Friday 11 May 2018

Review ~ The Faded Duet (Book 1: Faded, Book 2: Unfaded) by Julie Johnson

Book One: Faded:

I was never supposed to be famous. 
I was a lyricist, not a singer. 
Certainly not a star. 
Too bad none of that seemed to matter to a rock-god like Ryder Woods. 
He didn’t just want my words — he wanted everything. 
And he took it. 
My songs. My voice. My goddamned soul. 
Between those haunting bedroom eyes and that heart-stopping grin, I never stood a chance. I was pulled into his orbit like a rogue meteor passing a sun. 
The problem is, if you get too close to a star…
You’re bound to get burned.

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Book Two: Unfaded:

They warned me not to get too close.
Too bad I didn’t listen. 
Enter a star’s orbit, it’ll burn you down to ashes before you know what’s happened. 
And he was the most beautiful star in the night sky. 
Singed beyond repair, I left Los Angeles behind.
Left him behind. 
But I was kidding myself if I thought a few thousand miles of space would erase my memory. 
And I was plain stupid if I thought he’d let me go without a fight. 
They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest…
But the strongest loves don’t ever fade.

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Our Review:

Duet reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars

“Whether we’re on stage singing or a thousand miles apart… we’ll always have the music.”

I adore this authors words, no matter the subject she never fails to captivate me and this duet was no different. From start to finish of both books, I couldn’t put them down. I was totally engrossed; my emotions were all over the place and my connection to these characters was intense. I lived and breathed their story and while you won’t have the wait between books, let me tell you, it was sheer hell. The duet is now complete so you can read them both back to back, just how I recommend them!

“I spent my childhood in a steel cage; I have no desire to trade it for a glass house.”

I do love angst and Julie Johnson opens a huge can of whoop-ass angst in this duet. For those that love angst like me, it’s Christmas!! But, it was the best angst, the natural progression angst, not this over the top, I’m doing it for the kicks stuff. This duet has a huge heart and a lot of soul and great music. I loved the lyrics that are used to tell so many stories, so many emotions and so much heart. When words are difficult to say face to face a song can tell a thousand. This was all about the music, that hunger for recognition, for success, for appreciation. But, at the centre was a love story of two opposites.

“We aren’t over. We weren’t over two years ago. We aren’t over now. We’ll never be over, no matter how much time passes or how much distance gets between us.”

Felicity was a resilient woman, she came from country music royalty but was extremely humble, despite her upbringing. Her famous nanna was her rock, her centre and gave her the inspiration and her voice, while everyone else in her family did their level best to bring her down. Felicity was resilient, she was humble, a little quiet at times but she had a level of peace about her. What she lacked in stature she more than made up for with her voice, but she kept it to herself. It was her secret and she didn’t want the world to know. She was now incognito, she was on her own.

“Rock bottom is not living in her absence. It’s the slow atrophy of watching her fade out of focus, effectively as the disease that stole her grandmother’s memories one by one.”

Ryder Woods is the epitome of the tortured, aspiring singer. He has a huge voice with a huge heart to match and like Felicity, his parents were not that supportive. Ryder has huge dreams and aspirations and no matter the casualties he will get what he wants, by hook or by crook. But, despite his quest for success, as I said above he has a huge heart and even bigger soul, he gets a little conflicted, confused, and sometimes his actions do not depict his beliefs, but his intentions were always in the best place even if the results were not.

“I hate. I hate. I hate. Everyone and everything. Because the only person I want to hate… is the only one I can’t.”

Ryder and Felicity together were electric, flammable, but their voices together could melt a million hearts. The chemistry both on and off the stage was combustible and Julie Johnson did a fantastic job in bringing these two characters to life. I loved the back stories, the family drama, the relationship that Felicity had with her nanna. I loved it all. Julie Johnson pieced this story together perfectly, ever detail wanted and needed. No superfluous drama, just a constant drip feed of emotions, plot and prose. These two made mistakes, they love, they hate, they love, they hate, but deep down these two are tangibly connected and despite what happens, that connection is solid and unforgettable.

“This moment, buried inside her… our bodies in total sync, our heartbeats harmonizing in a perfect melody… It’s the best damn music I’ve ever made.”

I didn’t want this duet to end and that is testament to a fantastic story, some inspired written, on point dialogue and what I crave the most, character connection. This duet oozed it all and I cannot wait to see what comes next from this author.

“A story still unfinished. A love as yet unfaded.”

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