Wednesday 21 August 2013

Review & Giveaway ~ Rock & Roll Never Forgets (Rock & Roll Trilogy 1) by Barbara S Stewart

Reviewed by Donna & Willow 

What Donna says: 5 extremely emotional stars!!

“I fell in love with you and never fell out. I tried. God knows I tried.”

OMG what have I just read!! I absolutely LOVE and HATE the blogger who recommended this book to me (she knows who she is!!) Thank god my husband was out last night so I could read this one on my own and could cry till my hearts content without any sarky comments!! I used up an endless mountain of tissues and the sofa ended up looking like a tissue recycling plant, my face?? Well that was just one big, red, puffy eyeballed mess, literally!!

My fellow blogger Willow never cries with a book, so this was recommended to us as 100% dead cert to make her cry, she is reading now, so we will see!! However, I thought that I would test this theory for myself, I am an open blubberer, I don’t mind being called soft or whatever, but if a book makes me cry and I feel the emotion and the pain then the author has done their job and boy did Barbara Stewart pull a number on me last night.

This is the story of Andy and Beth or (his Bethy), this is one moving story. Beth’s best friend Kim had a relation in the band Traveler, Beth was Traveler’s biggest fan and was stoked that Kim had managed to get backstage passes to their latest concert. At a backstage party they were introduced to the band and Bethy was introduced to Andy Steven’s, he was Beth’s idol but in the flesh he was so much more. As you can guess she was instantly attracted to him, but the surprise for everyone was that the feeling was mutual. Andy never falls, but this time Andy fell deep. This wasn’t an instalust story by any stretch of the imagination, they became friends first, getting to know each other, nightly phone calls for hours just talking and getting to know one another. Andy would regularly fly her to places so that they could spend a night together here and there, just as friends until eventually they took that leap and became a couple.

“We started talking,” he continued, “And you mesmerised me. I felt as though you were allowing me to see what made you tick. It was like I had known you forever, and I liked it, a lot. I’ve enjoyed our late night phone calls more than I can tell you. You’re a real person, a smart beautiful woman. Not some giggly bimbo trying to get my attention. Those are the kind of women I meet, the ones who constantly surround me. You and I had a meaningful conversation. I think I fell in love with you at that moment. There was no one there that night but you; no one who mattered anyway.”

These two were not just a couple, their love was deep, that heart wrenchingly deep love for one another that it was so strong it could either make them or break them. They were soul mates, eternally connected by a deep meaningful love for each other. They were two halves of each other.

“…You crawled into my soul, became a part of me. I saw the inner beauty, and regardless of what you think, the outside wasn’t bad either.”

They were two totally different souls, but together they complimented each other and to a certain degree brought out the best in each other. Andy’s soul was marred by his lack of a father figure as his father was more absent than not, he didn’t think too highly of himself on the relationship front, Bethy’s achilles heel was her lack of confidence and her deep rooted insecurity that at times she just couldn’t shift.

This story covers their entire relationship from start to finish, so no cliff hangers and spans a period of nearly 20 years, so as you can imagine there are a lot of trials and tribulations to read about as obviously, a rock stars life has a lot of tales to tell. The story is told like a biography with the added gems of Bethy’s journal entries. Whilst the writing is different, it pulls you into the story until you are so connected to Andy and Bethy that your heart and soul is with them as you live their lives through their eyes. You go through all their firsts, the romancing, the relationship, the ups and downs and with this brings along some really amazing side characters. These are in no way superfluous to the story but form an integral part and they give you an amazing insight into their lives and how extremely close they all were. Being famous can be lonely and you have a very close tight knit circle of family and friends that can be trusted and they were always there for each other through the good times and the bad, their loyalty to one and other never wavered.

“Shoulda, coulda, woulda…”

Barbara Stewart’s style of writing is enchanting, it captivated me from start to finish and I was so enamoured with this couple I couldn’t help but root for them. I shared their love, I felt their pain, I empathised, I sympathised, I ached, I cried, I laughed, I smiled, I got angry, I got sad, I got happy and I cried……A LOT!!!…every single possible emotion, I felt, every emotion was conveyed brilliantly through the pages of this book. Nothing I could say could do the emotional pull in this book any justice what so ever, it just hooks you in until you drown in the pages. I truly drowned!!

I was messaging the blogger that recommended this whilst reading, she shared my pain, she took my outbursts on the chin, she relived it, I think she even said she cried at one point…but I did make her laugh!! I messaged her and said “He kills himself doesn’t he???? Then quickly added “Shit don’t answer that.” I tried to guess what was coming so that I could prepare myself but I was so wrong (so don’t worry there are no suicides in this book!!) It is one heck of a journey and one that shouldn’t be missed.

I have downloaded book 2, but was a bit reluctant to start it straight away as not sure my heart could have taken another battering. This is part of a trilogy but could be read as a standalone. Book 3 is to be released this year, I will for one will be at the front of the queue!!!

So all I can say, is I can’t tell you what happens and I won’t tell you what happens but I will say that for those that love an emotional love story this is the one for you. It is pretty and it is ugly but it is truly brilliant. This will go onto my favourites shelf and will be one that I will read again and again when my tear ducts need an empty. Andy and Bethy will be forever imprinted onto my heart and soul and will not forget this story, yes it is THAT GOOD!!

Barbara Stewart you are one truly talented lady!!

What Willow says: 4.5 Teary Stars

As Donna has already outlined the story and I cant really add much more without giving too much away, I will just talk about my feelings whilst reading. As Donna says it is so rare for me to cry at a book, I've had books recommended to me before that "will make you cry" and I haven't so I was a bit skeptical going into this one.

I will admit that I struggled to get into it at the beginning. The writing style was different to what I was used to and I wasn't connecting to the characters or the story. I probably would have given up and moved on to another book if it the person who recommended it to me wasn't so sure that I'd cry. So I carried on and I am so pleased I did. At about 25% I started to get into the story, I got used to the writing style and I started to feel some of the things the characters went through.

I too kept wondering what could happen that was so bad that it would make me cry and I came up with theories too, but none were close to the truth.

I will admit that I did not like one of the main characters throughout most of the book, because they caused a lot of hurt and they did something I couldn't get past.  I was texting Donna saying OMG I cant believe that happened or I really don't like them now,  but the author did a very good job at getting me to change my mind, because at the end of the book I felt so so sorry for them.

So the big question is did I cry? Yes I did, there were a few tears at one point and so I text Donna admitting that I was teary and she replied that it wasn't even the worst bit! When I got to that point, bam that was it, I was definitely crying. The tissues came out and I even had to stop a few times because I couldn't see the words! I pretty much stayed that way until the end of the book. At the end I was puffy eyed and had a pile of tissues next to me and my husband was chuckling - it so rare for him to see me like that over a book.

This is book one of a trilogy, but it can be read as a standalone as you will feel closure of that story. The next book is out now, but I'm not going to read it straight away, I don't really feel I need to, but it will be near the top of my TBR pile.

So thank you to the blogger who recommended this to us. It is a great story. I'm not going to give it 5 stars because of how I felt at the beginning and would have given up, but I am giving it 4.5 stars.   I definitely recommend this book, if you're like me and struggle at the beginning, please persevere because it is totally and utterly worth it! But don't forget the tissues!!!

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