Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Song for Josh (Drifters #1) by Susan Rodgers Review:

Goodreads Book Blurb:
Music has the power to heal. 

Discovered while busking on the streets of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Jessie Wheeler - once a teen runaway from Prince Edward Island - is now a popular singer-songwriter and actor. On the day her boyfriend Charlie proposes, he kicks an estranged friend - actor Josh Sawyer - out of his Club. Jessie sees something of herself reflected in Josh's sorrowful chocolate brown eyes - a deep loneliness and angst. When a part on Josh's new television series Drifters becomes available, Jessie can't resist the temptation, despite the fact that taking the part threatens her engagement to Charlie. When a past nemesis, Deuce McCall, makes a tragic appearance in the city, Jessie's turbulent past catches up with her, threatening any chance she has at a true and sustainable love.

A Song For Josh is a simple sweet story about hope and love, and the power of music to heal. Through Josh and Jessie's story we learn that all of us damaged souls are indeed lovable, even when we are quite certain we are not.

Genre - Adult/Drama/Romance

4 Heartfelt Aching Stars!

A Song For Josh is the first book in the Drifters series and is a Drama/Contemporary Romance written by Susan Rodgers. I read this as a R2R with Fifty Shades Support Group at Goodreads. As always, a special thank you to the mods and author for allowing me to participate.
The Review: 
A Song For Josh is a remarkable yet sorrowful story of one girls incredible sojourn in a hostile world of grief and sorrow and her skillful attempt to free herself through the gift of music and second chances. I completely enjoyed this read with all its angsty emotions, well crafted imagery and noteworthy characters.

Jessie’s Story…
Jessie is an accomplished singer songwriter and actress with a tumultuous past. At age seven, her father introduces her to the joys of music as he shares his talents and knowledge. He is her only confidant in a house with a jealous and miserly mother. After her father died when she was twelve, her life spiraled down a dark and gritty path as she tried to survive a childhood unprotected by the one person who should have given everything to keep her safe. Escaping home at age fourteen, she embarks on a desolate journey that takes her into the seedy world of prostitution, homelessness and though she doesn’t succumb to the addiction herself, she is surrounded by drugs that seem to evade the life choices of those around her. At age sixteen, she meets two likeminded people, Sandy and Rachel, and collectively, they forge the roads of friendship, banding together to survive. Sandy is her first true love but after a short respite, something twisted and insidious happens, sending Jessie fleeing once again to the lonely streets she once called home.

One day while busking on the streets, she’s happened upon by what would become her future family and is introduced to an inspired life as she tours down the road of discovery, her music and acting career taking hold. But loneliness and tragedy are difficult things to leave behind and they always seem to be lurking behind hidden corners.

In her current day, she’s famous but still stuck in a past that longs to resurface. She devotes her life to helping those escape the life she struggled through and is in a convenient relationship that is unattached, just the way she likes it, as she has no intentions of revealing her past to those who have come to love her.

Josh’s Story…
Josh has a frightening past of his own that is wrought with pain and suffering at the hands of an abusive father that cared little for him. As if this wasn’t bad enough, fate deals him yet another tragic blow when an accident and a death send his life spiraling into darkness, drug addiction and hopelessness until one night, a chance meeting with Jessie would change his world forever. Showing compassion and encouraging a hope he thought long since gone, he gets himself straightened out and in a position to actually live once again. Haunted by the incredibly beautiful and mysterious woman he met one night amongst the garbage he’s shocked when fate intervenes once more and brings him face to face with his would-be savior for an HBO series. Sparks fly, attraction is rampant and two hearts who thought life had sucked them dry, find a glimmer and a hope of something more.

This story was beautiful and sad and poignant. I really enjoyed watching Jessie discover a life outside of the pain she was trapped in. Though she lived in the public eye, she was down to earth, shy and quiet. She was also strong, formidable and a complete survivor. She was a character to admire. But through all her tragedies, she's shut herself off from emotions and feelings, leaving a hole she never thought could be filled again.

That is, until he came along.

Josh was a walking, hot mess. He was perceived as "…a loser, a druggie, a young man with seemingly no hope left in the world." But her parting words to him gave him the courage to try harder and to be better. "There’s always hope, Josh. Never give up."

The romance between these two was tender and sweet yet complicated and I took pleasure in watching them blossom despite the pressures and strains of life.

I do have to say, though I enjoyed this story, I really struggled with some of the writing. It was poetic and brilliantly written but it was filled, and I do mean FILLED, with descriptive, flowery sentences that distracted greatly from the story itself. Every page, every paragraph and every sentence was wordy in the extreme. It was tough finding this amazing story behind all the flamboyant writing. The author would go off on obscure tangents with inconsequential characters in a scene that had me racing through to get to the meat of the story. One scene would lead into another and then into another only to be back at the original scene. It wasn’t really hard to keep up but it was distracting and I just wanted so bad to get back to the scene at hand and find out what was going to happen. It was frustrating.

The Wrap Up:
This story is far from finished as this book ends with a slight cliffy and tons of unanswered questions. It encompassed me enough that I’ll definitely be moving on to Promises (Drifters #2). I can’t wait to see what happens next and what’s in store for Jessie and Josh and the rest of the cast from this incredible series.


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