Publication: June 17th 2014 by Elizabeth Briggs Books
Series: Chasing the Dream #1
Genres: New Adult
Source: Received for review
Music major Maddie Taylor just finished her junior year of college and has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, yet every night she practices guitar and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.
Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation – and that he’s just as big a geek as she is. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single they’re forced to keep their relationship secret.
As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.
As a musician and an all-around lover of music, I’ve always been attracted to books that have musical elements woven in their plot lines, and when I first read the synopsis for this one I was like, am I finally going to get my rockstar book? And the answer was: heck to the freaking yes.
I was expecting this book to be another one of those wannabe music types. You know those books that promise you lots of musical tension but instead you are fed none? I hate being led on, and thankfully More Than Music led me to the right pitch (this is my attempt of incorporating music references in reviews, yay or nay?). I thought the depiction of what a band’s life is like was well-written. It was realistic and it doesn’t try too hard to be glamorous or overtly dramatic.
There were a lot of punk rock references that were sprinkled here and I thoroughly appreciated them all. I was visibly swooning at the mention of Fall Out Boy.
As for the characters, I thought Maddie Taylor was an admirable protagonist. I understand her struggle between being in a band and pursuing college, heck even I would have a damn hard time if I were in her shoes. But I was constantly annoyed with her every time Jared was in the picture. Could you please focus on more important things than his blue eyes for a moment? Also I thought the story arc with her parents was weak, it was almost a throwaway.
Jared Cross, on the other hand, was sort of bland for me. I’ve read plenty of male love interests with the same personality he has, so it’s pretty much an ‘I’ve seen it all’ situation for me. But one striking quality about him is his genuine passion for music. It was so engrossing and refreshing to read about.
Now that that’s over with, let’s talk about Villain Complex. Can I just say that I wish this band were real?? I am emotionally attached with this fictional band. I really felt for them through every step of their journey in The Sound. It was as if I were witnessing the making of the next big thing in rock music. Really surreal.
More Than Music made me euphoric. I was in this inebriated state where I could connect with these amazing characters and share the love of music. Although there were some weak plot points here and there, I just enjoyed this read wholly. I can’t wait to see what Elizabeth has in store for this series next.
Since this is a book about music, I couldn’t not make a playlist. So I hope you enjoy these songs!
Maybe Next May by SECRETS // The whole time I was reading More Than Music, this song (and the band) kept on popping in my mind. I can totally imagine Villain Complex singing this to their adoring crowd (or maybe Jared singing to Maddie).
Right Back It Again by A Day to Remember // This is Villain Complex’s theme song for me. Just the overall theme of this song makes me think about the days when Villain Complex was just starting (see how broad my imagination is?)
Treacherous by Taylor Swift // This song perfectly describes Maddie’s thoughts on entering a relationship with Jared. You know how you want love someone, but there are all these red flags and dangers and stuff, but you still go for it anyway. I’m secretly Taylor Swift, guys.