Author: Eli Lang
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Rating: 2.5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: Micah thought he’d always be in a band. All he ever wanted was to play drums and make great music, but when his best friend and bandmate passes away, Micah is left adrift. The thing that’s always lifted him up is now a reminder of everything he’s lost.
Review: Micah is working as a roadie for Escaping Indigo. His own band no longer exists, but he’s been a devoted fan of Escaping Indigo for years. Touring with them is the next best thing. Escaping Indigo’s lead singer, Bellamy, is interesting and compelling and beautiful. The close quarters of a tour bus keep Micah and Bellamy in each other’s space. Then Bellamy begins to search Micah out. Unfortunately, things are complicated. Micah is still reeling from his best friend and band mate’s early death. There is also something up with Bellamy. Everyone seems to know Bellamy and the details of what he’s not explaining but Micah. To top it all off Micah is being warned away. For the good of himself, for the good of Bellamy, and for the good of the band. When things inevitably do go wrong between Micah and Bellamy they’re stuck on a tour bus together for the rest of the tour. Micah has to decide if he’s done with Bellamy and Escaping Indigo for good.
I didn’t think this book was awful, but I also didn’t think this book was good. There were definitely some really good things. I really liked Quinn and Micah’s relationship. If a Quinn book ever gets written I may read it. I liked Micah’s journey through grief. Mostly. We got a lot of the grief, as though this book is about coping with grief far more than it’s about starting over after loss. Maybe that was the intention all along. I don’t know.
I’m a firm believer that mental health is health. I’ll also defend the right of anyone over 18 to refuse medical treatment. You do you, we don’t have to see eye to eye on your health. You don’t want to treat your itchy rash more power to you. However; don’t expect me to sit there and watch you scratch it. A significant driver of what keeps these guys apart is Bellamy’s refusal to treat his medical condition because he doesn’t want people to think he’s broken. Okay, that’s a great example of the stigma against mental health. The stigma against mental health is never once brought up. Micah is expected to see everything from Bellamy’s perspective but neither guy really seems to realize they’re wallowing in their own negative perceptions of mental health. And the whole concept Bellamy has to be accepted and loved as is or there’s something wrong or evil about the person who can’t handle that? No. Just no. Absolutely no one needs to sit by and watch someone suffer and lash out as a result of their failure to deal with their own health problems.
Throughout the book people hint there’s something wrong or off with Bellamy all while saying it’s not serious or a big deal. I don’t know if this is genius writing or what. We’re being told one thing and shown another. Bellamy’s anxiety is on everyone’s mind, they bring it up, they try to defend Bellamy when his anxiety creates problems all while they minimize its importance with their words. Clearly it’s important as it’s what drives Micah and Bellamy apart. So what’s up with the minimizing?
There are very few descriptions of anything in this book. What does the tour bus look like? I don’t know. It could be covered in bamboo, have green shag carpet, and beaded curtains for all I know. What do any of the concert venues look like? I don’t know. One of them had a washing machine the band was able to use. Most of this book took place in Micah’s head. There were paragraphs and paragraphs of internal monologue for every line of dialogue. So much internal monologue about Micah and how he felt about Eric’s death. The internal monologue was so present it was as though things that were happening in the book were happening in some kind of void. I was unable to see or imagine locations nor characters. Honestly, I can’t even tell you what Micah looked like. Bizarrely, there was a whole paragraph about what Quinn looks like.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough in this book for me to recommend it unless someone is really into reading about grief. As I said before, anyone over 18 has the right to refuse treatment for their health problems. I won’t sit around and watch it, nor will I read about it.