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Paradise by Jill S. Alexander

Published by Feiwel and Friends (An imprint of Macmillan)

Pages: 256

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary: Paisley Tillery is the drummer for a country rock band. If they can make it to the stage at the Texapalooza music fest, then Paisley will be closer to her dream of a career in music and a ticket out of her small Texas town.

Drumming and music are what Paisley has always wanted. Until the band gets a new lead singer, the boy from Paradise, Texas. With Paradise in her life, what Paisley wants, and what she needs, complicate her dreams coming true.

Being the passionate person she is, Paisley Tillery is nothing if not determined. Her sole purpose in life is to drum, to be the heart of the band she so adores and hopefully one day make a career of her passion. Paisley’s big shot at the chance of a lifetime is the battle of the bands, Texapalooza, held annually in Austin Texas. Everything rides on this single competition and all her hopes rest on the shoulders of the band’s potential lead singer, newcomer Paradise. Not only does his sudden interest in her complicate things, but her own family’s prejudices hinder her potential. Will Paisley be willing to put it all on the line for her dreams and head out into the wide open? Only time will tell.

This is truly going to be a difficult review to share, not for any negative reason, but because I absolutely loved everything about this book. Paradise was a story that had it all; a strong independent leading lady, a romantic but not overbearing story line, a marvelous theme, realistic characters and of course a wonderful plot. Being a musician myself I also loved the “battle of the bands” aspect of the story and how perfectly it was incorporated so that it made all of the elements blend together seamlessly. There were countless layers incorporated into this story that at first glance may appear to only be a simple love story, all of which made it a fantastic read.

As for the actual characters in the story, again, I loved every single one of them because they each told a different story and held an individual past in a very short space. One of my favorites happen to be Cal. He’s a member of Paisley’s band The Waylon Slider Band and has long been a part of her life though she’s never given him a second thought. It’s his occasional lyrics that pop up throughout the book that make his side of the story shine through and made my heart ache just a little bit for him. There’s not only Cal, but Paisley’s family that I appreciated so much. The family dynamic was such an important part of the story especially when it came to the mother-daughter interactions. Though throughout much of the story I tended to side with the two daughters as the story progressed I couldn’t help but appreciate their mother’s contribution and the sacrifices she made for them.

There’s something to be said for the passion of youth. I’ve often reflected back on my time between the ages of say ten until I was just barely out of high school, but it wasn’t until I read Paradise that I really wondered where that passion went. Not that I’m no longer driven by the things I love, it’s just a bit more spread out now being that I have a family to care for. In my youth though I can remember being much like Paisley, driven by my love for music and willing to risk nearly everything to pursue my dreams. What if you could capture that passion and drive to make it stretch for years? Well, sometimes all we need is a bit of a nudge or a reminder in that general direction to get things going again and Paradise definitely did that for me.

It’s quite possible I could continue to write for some time about multiple aspects of Paradise by Jill S. Alexander. Her writing made it possible within a very short period of time to fall completely in love with a cast of characters you could easily imagine in your own home town. Ignite or rekindle that passion for dreams once held or new ones now awakening as you follow Paisley along her bumpy road to becoming a musician. Paisley’s journey, from falling for the new guy in town to dreaming of being a professional musician to the secrets she keeps from her family, all make for a story readers won’t long forget. Paradise is an incredible coming of age story and one that shouldn’t be passed by.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 15 and up. The perfect story to ignite or rekindle dreams in both teens and adults. Music lovers especially will fall in love with this beautifully written novel.

This review is part of the Teen {Book} Scene blog tour! Make sure to stop by the other stops along the way to take in more reviews of Jill’s wonderful work and perhaps snag a chance to win a copy of one of her fantastic books!

Find Paradise by Jill S. Alexander at the following spots:
Amazon
Powell’s Books
Indiebound
Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Thank you so much to the publisher, Feiwel and Friends and author, Jill S. Alexander for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with Feiwel and Friends on Twitter and on their blog Get to the Point! Connect with Jill on Twitter and on her blog Wonky Tonk as well, for the latest news on all of her fantastic books!
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2 Responses to Book Review: Paradise by Jill S. Alexander

  1. Joanna says:

    You sold it to me 🙂 I shall pick up a copy when I am over in the US this summer. Thanks.

  2. Katie says:

    This reminds me a little bit of My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star by Joyce Raskin, which I just read recently (review is here.) I’ll definitely look for Paradise, it sounds really good.

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