Member Reviews

.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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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!).

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

This at some points over-earnest story ended up winning me over by the end. Part Taylor Swift sleuthing fandom, part Dolly Parton fan love, this YA story about a teen trying to find a hidden prize results in her finding herself.

Was this review helpful?

I really liked the overall plot of this book...something still felt off to me. I'm not sure if it was the age of the main characters or the romance itself. But I did really enjoy myself while reading it!

Was this review helpful?

I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. It was cute and I liked the characters and I even liked the dual POVs. Something about it just bugged me. I feel like the author was trying to reference a certain uber famous pop star with Decklee's story. It felt inauthentic though. Also a lot of the main characters picked their stage names and they were all the worst names imaginable. It really took me out of the story and was probably a big reason why I did not love this book.
I did like the teenage characters' stories and their little romance that occurred. The connection that music and lyrics can have on people was a relatable part of the story that was, in my opinion, the most successful part of the book.

Was this review helpful?

This was the first book I have read by Jenna Voris and I'm so glad I found her. This was a beautiful book. I absolutely loved almost all of the characters in this book. Decklee was a little tough to love becauae she was so darn stubborn. But Darren and Kendall were so good!! There was a big twist closer to the end that I did figure out before the reveal but I was so happy to have figured it out! This story brought me such joy while reading. I do wish the ending would have been different but it didn't stop me from loving this book. I will definitely be recommending this book to anyone who will listen! So grab a cup of coffee and sit back with this wonderful story!!

Thank you NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group | Viking Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read this ARC for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

"Dumplin' meets Daisy Jones & the Six" is an entirely accurate description of this book. "Every Time You Hear That Song" is a story told in between two POVs, Darren Purchase, a teen with a big dream from the small town of Mayberry, and the country pop icon Decklee Cassel following her rise to fame. Darren dreams of getting out of Mayberry and it’s why she’s followed the Decklee’s music and career her whole life, idolizing her for getting out and leaving everything behind. But when the singer passes on, she leaves a little quest; a hunt for a hidden time capsule: a memoir of her life, for a price that could get her out. And when Darren sets out to find it along with her friend Kendall, she soon uncovers more about Decklee’s legacy, one that will teach her to set out and tell her own story.
I absolutely fell in love with this book. I was shocked when it was so deep and complex, when I figured it would be a cute romcom. I loved the dual POV between Darren and Decklee because it really highlighted a true story of love, loss, what it means to be queer, and focused on your career. The queer rep was wonderfully conveyed because the feelings surrounding bisexual and lesbian women were articulated well. I loved this story on account of how emotionally captivating it was. It hooked me from the beginning and kept me coming back for more. The ending is not what I had envisioned, but it makes sense. 4/5 stars. I would highly recommend it.

Thank you to Penguin Group and Netgalley for an advanced reading copy (ARC) of "Every Time You Hear That Song" in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book was a fun romp that I just ate up, but it didn’t quite hit five stars for me. First off the pros, I love some messy morally gray lesbians and Decklee scratched that itch for me. Her romance felt so raw and real that I kept wanting every chapter to be in her perspective. Not to mention I adore the 60s/70s as a setting for a story because of its grimy glamour. Decklee is definitely this books standout, however, Darren is also a wonderful character. I think that I related less to her struggles since I’m an adult but I think her story will resonate with a lot of teens. Getting to watch her go full investigative reporter was such a silly good time.

I think what kept this book from being perfect for me is that I kept comparing it to two of my favorite reads, I Kissed Shara Wheeler and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Shara better executes the theme of learning to love small southern towns. While Evelyn Hugo better explores the ways in which women exploit and are exploited by fame. As a read I just kept wishing we delved more into Decklee because she’s the most compelling character in the whole book. It felt like I only got a glimpse of her psyche. This also is no fault of the book but I really struggled to get through this because of the formatting on kindle. There would often be random large paragraph breaks or huge spaces between parts of words. I’m assuming that this happened because of a format conversion. Hopefully Viking fixes this issue for future ARCs.

Thanks to Viking Books for Young Readers for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Darren and her coworker Kendall go on an amazing adventure to search for the famous Decklee Cassel's time capsule. Little does she know, this trip will change her life. This was really sweet, and I loved the parallels between Darren and Decklee in their discovery of what's important in life.

Kendall is the sweetest - his support and sense of adventure to do this trip with Darren is amazing, and watching them become close was a truly adorable thing. I loved how the music tied in with everything and just spoke to Darren's soul. Everything that happened at the end was so fast and unexpected, it was such an amazing way to end this.

Was this review helpful?

This was so much fun!! The author did such a good job at capturing what it's like to be from a small town in the south trying desperately to claw your way out before it buries you alive, extending grace to the main characters while also keeping them honest and the reader on their toes, this was such a solid book front to finish!

Was this review helpful?

4.5 ⭐️ rounded up

Daisy Jones meets Evelyn Hugo meets Inheritance Games

A fun mystery with romantic elements! I was hooked the entire book. It’s told in a dual pov and timeline.

For me, I wouldn’t categorize this book as a romance, but more so contemporary fiction w/ romance elements. The central storyline is the mystery element of finding Decklee’s time capsule and the secondary storyline is Decklee’s career & relationship (or lack there of) w/ Micklee.

Super engaging and a fun story!

TWs - death, cancer

Was this review helpful?

“We’ve grown together in too many ways, torn each other up from the inside out. She’s a part of me, a beating heart right in the center of my chest, so I know when she walks toward the door that this fight isn’t permanent either.”

Ahhhh I loved thissss! This story was so heartfelt and captivating! It made me so excited to see what happened next! I loved Mickenlee but ugh she deserved so much better🥺 my heart hurts for her and everything she was put through while trying to keep the person she loved. There were some times that I understood Decklee but gosh she was just so selfish and so caught up in the fame sometimes I just wanted to jump in the book and yell at her😒 but this story def pulled at my heart strings! So so good! I love how it was told from Decklee’s point of view as well as Darren’s! And the plot twist with Mickenlee!!! Was not expecting thattttt!🫢

Was this review helpful?