Friday, October 9, 2020

More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn
Release Date - July 21, 2020
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from the publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Growing up under his punk rocker dad's spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn't in front of a crowd, it's on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada's got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom's boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil's music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley's prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor's summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her? 
I have conflicting feelings about books that have a plot point revolving around a song written about one of the characters. I immediately want to read them but also usually end up disappointed. It seems like, for me at least, it is a premise that is tricky to get right. I am happy to say that my streak of disappointment is over because More Than Maybe pretty much hits all of the right notes.

This is one of the books that you'll fly through. It's pacing and charm ensures that you'll have a problem putting this one down. It's strength is the care that is taken to create these characters and ensuring that the reader cares about them. 

The family dynamics that both Vada and Luke are dealing with are really the heart of the book. The romance plot is fantastic and important to the story but I found myself more invested in the other plot elements. The synopsis focuses on the romantic elements but it is all the other stuff that made the story for me. I always love when the characters have something more than just the romantic side of things going on in a book and this one definitely delivers. 

The romance itself is well done and sweet. It perfectly captures those early stages where you circling around each other trying to determine if the other likes you too. It feels effortless with them texting song titles to each other as part of their flirty banter. I highly recommend listening to the songs included while reading for an extra bit of magic.

Music is really the soul of Erin Hahn's books. They revolve around music in a way that reminds you why you love music. It makes you want to create playlists and go check out local talent. Lyrics for important songs are crafted with care because they are often a vital puzzle piece to the story being told. If you are a music fan of any genre Erin's books will feel like love letters to something you love so much. 

If Erin Hahn's first book, You'd Be Mine, is country More Than Maybe is indie. It is a hip, feel like you discovered it read that is much a love letter to music as her first book is. It's got a lot of the same elements while still feeling quite different. If you are a contemporary young adult fan and are not reading Erin Hahn I highly encourage you to fix that immediately.

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