, but i really did have a blast reading it and i’m always down for cute, uplifting romance books. i don’t really think there’s too much i can say at this point because i’m still trying to process those last few chapters but i genuinely wasn’t expecting this book to be one of my favorites of the year (so far) but here we are!! and i’m having the time of my life baby!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Teal

    Not the right book for me. DNF @ 20%

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    This book was exactly what I wanted it to be - sweet, funny, well-written, and full of music that made me want to plug in my headphones and fall into the melodies and lyrics that move me. It reminded me occasionally of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, but it had a lovely Cinderella-feel all its own. Both boys are adorable, the sidekicks are wonderful, and it just makes you smile. And let me just say that when I'm willing to stay up to finish a teen-centric novel sometime after midnight (see w This book was exactly what I wanted it to be - sweet, funny, well-written, and full of music that made me want to plug in my headphones and fall into the melodies and lyrics that move me. It reminded me occasionally of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, but it had a lovely Cinderella-feel all its own. Both boys are adorable, the sidekicks are wonderful, and it just makes you smile. And let me just say that when I'm willing to stay up to finish a teen-centric novel sometime after midnight (see what I did there?), that's about the highest praise I can give.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sam L.

    It wasn't as good as L. Philips's Perfect Ten, but I still enjoyed it. No regrets in reading it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kathy - Books & Munches

    It's hard to figure out where to start my review on this one because there are so many things I liked about it. I read this book of nearly 400 pages in barely two days. I couldn't stop reading. The story simply flowed and I loved that. Then we have our two main characters, Nate and Cameron. Sometime After Midnight is written from both their perspectives and that adds so much to the story. We see how Nate struggles with losing his father, how that impacts his views, principles and overall character It's hard to figure out where to start my review on this one because there are so many things I liked about it. I read this book of nearly 400 pages in barely two days. I couldn't stop reading. The story simply flowed and I loved that. Then we have our two main characters, Nate and Cameron. Sometime After Midnight is written from both their perspectives and that adds so much to the story. We see how Nate struggles with losing his father, how that impacts his views, principles and overall character. He's still grieving and dealing with everything. I really believe it's portrayed well. As for Cameron, he isn't the snobbish rich kid I expected him to be. He's quite grown-up and knows what he wants. Although, I have to admit, there are some moments where he goes spoiled and rich all the way but when you've grown up like that.. I guess it's hard not to act like it sometimes as well. Overall I simply liked how their relationship came to be, grew and how they found their spots in life. Of course I have to mention the LGBTQIA+ factor in this story. Especially since Cameron's a celebrity and his sexuality is simply accepted. Same goes for Nate. There's no homophobia whatsoever in this story which might make it a bit unrealistic since it's celebrities we're talking about but.. Let's just say it gave me hope for a better world than the one we live in today! I also adored the musical aspect of this story. The author's musical knowledge really came forward and even made me look up some of the artists mentioned because why not?! I did miss a couple of things in this story though. Overall I liked the characters, but they still felt flat to me as well. I loved the story, but I simply wasn't really interested in getting to know our characters better than I did? I just wanted to know how the story went - if you get what I mean. Another thing I only thought of a couple of days after finishing this book is how the characters actually had it.. pretty easy at the end of the story? Maybe throughout the entire story, in a way. Some things got wrapped up very easily, things I expected more of a struggle with. Maybe that would've made the ending more heart-felt. Even though there are some things I didn't like, I did absolutely love reading this story. I flew through it. It's a cute, fluffy and light gay romance - which I was simply so in the mood for anyway! Definitely makes me go easy on the rating this time, haha. 4,5 / 5! Kathy

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Who Reads

    4.5 stars Hot damn. This book was great. It was wonderful. It was such a lovely twist on tropes that are nearing the end of their lifespan. I really enjoyed reading this one, and it was such a bundle of fun, I couldn't help but enjoy. It was like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, but better and wayyy more queer. It was more exciting, less try-hard-quirky, and had enough tropes to pull you in but not too much to push you out. I mean, this was basically made for me. It combines all my favorite tropes 4.5 stars Hot damn. This book was great. It was wonderful. It was such a lovely twist on tropes that are nearing the end of their lifespan. I really enjoyed reading this one, and it was such a bundle of fun, I couldn't help but enjoy. It was like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, but better and wayyy more queer. It was more exciting, less try-hard-quirky, and had enough tropes to pull you in but not too much to push you out. I mean, this was basically made for me. It combines all my favorite tropes (Cinderella? Check! Famous person? Check!) and is diverse feat. LGBTQ+ main characters. There had to be something large and terrible happen to make me not like this book, and I'm glad to say that didn't happen and I ended up enjoying it. It felt clean and polished--I actually enjoyed how well Philips wrapped up the ending and worked to make it all fall together even though I'm notorious for disliking the endings to contemporaries--but with enough grit & dark background to make the cover seem fitting. I like how Philips incorporated the background little by little. At first it's just like a Cinderella story (or, should I say CinderFELLA story), but then Philips adds the layers to Nate & Cameron's respective pasts. You find out more and more about what happened with Nate's dad and Cameron's father's record company (without any flashbacks, I might add) and it all was incorporated very naturally. I love how Philips added this twist on the story, because honestly there's not a lot to the Cinderella trope and you need a little more substance to keep it afloat, else your book could be summed up in a 10 page children's board book. Similarly, Philips did a nice job of developing the characters. I liked both Nate and Cameron's characters and I thought Philips managed to shape their present thought processes and actions well based on the things they experienced in their past and the way they grew up. In the end, the only thing I wasn't too fond of was the romance. In my opinion, when Philips added more about their background, it kind of took up more page-time than the actual romance between Nate and Cameron. We ended up focusing a lot on them getting over their past issues rather than them bonding romantically, so it did feel a little insta-lovey to me. Nate and Cameron bonded a lot over their love for music and they music they played together, and I felt like that dominated the actual romance. I'm not actually sure they could end up being really great romantic partners, but I don't think that was Philips' end goal for this story, so it didn't matter to me. This is more of a book about finding your way to another person and overcoming your past to potentially lead to something great and amazing. I have to admit, I was definitely turned off a little by the cover, but the description (and the book) totally won me over. Ignore the cover if you need to. Just read this book! Overall, I really enjoyed reading and found Sometime After Midnight to be a refreshing twist on some of my favorite tropes. There was nothing I explicitly didn't like, and I think this book definitely deserves a lot more love & buzz. If you're looking for a book featuring the indie music scene, a modern twist on the Cinderella trope, and/or queer boys falling in love, I definitely recommend you check this one out! Thank you so much to Penguin & Edelweiss for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review! Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  9. 5 out of 5

    K8

    I have zero strong feelings here. Who’s it about? Nate, son of a talented guitar player, and Cameron, son of a record label. Where’s it set? Los Angeles What’s it about? Nate is the son of a legendary guitar player who never managed to release an album before the pressure of his record label, Paradise, allegedly drove him to suicide. Cameron is the son of Paradise's president and harbours a dream of singing professionally. The two meet by chance and find their music styles perfectly align. Romance Fact I have zero strong feelings here. Who’s it about? Nate, son of a talented guitar player, and Cameron, son of a record label. Where’s it set? Los Angeles What’s it about? Nate is the son of a legendary guitar player who never managed to release an album before the pressure of his record label, Paradise, allegedly drove him to suicide. Cameron is the son of Paradise's president and harbours a dream of singing professionally. The two meet by chance and find their music styles perfectly align. Romance Factor Fluffy, sweet, they talk things out a lot. It's a little instalove-y, but almost acceptable considering their work on something rather intimate — their music — together. Highs Cute, non-stressful, everything wraps up nicely. Lows Written by an (afaik) straight woman, some prose issues, the instalove, might be too laidback for some. Writing Style Readable and occasionally funny. There's some issues in terms of filter words, but they don't do any heavy damage. The author's biggest sin is constantly comparing characters to celebrities and describing music styles as a+b=c. I could understand describing Cameron as "Elvis and Jack Kennedy’s love child" but throwing it in for meaningless side characters is annoying. The same goes for music descriptions. She's capable of decent descriptions — He’s got a voice that’s just otherworldly. It makes me picture things like angels ice-skating, or Pan’s hypnotic flute — but mostly it's a lot of: “See? You get it. Marvin Gaye meets the Beach Boys meets Bob Dylan. But modern, so . . .” “So . . .” I think. “Adele meets Jack Johnson meets the Avett Brothers.” It's bleh. Vibes Sweet, but generic. Feels a little like reading m/m fanfic by a girl who mostly knows how to stay in her own lane. Representation and Social Issues The author never tries to awkwardly incorporate any homophobia. It's very much escapism, something sweet and light. There's some healthy discussion of mental illness without demonizing it. "Evil" step-mother isn't a bad person, more healthy discussion there. But man, there are NO characters of colour. None! Friggin' none! Not even as a best friend or in the other bands. Yiiikes. Thoughts I really don't have any heavy thoughts here. It's a sweet, untaxing read, but might elicit some eye rolls. My only real complaints are the comparisons when it comes to musical and character descriptions, the instalove, and the lack of representation. Is it fun? I wouldn't say it's fun, but if it's your cup of tea, it might be something nice to take a break with between heavier reads. Worth Reading? Do you like sweet gay romances? Then probably.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kaitie

    This has the potential to be an amazing story and instead fell flat for me. While I did like the concept, I felt as though the delivery was lack luster. I didn't love any of the characters and there needed to be more kissing. None of the plot lines ever truly felt like the got wrapped up, and I felt that everything was too easy for the characters, especially towards the end. Overall not terrible, but a disappointment nonetheless.

  11. 4 out of 5

    kory.

    I was expecting to love this because how could a modern Cinderella story with two guys, that's been compared to a book I remember enjoying go wrong? Sit tight and let me tell ya. Trigger/content warnings for slight stalking, doxxing, ableism, fatphobia, toxic masculinity, discussions and descriptions of suicide Nate I cannot stand Nate. I'm supposed to feel for him and root for him and love him, but he's just such an asshole. Sorry, but the fact that his dad committed suicide doesn't give him a pa I was expecting to love this because how could a modern Cinderella story with two guys, that's been compared to a book I remember enjoying go wrong? Sit tight and let me tell ya. Trigger/content warnings for slight stalking, doxxing, ableism, fatphobia, toxic masculinity, discussions and descriptions of suicide Nate I cannot stand Nate. I'm supposed to feel for him and root for him and love him, but he's just such an asshole. Sorry, but the fact that his dad committed suicide doesn't give him a pass for treating people like garbage. He thinks that Cam's father pretty much told his father to kill himself, so he takes it out on Cam. Who was like nine or ten at the time. Because that's fair. He literally says, "he might as well have pushed my dad off that balcony" like, come on, he didn't even know the entire story. And beyond blaming Cam for what he assumes Cam's father did, he treats Cam like shit because of what Cam's sister did. She posted the photo of Nate's shoes on Twitter where she has millions of followers, which caused him to be stalked and doxxed. Does he get mad at the people who doxxed him? The person who posted the photo? No, he gets mad at the person who had nothing to do with it, and who was horrified when he found out about it because he knew what would happen. Nate goes on and on about how he should hate Cam and not even give him the time of day, and I just? HE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING TO NATE. And throughout the entire book, everyone validates Nate's unjustified dislike and anger towards Cam for things he didn't do, and makes Cam feel guilty and like he has to make up or apologize for things he didn't do. Along with treating Cam like trash for things he didn't do, Nate is just so fucking bitter. He doesn't have the life and things and money that Cam does and boy, he never lets anyone fucking forget it. Nate makes a comment about how maybe he should call Cam "Sir" or "Lord" or maybe "His Majesty" might be more fitting, he makes a dig about how it must be nice to be Cam and have silver spoons and hot guys just because of his last name, he thinks about how even with all Cam's privilege maybe there's "something genuine in him", Nate thinks the guards at Cam's house are to keep out those "not deemed worthy" rather than just you know strangers and criminals and the like, and Nate tells Cam that he doesn't understand how Cam isn't a selfish person when he has cars and houses and a staff. When Cam is insecure about his singing Nate mocks him for wanting an "ego stroke" when he has good looks, a huge house, and his family's company, he tells Cam that with is family's legacy whether or not he has talent doesn't matter, and then goes on a jealous, angry rant about how Cam isn't allowed to be insecure because he has fame and money and good looks and nice things. Nate and Cam's relationship can be summed with this line from Cam: "I don't know how to ask forgiveness for something I didn't do." And the whole book, really, could be summed up with: Nate is a douchebag and everyone tells him how great he is. Tess Tess, Cam's sister, is another character I cannot stand. I get the feeling I'm also supposed to like her for her take charge attitude and slight feminist overtones, but she's awful. I hate every scene she's in. She is the epitome of "loved one controls and manipulates and forces main character to do things and it's okay because they're just worried and want the best for them" which I can't fucking stand. First, she posts the photo of Nate on her Twitter, apparently not knowing what would happen with her nearly 40 million follower count, even though later when paparazzi won't leave Nate alone she's all "well it's part of the life, what can you expect" *shrug*. Then she sets up the meeting for Cam's demo without even consulting him and forces him into without any preparation. Then she posts him singing on Instagram, again, without his permission. When he tells her to stop posting about him because it's too personal, she calls him uptight and defends her actions by saying she wouldn't have to if he had his own account. Then she decides he's going on tour without caring for his thoughts or input. She defends her actions again by saying she's just worried that if she doesn't "push" he'll never do it. But there's a difference between giving someone a nudge and forcing their hand. She also mentions snooping through his belongings and reading his lyrics AND looking through his phone. When Nate comes by to ask about the audition, she sits in and basically mediates and supervises their conversation, telling them what to do and when to hang out. And not only does she get information on Cam's plans through the staff, she also shares his plans with ~daddy. When Cam tells her that he doesn't like her being in charge, she immediately accuses him of being sexist, when in reality, he was talking about how they've always been in together, on equal terms and now suddenly she's controlling every aspect of his life. When Cam and Nate start working together, Tess' advice is to show Nate who is in control, that it's how ~daddy would do it, and that Nate needs to know Cam is in charge from the start. And I just...fucking ew? That shit is the reason no one fucking likes your ~daddy and he's lacking in the personal relationship department, but sure keep romanticizing and idolizing him and his way of doing things, Tess. And there's a line where Cam says that Tess is the only person he can be honest with and that "most of the time she doesn't abuse it" and you're telling me I'm supposed to like her? She schemes and manipulates and controls and is way too invested in her brother's life and thinks "I'm just worried" is an excuse for all of it. Fatphobia There's quite a bit of comments and lines throughout the book that strike me as fatphobic. First we have Nate's best friend, Vic, who is fat. I swear every single he is in a scene or just mentioned, his weight/appearance/eating habits are mentioned. He's described as an overweight and puffier version of Al Pacino TWICE, having a considerable gut, never passing up a burger, not going easy on slushie drinks, eating nothing but carbs and junk food, and likely to have a heart attack. There are a couple scenes where he's either running or walking at a faster pace with Nate and only Vic is described as bending in half to catch his breath, panting, wheezing, and even just noted as being able to keep up with Nate's quick pace. There's also a line where Vic asks Nate to put in a good word for him with Cam's sister and Nate rolls his eyes and tells him get real. Other moments that I found...iffy are when Cam's few gained pounds are specifically stressed to be muscle, as if otherwise is bad or shameful, and when Tess lowkey body shames Cam by telling him not to eat Pop Tarts or doughnuts because they've already had his suits tailored to his current waistline. Ableism Ableist language/slurs. Using disabilities and mental illnesses as metaphors. Nate and Cam listen to Nate's father's recordings, which were at the worst of his mental illness, and they're both like, "it makes me feel cr*zy". Tess says she doesn't want Cam to end up like their dad, or worse, their mom, who barely leaves the house. Their mom isn't really in the story, nor is her reasoning for not leaving the house that often, other than a sort of throwaway comment about her not being able to handle the fame and paparazzi anymore. But not leaving your home isn't a the worst fate you could have. A lot of people can't leave their homes for many disability and mental illness related reasons. So, for Tess to be like, "don't be like mom, she doesn't leave the house" is shitty. Nate thinks ending up like his father (who was suspected to have Schizophrenia) is terrifying. And while it's not like people should strive or hope for having mental illnesses and Nate's father killed himself so it's not a possibility Nate would take lightly, Schizophrenia is already one of the mental illnesses that people see as scary, so this line really just strikes me as irresponsible and harmful. And then this: "I mean, look at people like Nick Cave or Tom Waits. Look at how dark they get sometimes. Your dad could have been known for this, and maybe people would have started to understand what he was going through and they would have accepted it. Maybe even thought it was incredibly cool." This line feels incredibly inappropriate. Not only is there the romanticizing mental illness aspect of it with the idea that music created during someone's absolute lowest, worst moments mentally can be cool, edgy music, but it has a "pain equals good art" vibe. Mental illnesses are not cool. Mental illnesses are not fodder for dark, edgy art. And people don't have to turn their pain and lowest moments into something for other people to consume and pick apart or glorify. Nate's father's recordings were not the product of his underappreciated genius, like Nate and Cam think. They were the product of his undiagnosed/treated mental illness. The fact that the narrative tells me that Cam's father was wrong to hide the tapes and say they're unlistenable is mind boggling. To either release or glorify or idolize what is on those tapes is so exploitative and toxic. Those tapes aren't from the mind of someone who truly gets music and has a talent like no other, they're from the mind of someone who was suffering and needed help he never got. The music someone made in the mindset that lead them to smile as they jumped to their death is not music you should be putting a romantic or glorified spin on. (This is just a contradictory annoyance, but when Nate first listens to the tapes he says that Cam's father is right, that no one would listen to them, but like a couple lines later and then for the rest of the book he's saying Cam's father is wrong and the tapes are genius. So...what is the truth?) Music Snobbery I don't think I've ever read a book based around music that isn't pretentious and snobby as fuck. There's a lot of ideas about what "real music" is, lots of shaming and attacking certain kinds of music and artists, and just a general belief that the kind of music you like or create makes you either superior or inferior. Other Some problematic lines regarding sexuality, such as "swings both ways" and stereotyping gay guys as loving show tunes, and a character not being able to tell if a a guy is "gay or not" as if those are the only options and as if that's something you can truly tell just by looking at or talking to someone. Some examples of toxic masculinity, such as the colors of Cam's bedroom being described as "masculine" and Nate saying a certain wine flavor is "girly" because it's fruity and flowery. The book is super white? I don't think there's a single instance of a person of color ever appearing? Cam pulls a stalker routine with Nate at one point. Nate doesn't call or text, so Cam "out of worry" texts his best friend and when that's a bust he tracks down another of Nate's friends to see if Nate's with him and then begs for the location where Nate actually is, and then he shows up there. And when Nate hears all this and is like, "so you drove six hours today to find me?" Cam's response is, "I told you. I'm Christian Grey. I mean, I hope I come off a little less controlling and stalkery, but I worry, and I have resources and plenty of money, so I can pretty much find anyone I care about if I need to." I mean, THAT'S NOT CREEPY AT ALL. Christian Grey, who Cam does compare himself to previously...YIKES, is not someone you want your significant other comparing themselves to. Ever. In any capacity. And your significant other basically telling you that they will always be able to find you no matter what is fucking creepy and stalkery and controlling. Hard Fucking Pass. Overall I went into this book thinking I'd love it. It had the makings for a book I'd love. And I went into this review thinking I'd give it two stars, because there are a few things I liked. Such as Cam's father and Nate's stepmother turning out to not be awful people after all, Nate and his stepmother's talk toward the end, Cam's father saying that after Nate's father's suicide they made their artists' mental health a priority and talked about how the business is a lot of pressure and can exacerbate their illnesses, the character Travis, how there isn't a single drop of homophobia directed at the main characters from anyone, and how much of an easy, quick read this is. BUT. Writing this review makes me realize how big the issues I have with the book are and how the things I like don't even slightly come close to making this book deserve two stars.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    this was basically fanfiction that fifteen year old me would have LOVED so I'm not mad about it

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sam Barnes

    wow... this was everything i wanted. i loved how l philips explored deeper topics in this book, and i’m so incredibly excited for her next book. my only problem was that i feel like problems were resolved a bit too easily, but i’m happy too let that slide because the book was so goddamn cute.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Chambers

    Aw, this book was so cute. I really, really loved Nate and Cameron. They were both so adorable and geeky. The one problem I had with the book is a fault of my own. I have zero knowledge of music and there is a lot of music references and talk in this book. So, therefore, a lot of those parts went over my head. But the character and main story were good enough that I still loved the book. I was happy about the lgbt representation in this book. I was pleasantly surprised about mental illness being Aw, this book was so cute. I really, really loved Nate and Cameron. They were both so adorable and geeky. The one problem I had with the book is a fault of my own. I have zero knowledge of music and there is a lot of music references and talk in this book. So, therefore, a lot of those parts went over my head. But the character and main story were good enough that I still loved the book. I was happy about the lgbt representation in this book. I was pleasantly surprised about mental illness being discussed and addressed. The author did a good job handling the topic.

  15. 4 out of 5

    no

    DNF because the writing is so bad jsfgsjdfhsdja

  16. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Propongo que se le cambie el título a este libro a: Cómo arruinar una idea de plot interesante en 300+ páginas, en serio, es uno de los libros más malos que me he leído en el año, y yo tenía tantas esperanzas porque sonaba tan cute. Mis notas: - La parte de cenicienta termina demasiado rápido - Ningún personaje tiene características de personalidad que lo distingan, todos suenan igual - El diálogo es torpe y definitivamente no como hablan los adolescentes - Tantas decisiones que no tienen sentido - Propongo que se le cambie el título a este libro a: Cómo arruinar una idea de plot interesante en 300+ páginas, en serio, es uno de los libros más malos que me he leído en el año, y yo tenía tantas esperanzas porque sonaba tan cute. Mis notas: - La parte de cenicienta termina demasiado rápido - Ningún personaje tiene características de personalidad que lo distingan, todos suenan igual - El diálogo es torpe y definitivamente no como hablan los adolescentes - Tantas decisiones que no tienen sentido - No. Hay. Madrastra. Malvada - No, en serio, me molestó que no hubiera madrastra malvada y más aún porque el principal ("cenicienta") se pasaba quejando que la madrastra le hacía la vida imposible pero la mujer no se aparece por casi 89% el libro, además ella se hizo cargo de él después de que se murió el papá y hasta le dio trabajo, pero ella es el diablo?¿ - Después de que acaba el plot de cenicienta  (A LA MITAD DEL LIBRO) se vuelve aburridísimo, todo este libro podría haber acabado en 150 páginas pero por alguna razón la autora decidió alargarlo por 200 páginas más - La autora NO sabe cómo funciona la industria de la música, parece más como un fanfic escrito por una niña de 15 años que buscó una vez en google y se dio por satisfecha - Los personajes son unos completos snobs de la música, se la pasan insultando a otros cantantes que nos les parece que sean lo suficientemente "buenos". Porque al parecer lo único bueno es Metallica y Pearl Jam y que se joda todo lo demás - Y, lo más importante, para ser un "romance" en ningún momento sentí que la pareja debía estar junta? Todo se sentía tan plástico, no había química entre los personajes, no había una razón real para estar juntos, solo por que la autora dice que sí. Además es SÚPER instalove.

  17. 5 out of 5

    love, trish

    maybe i’m crying

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luke Reynolds

    ARC Review (6/3/18, received courtesy of Sarah Prineas) There was this moment where Nate wanted to go into hiding because the paparazzi attention was too much after the show picture went viral, and I had to put the book down because that didn’t make sense to me at all. How does he so easily become a roadie for a band after that? I feel like this book didn’t have the most realistic portrayal of the music industry, but you win some, you lose some, I guess. There was also some feint judgmental toward ARC Review (6/3/18, received courtesy of Sarah Prineas) There was this moment where Nate wanted to go into hiding because the paparazzi attention was too much after the show picture went viral, and I had to put the book down because that didn’t make sense to me at all. How does he so easily become a roadie for a band after that? I feel like this book didn’t have the most realistic portrayal of the music industry, but you win some, you lose some, I guess. There was also some feint judgmental towards women lines that could’ve been removed from the advance copy. Also, the Cinderella-ish stuff happened already. Now what? I think L. Philips has the perfect style for a short story, but getting a taste of this novel showed conflict kind of getting resolved early and then other stuff. Appreciated the music geekery, even though I didn’t get all of the references, but some of the writing and the portrayal of the music business felt off.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zoe T

    Realistically probably a 2.5 or so - it’s essentially a competently written Disney Channel Original Movie with a little more rl serious aspects. I think my problem is that it didn’t actually feel like a book about music although that was ostensibly what it’s largely about - musician names are dropped like buzzwords but nothing ever gets delved into deeply. In general it felt very pretty but not deep at all, with pretty much all of the characters being extremely one dimensional, including the pro Realistically probably a 2.5 or so - it’s essentially a competently written Disney Channel Original Movie with a little more rl serious aspects. I think my problem is that it didn’t actually feel like a book about music although that was ostensibly what it’s largely about - musician names are dropped like buzzwords but nothing ever gets delved into deeply. In general it felt very pretty but not deep at all, with pretty much all of the characters being extremely one dimensional, including the protagonists. I had much more interest in some of the side characters. Honestly i think the book maybe didn’t commit hard enough to the Cinderella pastiche - when it decided to delve into more serious territory it lost some of the charm and it wasn’t written at a level equal to its eventual themes. I am serious about it being a DCOM, though, I’d absolutely watch a movie of this.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristel

    “I like romance.” Victor merely shakes his head. “No, you don’t. You like structure, and stability, and a good dose of all those things practical.” PLOT --- As much as it was introduced as a sort of Cinderella retelling, this had only the fact that they met, connected, and then one left leaving behind only the picture of his shoes. The rest was so far from being similar to Cinderella that I forgot about it. Nate and Cameron’s story about how they met, how Nate starts avoiding Cameron after learning “I like romance.” Victor merely shakes his head. “No, you don’t. You like structure, and stability, and a good dose of all those things practical.” PLOT --- As much as it was introduced as a sort of Cinderella retelling, this had only the fact that they met, connected, and then one left leaving behind only the picture of his shoes. The rest was so far from being similar to Cinderella that I forgot about it. Nate and Cameron’s story about how they met, how Nate starts avoiding Cameron after learning who he is, and with Cameron having a dream and knowing that Nate is the key of it coming true, is well written and I thought it had a lot of great elements that didn’t drag the story and delivered what it promised. CHARACTERS --- Nate was a little bit overdramatic and didn’t allow his reason to see what was right in front of him. I could forgive that because all the scenes where we had him and Cameron making music, were so sweet, deep and emotional that I forgot he was been unreasonable the scene before. Cameron from his part is an adorable young man; fresh out of high school, he is supposed to take over the family business, but he has dreams of his own and the fateful meeting with Nate will allow him to wish for more out of his life. It’s like he planned this to torture me. And damned if it won’t be the best kind of torture ever. THOUGHTS --- While I was certain they were going to be okay in the end, the process of this love story, mixed with music and so many feelings, brought goosebumps to my skin. I learned about some bands and musicians I hadn’t heard before, so I put their songs as a background music and kept reading the book. The emotions I felt from that point on, reading the songs the boys were writing, it took me there with them, a little of a fifth wheel of a situation. This is the kind of book about music, in which music is just another character, as important as the main ones. Music raw, true, deep: the description of the music, the darkness of it, its sweetness, its power, brought tears to my eyes and my heart doubled in size. CONCLUSION --- This book was the type of sweet that gets your eyes a little teary while being a tad sad but also incredibly romantic, all without being too corny. The right amount of sappy. I just loved it and was afraid for my heart, fearing drama incoming that luckily wasn't as I expected. I had a gigantic smile when I finished the book. And that's how I love finishing books, plenty satisfied, full of joy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Yapha

    A super fun, modern retelling of Cinderella with a touch of Romeo and Juliet. When Nate meets the cute boy at the night club, he doesn't realize that it is Cameron Pierce, heir to the Pierce music dynasty. Nate always blamed Cameron's father for the destruction of his own father's musical career. As Nate runs from the scene, Cameron snaps a quick picture of Nate's sharpie decorated high tops. When Cameron's twin sister posts the picture online, the hunt for Nate begins. Told in alternating voice A super fun, modern retelling of Cinderella with a touch of Romeo and Juliet. When Nate meets the cute boy at the night club, he doesn't realize that it is Cameron Pierce, heir to the Pierce music dynasty. Nate always blamed Cameron's father for the destruction of his own father's musical career. As Nate runs from the scene, Cameron snaps a quick picture of Nate's sharpie decorated high tops. When Cameron's twin sister posts the picture online, the hunt for Nate begins. Told in alternating voices between Cameron and Nate, readers will not be able to put down this fun romance! Highly recommended for grades 9 & up.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    4 out of 5 stars Cute contemporary with a little bit of depth, I loved the idea of a "Cinderfella" story; a twist on the classic Cinderella story and an easy read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Review to come, but that was delightful

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kait(lyn) ✨

    Actual rating 3.5 RTC!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carly

    I read this book in one sitting, like skipping dinner one sitting, it was so compelling.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    Ah what a cute book! I loved the relationship between Nate and Cam. And the plot was awesome. This is another perfect summer read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    4.5 stars: Apart from the fact that their first conversation happens during a slow song at a concert (there's a special ring in hell for people who talk loudly during a ballad), this was super cute! A slow burn romance! So many music references! A fun cover and a great twist on Cinderella!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Goldstein

    This was a cute, deeply music-loving book. I appreciate how none of the parents and step-parents in this Cinderella-type tale are wicked, or ill-intentioned at all, even when they're not great. And I like how there aren't fairy godmothers who show up to fix things and disappear, but consistently supportive friends and siblings around the main characters. Really, the Cinderella part of the story is only the inciting incident, and it's very self-aware. The story after that, when the characters hav This was a cute, deeply music-loving book. I appreciate how none of the parents and step-parents in this Cinderella-type tale are wicked, or ill-intentioned at all, even when they're not great. And I like how there aren't fairy godmothers who show up to fix things and disappear, but consistently supportive friends and siblings around the main characters. Really, the Cinderella part of the story is only the inciting incident, and it's very self-aware. The story after that, when the characters have gotten over the ridiculousness of being thrown into a modern fairytale, is mostly about trying to make the resulting partnership--as much musical as it is romantic--work. Unpacking the baggage Nate and Cam each have, in relation to each other, their families, their families' shared past, their talents, the industry, the tabloids/privacy. The music and the romance both come easy to them, but there's a lot that could get in the way if they don't deal with it. Not sure how I feel about the handling of mental illness in this (none depicted, but described and discussed a lot by other characters), but at least it's very positive about any person's worth and getting help. No sex on the page, but Nate and Cam unambiguously have sex between chapters and it's not a big deal. Writing-wise, this book sometimes does that thing where the dialogue feels too on the nose and contains things a character would never say aloud (or at least not to their current interlocutor) for the sake of explaining to the audience. Otherwise I enjoyed it fine.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    Well. This book turned me into a bitter pterodactyl; I barked and squawked with exasperation more times than I could count. L. Philips has Definitely written some fan fiction in her time because this is one of the ficciest fic premises I’ve read in ages. So many elements felt heavy handed and the amount of convenient plot allowances were UNBELIEVABLE and a little bit agonizing. However. I know that 14, 15 year old me would have been allll over this. All of the precocious musical references, detai Well. This book turned me into a bitter pterodactyl; I barked and squawked with exasperation more times than I could count. L. Philips has Definitely written some fan fiction in her time because this is one of the ficciest fic premises I’ve read in ages. So many elements felt heavy handed and the amount of convenient plot allowances were UNBELIEVABLE and a little bit agonizing. However. I know that 14, 15 year old me would have been allll over this. All of the precocious musical references, detailed descriptions of outfits, and swoony romance is exactly the kind of bullshit that makes a teenager’s heart sing, and that is why I made myself finish reading. Despite the fact that the whole plot is a VERY delicate bubble in the balance of suspended disbelief, things get much more quality in the last 70 pages. It was nice to end a difficult read on an upswing for once! 3 stars, extremely YA, COMPLETELY ABSURD, and you can absolutely bet that I will booktalk the hell out of this to teens who will adore it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Kerr

    I liked this book overall. What I especially appreciated was a gay book that had nothing to do with BEING GAY. No one had a problem with the main characters being gay, they had no anxiety about being gay themselves; it was just another aspect of their lives and nothing more. And that is so refreshing to read. The story of two musicians finding their missing piece in each other was also great, as was the mystery of Nate's father's death and how Cam's family (his own father, in particular) may have I liked this book overall. What I especially appreciated was a gay book that had nothing to do with BEING GAY. No one had a problem with the main characters being gay, they had no anxiety about being gay themselves; it was just another aspect of their lives and nothing more. And that is so refreshing to read. The story of two musicians finding their missing piece in each other was also great, as was the mystery of Nate's father's death and how Cam's family (his own father, in particular) may have had a hand in it. Makes for some great non-gay-related drama, which me likes. I had two issues with the book. Well, three. The first being that some of the editing was sloppy (and I blame it a little more on editing, since the writing itself wasn't bad). One example is that in one scene, Cam thinks, "He wouldn't cross the street to spit on me if I were on fire." And in the very next scene, Nate thinks, "I wouldn't cross the street to spit on him if he was on fire." This happened several times throughout the book. The second issue was that everyone was too... wholesome? Not a single person in the entire book had any ulterior motives, and everyone did everything they said they would and was completely honest all the time. While this is very idealistic, it's not very realistic, and I kept WAITING for someone to show their true colors, to do something for their own gain... but nothing ever happened. It was all very I trust you, you trust me, everyone trusts one another, even though none of us really knows each other... which is kind of boring. I very much enjoyed the romantic storyline, but it could've used a BIT of extra drama. And thirdly... probably not going to be a POPULAR thing to say... but I felt a little hoodwinked once I found out the author was female. I have been trying to support more OWN Voices authors, and the first initial threw me enough that I didn't check to see if the author was male before buying (or starting to read) the book. The author has talent, but if I'm going to support gay books, I'd prefer to support the gays who write them when I can. Other than that, was an enjoyable book. Will likely see what else she has to offer.

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