March 22, 2014
Exile by Kevin Emerson
Release date: April 29, 2014
This ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Catherine Summer Carlson knows how to manage bands like a professional—she’s a student at the PopArts Academy at Mount Hope High, where rock legends Allegiance to North got their start. Summer knows that falling for the lead singer of her latest band is the least professional thing a manager can do. But Caleb Daniels isn’t an ordinary band boy—he’s a hot, dreamy, sweet-singing, exiled-from-his-old-band, possibly-with-a-deep-dark-side band boy. And he can do that thing. That thing when someone sings a song and it inhabits you, possesses you, and moves you like a marionette to its will.
Summer also finds herself at the center of a mystery she never saw coming. When Caleb reveals a secret about his long-lost father, one band’s past becomes another’s present, and Summer finds it harder and harder to be both band manager and girlfriend. She knows what the well-mannered Catherine side of her would do, but she also knows what her heart is telling her. Maybe it’s time to accept who she really is, even if it means becoming an exile herself. . . .
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Going into this, I was pretty much expecting a typical band book, but I had hopes it would be good. I was pleasantly surprised with the direction in which Exile went. I loved the twist with the mystery, although there was one moment where I seriously said, "Um...what?" I had been expecting something entirely different, and I think that would've been a better direction to go. However, I thought this book was a standalone and I almost think I would prefer that. If the book had been just a bit longer, the plot that is started and will clearly continue in the sequel could definitely finish in this one. Most of the characters were pretty enjoyable. Summer and Caleb were nice - a bit typical, but I enjoyed them. I actually think my favorite characters were Maya and Matt, but I definitely did not like Val. And yay for supportive, involved adults, such as Summer's aunt and Caleb's uncle.
Romance stayed pretty clean, although there were certain things talked about. Language had its foul moments. There was definitely some underage drinking (although Summer and Caleb didn't participate), and discussion of drugs.
The Verdict: Definitely a read worth your time, especially for the mystery. Looking forward to the sequel and hoping the plot will be wrapped up then.