Publication: November 4th 2013 by Cassie Shine
Source: Received from Netgalley
Series: Harp’s Song #1
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
In just a few months Harp Evans will be officially coming of age and graduating from high school. She will be free from the mother that never wanted her, the house that never felt like home, and the disappointment of the last seventeen years. What she doesn’t know is that her mother has been holding onto a secret that has the potential to derail her dreams and destroy her already faulty sense of self.
A self-proclaimed recluse, Harp spends most of her time practicing the cello, in the hopes of earning a full scholarship that will grant her freedom, but will also send her away from her best friend Connor Williams, who is becoming more than just a friend.
As revelations are made, will Harp still feel the same way about leaving everyone that cares about her behind? Or will she continue to pursue the life she’s been dreaming of, for as long as she can remember?
Everything has a rhythm…everything…There is a one-of-a-kind rhythm that belongs to you. You can’t prepare for it as hard as you might try.
Harp’s Song follows an aspiring young cellist who, for all of her life, hasn’t experienced a mother’s love. She also has to deal with her best friend’s passionate feelings for her. I really liked this novel. It was just what I needed after reading a pretty awful contemporary prior to this one.
Harp Evans is a strong and smart character. She has had a tough life with her brooding alcoholic single mother. She’s been degraded, and sometimes even physically threatened. But that doesn’t stop her from wanting a normal teenage life. She perseveres in her studies and her art which is playing the cello. She aims to go high in college as well. But of course, she doesn’t go through these issues by herself.
Connor Williams is Harp’s insanely charming best friend and also one of the school’s sought after baseball players. Translation: girls pretty much fall over his feet. Besides the blessed good looks, he’s also very loyal to his friends — a trait that I really admired — especially to Harp. He’s always been there for her in every struggle and every fight with her mother. And when no one seems to make friends with her at school.
Yeah. It’s pretty obvious he harbours amorous feelings for his best friend.
For once, I really liked a friends-turned-lovers relationship. The ones I’ve encountered previously were either awkward or unconvincing or even uninspiring. And Harp and Connor’s was very sweet and swoon-worthy, well at least for me. At first I thought things between them escalated quickly because suddenly there were lip-locking and roaming hands were all over the place. But something actually happened near the end that settled down these two lovebirds. I thought that was pretty realistic and a smart move for the author.
Speaking of those aforementioned lip-locking, I’m afraid there were one too many smooching going on. It became quite annoying for me, unfortunately.
And then there’s Harp’s relationship with her mom. I was really appalled by the insults her mother threw at her in one scene. I can’t believe a mother would say those crude things to her own daughter. But in a twist of fate, her mother goes to a therapist after one night wherein Harp stood up for herself. There’s a lot more drama that happened between them, and quite a few shocking revelations, which for obvious reasons I won’t tell.
As for the plot, I thought it was really engaging. I liked where it was going and leading us through. And it was evenly paced.
The book ends here and I’m glad there’s a sequel in the horizon. Harp is not a perfect character and I really want to see her develop more especially now that she’s graduated in high school. Highly recommend this book if you like contemporary YA in general. And if you’ve read If I Stay, I think you might like this as it has similar elements.