When the Beat Drops

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 May 2018

Member Reviews

One of my major turn-offs in books is a heavy focus on drug use. I just find it really boring and I hate reading about it, so I was disappointed when it turned out to be a feature of this story. This was darker than expected.
Was this review helpful?
This book had an interesting look at the club scene and while it does have points and great character development and importance for Mina, the author doesn't gloss over the bad sides to this environment. She doesn't sugar coat the dangers of drugs for the reader or the character. I loved the vibe of this book, and honestly if you like books about music you probably will too.
Was this review helpful?
Gorgeous prose that takes the reader directly into the story. Anna Hecker writes words the way I imagine Mira plays notes. This is a fresh take on the typical coming of age story, and I'm so grateful to have read it.
Was this review helpful?
This book started out a bit slow but once things started to pick up, I got completely immersed with the story and with Mira.  I really, really enjoyed the book and loved how it really got into the details of the DJ-world plus Mira’s own love for jazz.  I never thought the two worlds would ever merge but somehow Anna, the author, made it work.  In fact, I got so engaged in the book that I was even debating if I should learn to DJ, LOL (but seriously, imagine that).

Anyways, I really enjoyed Mira as a character.  I admired her intelligence and her ability to simply pick things up when they’re music-related.  I can definitely see why Shay was kind of jealous by her in the beginning but was glad to see her put that feeling aside because they were such good friends.  Another aspect that I enjoyed was the dynamic between Mira and her sister, Britt.  The journey they went together throughout the book was real and it also touched on a lot of serious issues such as drug use and sex. 

For me, the best part of the book was how the author discussed about music.  She really brought things to life with that world and I could feel myself drawing closer to the DJ world and even the jazz world which are two worlds that I never thought I would really be into. 

The writing style was also done really nicely.  Other than the slow beginning where the author took her time to introduce the characters and the setting, the rest of the book was very engaging and complex.  The author also did a good job with introducing bits of secrets throughout the book and it was done expertly.  The plot was definitely a bit more intricate than I had initially imaged so I was glad for that.  It definitely made the book stand out more.

Overall, I really liked the book and thought it was a great debut novel.
Was this review helpful?
I'm glad I gave this book a chance. It's definitely more interesting than I first thought it would be. It's a pretty good YA contemporary.
Was this review helpful?
Music was the air she breathed, the notes that played in her mind, and the desire to be the best. Great contemporary young adult read that will have you feeling the music pulse in your veins.
Was this review helpful?
Mira is a 17 year old music prodigy (it's all about jazz), and knows what she wants. But when her plans for a final summer at music camp fall through, nothing pans out like she thought. Her friends go to camp without her, her "perfect" sister is back from college and introduces Mira to a world she never considered. Warehouse raves, techno beats, tattooed guys, and Molly become her new norm. When tragedy strikes, Mira has to step up and figure out what is most important in her life; her family, her friendships, or music?
Was this review helpful?
Slow Start
This book had quite the slow start. It spent a few too many chapters setting up the scene and the character interactions, forcing them into a ‘backstory’ role instead of an ‘active story’ role. It honestly started to make me dread reading the rest of the book as I was concerned the entire book would be told at this same slow, arduous pace. Thankfully, it does pick up after some time.

Dark Reality
Oh man! I expected some darkness in the book, but the actual amount of darkness and the realistic aspect of the darkness really helped develop this story. Perhaps I’m odd, but I loved when the story took a turn into the void of despair. Sometimes bad things happen and those things need to be portrayed, but portrayed in a real way that reflects reality. This book definitely did that!

Main Character
Personally, I connected with the main character. I could really understand where she was coming from and her plights and all her anger and confusion. That being said, there were times when I wanted to just bash some sense into her because she literally acted like the dumbest teenage girl on the planet. That bothered me to no end, but given her age, it did (unfortunately) make sense.

On the note of the main character, her develop across the duration of the story was really well done. She changed quite a bit. Much of her change was unexpected (for her), which I find to resemble real life as we don’t always notice the changes in or around ourselves when they’re happening. I also really liked the direction in which she changed.

Writing Style
Just to note, I think the writing could use some work. It felt bogged down in places and just uninteresting in others, which is disappointing given the way language was used to describe music. It could have been a real awe-striking story. However, the writing simply wasn’t up to par.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This book has content warnings for drug use, abusive relationships (between a teen and a college student), overdose, death, and hospitals.

I loved this book. I was immediately captivated by Mira, our biracial (Black and white) classical musician-turned-DJ main character who used music to escape the stress of her family life. One of my favorite things in books is when characters are passionate about something, and Mira's passion for music steals the show. Even better, the evolving nature of her interests rang so true and showed wonderful growth in her character. 

Mira's complicated relationships with the people around her were also fantastic. She struggled with feeling inferior to her college-aged sister, with her parents who seemed to favor her sister over her, with her best friends who went off to music camp without her, with her new friend who got her into DJing but her new boyfriend keeps trying to warn her away from, and with her new boyfriend whom other people keep trying to warn her away from. She clearly cares very deeply about the people around her, and her relationships are intimate and complex.

The writing itself is also enchanting and really draws you in -- this was a really quick read for me because the writing itself was just so lovely and drew me in. This made the story even more heartbreaking at points; if you're at all sensitive to reading descriptions of drug overdoses, this probably isn't the book for you. Otherwise, if you're looking for a really good book about people and rave culture and teen angst, this is a good choice.

Final rating: 5 of 5 stars
Was this review helpful?
This was just so fun to read, I had a great time reading this awhile back and I renember reading it and loving it.
Was this review helpful?
An intriguing read that is sure to grab your attention and hold it until the very end. A great fast paced read with interesting characters
Was this review helpful?
This story I wanted to read because it is recommended for fans of This Song Will Save Your Life and also because I myself go to raves/music events where there are djs and I really enjoyed the music aspect to this story. I like how the main character is originally into jazz and stumbles about the world of DJing because of her sister and really enjoys it. Also I liked the diversity which is still rarely  found in some books not just by race but by the hobbies these characters have and enjoy. The age difference for the romance is something that did weird me out a bit but I feel like there was a good reason the author had for that.
Was this review helpful?
Mira has always been second place to her soccer star sister, Britt.  However, she has found her niche with her band friends.... until they go away to summer band camp, and Mira is left all alone.  Britt invites her out one night to a warehouse party, complete with DJs, dancing, and.. molly.  Mira gets a new boyfriend who is constantly on the party scene, learns to DJ, starts making new DJ friends, but she still has commitments to her trumpet and an upcoming audition that she's been preparing for her whole life.  

This book was not at all what I expected.. it was refreshing and new and different.  I liked that the sole focus was not on Mira's relationship with her parents or just the boyfriend or just the music.  The meshing of all of these things helped to make the book a pretty quick read.  This is definitely for young adults, though.  I can't imagine any adults who like YA being into this.  There's not a ton of depth.  It's just a fun read.
Was this review helpful?
Even though I do not read a lot of YA books, I thought this would be enjoyable since the main character is a misfit and loves music (hits close to home). I didn't expect it to be so intriguing that I just kept reading straight through. The music details about jazz and mixing sounds make me want to find this composition and listen to it. I have never been to any event like the ones described, but I can totally relate to being out with people and having the Simply Irresistible urge to dance when a great song is played. No spoilers here :) Overall great read and I highly recommend it!!!
Was this review helpful?
Overall an OK read but I got stuck on a few things. Being biracial myself, I had a hard time with the way Hecker handled mixed-race heritage. I will not go into major details but it felt sloppy. I did love Mira’s sense of self even when she was uncertain about her situation. This is a great book for music-minded folks. I felt a little lost by the musical descriptions at times. Hecker does a good job showing the complexities of teenage life.
Was this review helpful?
When the Beat Drops by Anna Hecker, a new to me author.   A story of Family, secrets, music, DJing.  Great character development and I love the cover of the book.   I look forward to checking out more books by this author.
Was this review helpful?
Anna Hecker captures your hear my as we follow two complete opposite sisters as they take on a summer they never saw coming. Cautious and studious, Mira takes on the world of raves and DJing and gains more than she ever expected, both good and bad. I was pleasantly surprised at the twists this story took and even though it was not what i was expecting, I couldn’t put it down! From issues of substance abuse and standing up to your loved ones, Hecker nailed this story and made me want to keep reading until even after the last page.
Was this review helpful?
This book was way more than I expected! When Mira thinks her summer couldn't get any worse (not being in band camp with her friends Crow and Nicky), she reconnects with her sister Britt and attends her first warehouse party.
She falls in love with DJ-ing, learning the ins and outs from new friend Shay, and with Derek. 
I liked Mira, a very relatable character, she is naive in some ways, but mature enough when it comes to making the right choices.
I enjoyed the fast pace of this book, really hooking me in. The way Anna Hecker wrote about topics like grief and mourning, drug abuse and family/friendship/boyfriend issues made this book a real page turner!
Was this review helpful?
I was lucky to receive an early copy of When the Beat Drops by Anna Hecker published by Sky Pony Press from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. When the Beat Drops comes out on May 15th. When the Beat Drops follows Mira a girl who is inspired by Jazz music because of her late grandfather who she loved dearly. When Mira discovers that she can not go music camp with her friends this summer she is very upset and feels like her summer is ruined. Mira has a sister named Britt who is comming home from college for the summer so Mira is feeling a little better even though her and her sister are not as close as she wishes they could be. Britt is everything that Mira is not. She is athletic and her parents faveorite. Britt seems to have it all together and her life seems golden. one night Mira goes to a warehouse party with her sister and her sisters friend Yelena and that is where mira discovers the life of being a dj. she also is introduced to the hot guy with the tattoos named derek and meets shay the girl who teachers her how to spin. during the course of the summer mira goes through alot of changes and struggles her life is completely flipped upside down and she learns a lot about herself she didnt know before


I thought this was a really enjoyable story and at times really heartbreaking. I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars. i did have some issues with some of the topics like when it came to how characters in the book were saying molly (the drug) is not harmful it was kinda like saying its ok to go out and do this drug go try it. that was one of my reasons for not giving this a 4 out of 5 stars. I did like how the family relationship went from not really a great one to working out there problems in a realistic way and how it shows nobody no matter who you are us perfect. I will defintely be adding this book to my collection when it comes out
Was this review helpful?
This was a strong book with an engaging, relatable main character. It reminded me favorably of THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE and will likely appeal to the same readers. I also loved the nuanced and heartwrenching family storyline.
Was this review helpful?