Cover Image: Every Time You Hear That Song

Every Time You Hear That Song

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Member Reviews

4 1/2 stars

What a special book. It was told in alternating timelines and went between present day and Darren's viewpoint and Decklee's viewpoint in the past.

Darren has idolized Decklee her entire life. Decklee is a successful country music artist and it always seemed that she had it all. But looks can definitely be deceiving. When Decklee dies and it's evident that she had lost a lot of people before it happened, you have to wonder what happened in her life that they weren't there at the end.

Over the course of the book, Darren grows and starts to see things she couldn't see before. And I don't just mean that her co-worker, Kendall is awesome - - but she does see that too. And at the same time you are reading about Darren's evolution, you're also reading about Decklee's downfall. It's all very full circle.

I thought this book really did a beautiful job of trying to show how you can't take things or people in life for granted.

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.

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Having just finished a similar book, I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh and unique perspective of this one. The dual timelines weave seamlessly together, allowing us to witness the parallel lives of the characters and the consequences of their choices. It’s a captivating journey of self-discovery and love that keeps you engaged until the very end.

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I'd like to thank NetGalley for the early copy of this book and apologize for the delayed review.

I was expecting a cute, fun little YA book, and I got that, but with more depth than I imagined. I think the best thing this book did was make me remember what it’s like to be an 18-year-old ready to leave their hometown but have no idea who they are outside of it. To want to start your future but be so afraid of being judged for who you are that you can’t become who you want to be. Darren’s journey, both physically and emotionally, led her to a place we hope all kids end up in: with love, acceptance, and pride in who you are and where you come from that you can use as a foundation for growing into yourself.

I also loved how Decklee - the country singer who starts Darren’s journey - is unlikeable sometimes! She lets her ambition get in the way of love and happiness in some cruel ways, and she’s like that until the very end. We see Darren mirror Decklee at times, and I liked seeing Darren find her own way to combat that. Female characters are rarely allowed to have these complex personalities, and I love that we got it with both POVs.

This book is a love letter to music. The way a song or an album can connect us all but still mean something special to us in a wholly unique way. It’s a beautiful reminder that art is what binds us all together.

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This book was an absolute delight!! Part coming-of-age road trip story, part Evelyn-Hugo-esque expose of a famous singer's life, this story was perfectly balanced and incredibly readable.

I loved how beautifully queer this story was and how we got to see both of our main characters wear their queerness in different ways. I always love to see a bisexual main character, and I love that she got a little taste of romance!

Personally, my favorite part of this book was the ending. All of the big reveals were so shocking and totally took me by surprise, but they also made so much sense when I reflected back on the story! It was so expertly plotted! I think this might be my favorite YA I've read this year.

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This book paints a vivid picture of the struggles of small-town life in the South, where escaping feels like a constant battle against the odds. Voris gracefully portrays the main characters with empathy, yet she doesn't shy away from their flaws, keeping the narrative authentic and engaging. From start to finish, this book is a compelling journey that keeps readers hooked till the very end.

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I loved this one. The way everything ended up coming together, the way the chapters went back and forth and the writing. This was such a great book and I loved it so much!!

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There is nothing I love more than a road trip story, especially when the metaphor of a journey is so appropriate. Jenna Voris has crafted a dual-timeline story featuring Darren, small town high school girl in the present who can't wait to break free of smalltown life. This is set against the story of a famous singer who escaped a small town and went on to superstardom. When Decklee Cassel, the singer, dies, a scavenger hunt is triggered to find $3 million... and Darren needs the money. How else will they pay her mom's medical bills and get her into a journalism school far away from the tiny town she calls home?

When the ending came, I found myself in tears for the love(s) that were lost set against the hope that remains. This story was beautiful, poignant YA. I bought it immediately for our library collection.

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I think this might be the best book I have read so far in 2024. I couldn't stop thinking about it!

The split POVs of Darren and Decklee Cassel were woven together to help the audience understand how Darren and Decklee were connected despite never meeting and being decades between the stories. I loved learning about Decklee through Darren's life and Decklee's own story. It felt like a great reminder that you don't actually know your favorite musician.

While the book was centered around the romance and fame part, the mystery of finding Decklee's time capsule and discovering who she really was felt like a nice added layer to the book that kept me even more engaged.

I would 100% recommend listening to some female country artists while reading this book and enjoying every minute of it.

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Every Time You Hear That Song was excellent. Having lived in the South for a few years, I really appreciated the nuance of being queer in the South and how queer people shouldn't be forced to move to be accepted. I cannot recommend this book enough if you want an engaging story about queer people, music, ambitious and strong women, and a dash of romance.

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This new YA was so fun! As a longtime fan of Dolly and a slew of other country artists, as well as a queer girlie myself, this one was right up my alley. The queer rep was amazing—I wish this had been in the YA section when I was a teen. Truly a stunning debut from Jenna Voris! I can't wait for more from this author.

Thank you to NetGalley and Viking Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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.5 🌶️

🎶Dual Timelines
🚙Dual POV
🎶Summer Road Trip
🚙YA Romance
🎶Country Music
🚙Scavenger Hunt
🎶Small Town

Wow! I really enjoyed this book. This is a YA romance so keep that in mind when reading. The romance is very good! I can really see this book being made into movie.
Darren goes on a summer road trip with the intentions of winning a scavenger hunt that was created by her late favorite country music singer. Along the way you learn about Decklee (late country music singer) from a past timeline and her rise to fame. You also learn about a love Decklee had to keep secret.
There is also a romance starts to happen between Darren and the person she has drive her on this road trip Kendall (local boy and coworker).
So much happens in this book. Lots of lessons learned. It’s about finding yourself but losing yourself at the same time.
Learning what’s really important in life.
The ending was not what I was expecting. I was a little sad.
Thank Penguin Teen for sending me a copy of Every Time You Hear That Song.

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4.5 Stars.

I did not want to put this down. Two Timelines. A Road Trip. Country Music.

Country music isn't my thing... but this book may have shifted my perspective. To start, it is a book with heart (and very few YA books seem to have that lately). The novel offers both moments of enjoyable escape and thought-provoking reality.

It was an adventure to read about Darren and Kendall's journey as well as Decklee's life.

The characters are relatable as they wrestle with many issues:
How do small choices have large impacts on your life?
Can you follow your dreams and balance your relationships?
How do you choose yourself even when it breaks your heart?
Can you want to escape a place, yet appreciate and connect with the community and how it shaped you?
And how do you navigate mistakes and keep moving ahead?
(I especially appreciated Darren thinking through how her journalistic goals can coexist with journalistic ethics).

The author balances all aspects of this novel impresses me, as both plot and character work together. Plus, both timelines are equally significant. The novel captures moments of joy alongside the messy realities of life.

For me, there were no surprising plot twists, but I was still invested in finding out how the characters would confront them. I also appreciated the ending maintaining the realism of the novel (but I hesitate to say more, just read the book).

Everytime You Hear That Song defied my expectations and was an extremely satisfying read.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available.

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I really enjoyed this one. I am a sucker for stories involving country music, but when you add the lesbian romance angle, it's even better. Darren Purchase is seventeen and has loved country music singer Decklee Cassel her entire life. She's crushed when Decklee dies. Decklee's long-awaited time capsule should be revealed at her televised funeral, but instead, it's empty. Soon, she's putting her fans through a series of scavenger-hunt-style clues to track down the capsule and its associated $3M prize. Darren, an aspiring journalist, knows she has a shot at finding the capsule, so she teams up with her co-worker, Kendall, to track it down.

The story alternates between Darren and Kendall searching and following time capsule clues and Decklee Cassel and her journey to fame. Both timelines are captivating, though it's really hard not to be completely pulled in by our enigmatic country star, Decklee. Tracing her path to fame, Decklee's portions cover her friendship and eventual relationship with her songwriter, Mickenlee Hooper. Decklee is a deeply flawed character, mowing over anyone who gets in the way of her path to stardom. This includes a relationship with a woman in the 1970s and 1980s as a country star, and the book does a strong job of exploring the difficulty of two women being together in such a time.

Darren's story parallels Decklee, as she follows time capsule clues that align with Decklee's career. Both Darren and Decklee are from the small town of Mayberry, Arkansas, and Darren clings to the idea that if Decklee got out, so can she. Darren's so focused on getting out of Mayberry that she hasn't taken the time to see what it offers, including a friendship (or more) with Kendall, or the bonuses that small town life offers. She wants to win the money to go to journalism school and help her mom, who has battled cancer.

There's nothing conventional about this book, including its ending, and that's a huge compliment. Decklee and Darren are strongly characterized and individualistic, and Mickenlee is just as nuanced too. Decklee and Mickenlee's story is entrancing, and Kendall and Darren's burgeoning romance is adorable. This is a wonderful story for anyone who loves coming-of-age tales, queer romance, or country music.

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It's been a long, long time since I read a book that had me staring at the wall after it was over. I'm so awestruck by this book that I literally cannot form words to review it. But I'll still try. Forgive me if it's a mess of words and feelings because that's how this book has left me.

Every Time You Hear That Song perfectly captures the essence of having sky-high ambitions, yearning to belong, and the desperation to succeed. The story is the about two queer girls originating from the same small town in Arkansas but in different timelines. One timeline follows the journey of a country music star, from the beginning of her career to her demise and, the other follows her fan (years later) who sets on a treasure hunt, searching for clues laid out by her star in music and history. On surface, it seems plain but it's so much more than that. It's this intricately woven tale that talks about identity, desires, ambition, sacrifices, success, fame and it's consequences.

Usually, I'm not a fan of alternating timelines. It always leaves me feeling disconnected with the characters and the storyline but this book is one of the rare gems that executed it perfectly. These are two stories really, running side by side and crossing paths through the treasure hunt. It was exhilarating to follow along on the treasure hunt, feeling the rush of finding a new clue and then a snippet from the past that was significant for the clue. I was so very invested in the story, that momentarily all of it felt real. Like Decklee Cassel was real and that if I look her up, I might find her and her songs. That I feel is the biggest indicator of how well the book was written.

The characters were flawed and made mistakes but that's what made them real. On more than one account, I saw myself in Darren. Her desire for something more in life resonated deeply with me. Decklee and Mickenlee's story was heart-wrenching. I felt my chest ache more than once for the predicament they were in. Especially for Mickenlee. The ending was bittersweet, leaving me with a lot of feels and food for thought.

Thank you so much Penguin Teen and NetGalley for an e-ARC. I can't believe I waited so long to read this book. But I'm glad and super grateful to have found it. I have a feeling that it's going to be my top read of 2024.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it’s dual POV between Darren and Decklee. The novel follow Darren (in the present) as she embarks on a journey to find the time capsule that her favorite idol (Decklee) leaves behind. We alternate between POVs, with Darren’s in the present and Decklee’s in the past and we can slowly see that our protagonists are complex characters with their ups and downs. This journey is one of growth for Darren and for Decklee we get to see that there was more than meets the eye for the superstar who was willing to give anything for fame. The plot twists at the end and its conclusion were incredibly satisfying and overall gave a very entertaining story that kept me hooked every step of the way. Definitely recommend reading it if you are in the mood for an emotional and complex story full of humor and heartwarming moments (plus some TS Easter eggs!).

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This one was soo sweet. Perfect for the girlies who love obsessing over their favorite musical artists and having a summer road trip. Darren's journey was sweet to read about and loved the commentary about being queer in a small southern town but feeling a sense of community nonetheless.

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A duel POV story in which we follow two women fighting for more, fighting to be bigger than the town they grew up in, fighting for what they want to be, what they dream to be. Darren, in the present, wants to be a reporter, dreams of leaving Mayberry behind in her windshield, and is also obsessed with Decklee Cassel, a country-pop music star and household name who has just passed away. She ends up on a road trip in the name of said pop star. Decklee’s story is the other half of our tale, chronicling her rise to fame, and doing just about anything to achieve it, through the 70s and 80s all the way until the present day. Two stories seemingly disconnected yet mirroring each other as they both follow a woman in the pursuit of something bigger than themselves and the town, they grew up in. I enjoyed how they reflected each other in some ways but in others, we can see clearly how certain decisions split them as people, where one would choose one thing, the other went the opposite direction. I was glued to the page reading more about each journey, piecing together the puzzle of Decklee’s life as well as seeing how Darren’s unfolded in light of it. I wish the book was longer only because I felt like the plot drove this story when I really wanted to sit more with the characters, more with their conflict, as both stories have rich threads that could be woven but felt sacrificed in order to speed through the plot. I also was a bit dissatisfied by the end, when I wanted things to ramp up, they plateaued instead. An enjoyable read overall!

Scarf Rating: 🧣🧣🧣🧣(4/5, my Stars)

Taylor Swift songs I associate with this book: Cowboy Like Me, gold rush, closure, betty

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I really enjoyed this book, I love books told through more than one POV. The writing style reminded me of Taylor Jenkins Reid. I will definitely be recommending this book.

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Thanks to Penguin and Viking Books for Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review this YA book. Our story follows Darren, who is growing up in a small town with big dreams and a love for country music superstar Decklee Cassel. When Decklee dies and leaves clues for her fans to find new music, Darren goes on a road trip with her friend and discovers more about herself and her loved ones than she expected.

This premise was sweet and the development of the relationship between Darren and her friend Kendall felt authentic. I appreciated that the author didn’t force the story into a romantic happily ever after, and allowed space for the characters to achieve their dreams individually.

Where that authenticity was lacking was in the historical grounding of Decklee Casale’s career and the big reveal. This read very much like a 2024 perspective cast onto the 1960s/70s. There were some bizarre historical inaccuracies (prime time music videos airing in and before 1970???) that were distracting. Multiple characters’ names felt goofy - Decklee and Mickenlee are completely made up and unnecessarily similar to each other. The relationship between the two women was also inconsistently constructed and made for a climax that demanded actions misaligned with all we knew about them to that point.

This book was not quite what I hoped it would be - but could be a quick read for fans of Last Night at the Telegraph Club.

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This was such a good queer coming-of-age story with a focus on complex women, country music and finding your path in life. I loved the dual pov/dual timeline, it made me more invested in the story being told, and especially with the making of Decklee’s time capsule and the hunt for it.

This book is largely focused on country music which I was iffy about going into it because I don’t listen to country music at all and I don’t particularly like it but I find the country lyrics in this beautiful. Music is like that though, it just has a way to bury deep in your soul and make you feel things, and I can relate to Darren in that way because she really feels the music.

The author did a great job depicting what it’s like being from a small town trying desperately to get out. And I really enjoyed Jenna Voris’ writing style. Also, that little plot twist near the end I was not expecting but it was great and made the ending that much sweeter.

Overall, this was a wonderful and quick YA summer road trip romance read. The characters were interesting, the plot kept me engaged, and I loved the little mystery element to it.

I definitely recommend checking it out if you love:
🎤small town
🎤dual pov/dual timeline
🎤road trip element with some mystery
🎤queer romance

Thank you NetGalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

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