Member Reviews

Fantastic book by Jenna Voris. She has created another world you just want to live in and experience for yourself. You will fall in love with these characters and their story.

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Thank you to Penguin Group and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

While I was intrigued by the idea of this book, I didn't expect to enjoy it this much. The two timlines and the two main characters were complimentary to each other, but also showed how both Darren and Decklee were driven by different motivations. I also enjoyed that Decklee wasn't a good person - this made her a more realistic character and I would have prefered to see more of her.

While I wasn't keen on the Darren/Kendall romance (give me more friendship based relationships!), I liked how the author concluded their arc.

The reveals were quite obvious for me, but I still enjoyed the book. A fun and emotional read for all the country fans (and for those that aren't)!

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this book was so interesting to me! definitely not what i was initially expecting but i still enjoyed it. i definitely feel like i need to re-read this knowing what i know now to see what clues i may have missed about a certain identity.
thank you jenna for the physical arc via ig giveaway❣️

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This book is like if Dolly Parton were secretly a lesbian, with a huge dash of Rocketman and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but without the contrived extra twist at the end, so obviously I ate it up. I love the dual POV, the historical aspect of it and the whole road trip/scavenger hunt was very fun. It also made me super homesick for Nashville and wish I could hear the songs (although lbr making music from books translate to IRL isn’t the easier thing to do).

I like that Decklee isn’t a ~nice character, she’s ambitious and willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants and honestly…kind of is a straight up asshole! I like that there was no neat happy ending for her, she got everything that she ever wanted career-wise, but at what cost.

I guessed the ~reveal a little bit before it happened, but that’s a good thing! It’s always nice when a reveal makes everything fall into place, rather than come out of nowhere and again I loved the realism that there was no happily ever after love story, despite writing a final album together. I did NOT guess who Dani was though, and that was a great Easter egg.

I don’t have as much to say about the present day storyline, but Darren was a really great character and she and Kendall were cute. The way Darren was written as a bi character was so real and realistic and her struggles with how she feels about Mayberry/wanting to get out etc was a great part of her story arc. The ending made me cry, and I really enjoyed the book!

Thanks to NetGalley and Viking Books for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this story

I didn't expect to like this story as much as I did. I'm not much of a country fan and the idea of a scavenger hunt road trip didn't really appeal to me but I decided to give it a shot! I was really glad actually that Darren wasn't the one who found the time capsule. It would've felt unrealistic to me if she was the one to figure everything out/find all the clues. Her finding the first one was great but I fully expected her to overall loose the competition. Having her loose was a good climax for the story so she could look inside of herself and think about what Mayberry really means to her/what is really important to her in life.

I also expected, since Decklee was a really big star with millions of fans, that Darren wouldn't be the only one to come to these kinds of conclusions about where the clues might be. Not everyone would've been able to put it altogether obviously but having other people be able to figure out the clues as well alongside her made the most sense in that situation. Having Darren be wrong about the last clue in particular was really great too because I was also fully convinced that the last clue would be in Mayberry because that's where Decklee was from/where Micknlee ended up. When the time capsule showed up in Nashville, in front of the studio, it really captured how in the end, Decklee was only thinking of herself and what kind of impact she would have and not the people who helped make her in the industry and who tried to love her.

Ending the story with Darren talking about how she and Kendall broke up was also very realistic. Honestly, if they'd stayed together I would have probably rated it lower. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed them together. They were a cute couple but Kendall didn't want to leave Mayberry and Darren couldn't stay. It wouldn't make sense for them to try to force something that ultimately wouldn't work and leave one of them miserable.

Ultimately, the road trip Kendall and Darren took was really fun. their personalties really shone through everything and I liked how they were able to stop and have fun on top of searching for clues. I was also glad that Darren made some really good apologies to the people she hurt in the book. It really put into perspective how AWFUL of a person Decklee was. (I really didn't like Decklee. I could understand wanting to be something BIG and be remembered but you don't have to step on all the people who helped you get there). The contrast between both girls was great so I really enjoyed the dual POV's even if I didn't like Decklee herself.

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This book follows two timelines. We get to see Decklee go from a 15 year old runaway to the biggest superstar on the plant (a la Dolly Parton). And we also get to see Darren, a 17 year old aspiring reporter following a scavenger hunt Decklee left behind for her fans after her death. I was equally invested in both of them as their stories progressed, and I couldn’t put it down! I was kinda disappointed in the ending, both for the scavenger hunt and the romance, but I still loved this story and these characters.

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The premise of this sounds like it was handcrafted in a lab just for me. An ambitious queer teen stuck in her small, Southern hometown, embarking on a road trip to hunt down the last, posthumous album from her favorite musician (who was secretly queer, too). I was incredibly excited. From the first few pages, I started getting The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo vibes but make it Dolly Parton, and add a Taylor Swift easter egg-esque time capsule hunt. So many interesting concepts to work with, so I’m sad that this fell flat for me.

I think my biggest issues can be attributed to how little time we got to spend with the characters. It’s already a pretty short book, but then add in the alternating storylines, and I just felt like nobody got the time they deserved. I didn’t feel much chemistry between Darren and Kendall, and they could’ve had a lot of time for development on the road trip. Don’t get me wrong, they definitely did get to know each other better, but I didn’t get the impression that they were so close that a relationship would immediately come of it. I would’ve appreciated a deeper, more fleshed-out connection. Decklee and Mickinlee could’ve been this huge, sweeping, heartbreaking romance of a lifetime, but not only did we not see much of it, it never felt sustainable in the first place (because of the characterization). Maybe that was just me expecting something different from the story than it set out to do, though. I’m also tempted to chalk these issues up to me being too old for YA, but there’s plenty of YA I absolutely love, so maybe this is just on the younger end and I couldn’t connect with it.

It was still sweet and like I said, the premise is super interesting. Also, I always love queer people in the South coming to terms with their small towns. I appreciate how different perspectives are explored and Southerners aren’t lumped into one reductive stereotype. And the honest portrayal of the sacrifices that come with celebrity and the reality of a ruthless, insatiable appetite for fame and glory were appreciated, as well.

Thank you to Penguin Group and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This was my first time reading a book with country music part of the plot and I absolutely loved it. This book definitely gave me seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo vibes but without the husbands and if Evelyn organised a treasure hunt after her death. The writing style really hooked me in the beginning. Darren and Decklee had lots in common and you could really feel their need to leave Mayberry. At the same time Darren also loves her hometown and seeing her deal with family and school drama makes us so relatable also seeing her come to terms with her sexuality was done well. I adored Kendall and Darren. He is such a golden retriever, boy next door type of guy. All in all this was a cute read and I would definitely recommend.

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I really enjoyed this! This novel is a very charming, easy to read, coming of age story about Darren, a teenage girl on the brink of adulthood coming to terms with who she is, what she wants for her life, and facing her fears while following a scavenger hunt of sorts, with her friend Kendall, that was created by country music icon Decklee Cassel, shortly before her death.

The narration alternates between Darren and Decklee and takes place over multiple periods of time. The coziness of Mayberry and the small town vibes warmed my heart so much! The writing is impressive and the story was bittersweet, a perfect mixture of heartache and hope.

I wish there had been a bit more character development and a bit more relationship development with Kendall and Darren, but overall this was a solid, very enjoyable, sweet read.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC!

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3.5/5 (rounded up to 4)

CW: parental abandonment, cancer (recounted), death of a parent (mentioned), homomisia, lesbomisia, toxic relationship

I would like to thank NetGalley and Penguin Young Readers Group for providing me with a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Every Time You Hear That Song is for those readers who absolutely love Taylor Jenkins Reid’s works, but wishes she wrote YA. Detailing Darren’s journey to find her favorite singer’s time capsule, Vorris has a uniquely atmospheric voice and setting that draws you in from the very first page. While some parts of the book dragged on a bit, the dual timelines between Darren finding the time capsule and the legacy of Decklee Cassel’s career was a really nice touch for the book. That being said, if you’re looking for a YA novel that gives off a similar vibe to Taylor Jenkins Reid, you would probably enjoy reading Every Time You Hear That Song.

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A heartfelt dual timeline queer YA romance about a small town country music singer who makes it famous but has to reconcile the cost of success over her secret relationship with another girl.

Fast forward to the present and a huge fan stuck in a small town finds herself competing in a race to find the dead singers lost time capsule for a chance to win a $3 million dollar prize that will help her fund her way to a new life and help pay for her mom's medical bills.

I loved the queer rep and the great characters grappling with love over fame and being true to your authentic self. Great on audio too. Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and @prhaudio for a complimentary digital and audio copy in exchange for my honest review!

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Darren Purchase makes wanting to get out of her hometown her primary personality trait. An aspiring journalist, she lives with her mother in rural Mayberry, Arkansas and works at a local gas station. When Decklee Cassel, her favorite country singer—and a girl who got out of Mayberry and never looked back—passes away, she leaves a scavenger hunt for her fans. Anyone who finds her clues will find $3 million and a last album. Hoping the cash prize is her ticket out, Darren heads on a madcap road trip across the South with her coworker, Kendall. Though she’s worked with him for years, this is the first time she really gets to know Kendall, a willing partner-in-crime who helps Darren reframe her relationship to Mayberry. The scavenger hunt is the perfect adventure, and I loved following along.

Alternating chapters flash back in time to the perspective of Decklee Cassel herself. These chart her career, from her teenage escape from Mayberry to her success as a Grammy and Oscar winner. Decklee wants fame and legacy more than anything, a drive that threatens her relationships, especially her professional and personal partnership with lyricist Mickenlee Hooper.

I was spending all day waiting to pick this book back up. There’s country music, a road trip, a mystery, complicated hometown feelings, and the entire thing is very queer. Voris creates big dramatic scenes (including one at the Indiana State Fair) and small moments, and the book surprised me in the ways it surprised me. I predicted the big twist in the mystery, but not how Voris handled it and its effects. Though I liked Darren’s slow claiming of her bisexuality, I wasn’t sold on the romance—again, until the end, when things came to an unexpected and satisfying resolution.

The book took me back to the feeling of humid desperation summers took on when I was a teenager, and Darren reclaims that feeling much as I have. I’m not sure if I would have liked this book as much a decade ago. I love reading YA as an adult and reintroducing myself to past selves.

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I absolutely did not expect to devour this book in less than 24 hours, but once I started reading...I could NOT stop. What a ride!

There were so many things I loved about Every Time You Hear That Song, but I don't want to spoil anything -- I'll just say that one of the dual perspectives is an adult for most of the book, so I would say that this is a slightly more mature YA novel than I was expecting.

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This country music inspired story is one of both love and betrayal. The stories are told split between Darren who is trying to find the time capsule of her favorite artist and the artist decades in the past. It shows how sometimes your idols aren't the people you think they are and sometimes the best things are already right next to you. I really loved this book.

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This book was such a rollercoaster!

I was not expecting to dislike the historical FMC as deeply as I did by the end.
The callous way she sacrificed every person who cared about her on her way to the top just made my soul ache.

There are twists in this book you will not see coming! I gasped, cried and yelled!

I have to say, the introduction of the mom’s illness and then mom is suddenly living in Nashville with no resolution to her illness feels like a gap in the plot or character development.

The current day FMC is relatable and loveable. A bit naive but relatable.

I would recommend this as an inspiring YA romance with zero smut. Medium pacing that picks up in the second half.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an e-ARC of this book!

This is the story of two small-town, ambitious girls and their journey to escape the perceived shackles of that life in search of a bigger one. They want success, love (both are queer--tough in small-town Arkansas), and hurt people in the process of chasing their dreams. I loved this book a thousand times more than I thought I would, based on the synopsis. The plot and pacing are spot-on, and the treasure hunt occurring in the present day made for a fun roadtrip storyline. The character development was terrific all around, especially for a relatively short book. I loved the duel POVs and settings (one in the past and one in the present), and the whole thing had Evelyn Hugo+Daisy Jones and the Six vibes, which were 10/10. My high school students will love this as it has the compelling story/pacing to keep their attention, but also tackles important issues they can relate to like dreaming of a bigger life after high school, feeling pressure to hide one's full identity, and the highs and lows of first love.

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A wonderful journey about heroes not being who you thought and self discovery.

Darren wants out of her hometown, just like her favorite musician Decklee escaped decades prior. When Decklee leaves a quest after her death, Darren and her co-worker Kendall take off on a journey across the South to find the prize, but the answers aren't all what Darren expects.

This is told in split-POV: Darren going on the journey and Decklee's rise to stardom. I liked the back and forth and how Darren's journey follows the steps Decklee took. I love how Darren makes some significant self realizations about her sexuality (and Decklee's), her feelings about home, and her priorities. I even appreciated the ending.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and publisher for the opportunity to read and review!

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A huge thank you to the author for approaching me about reading and reviewing an early copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

You don't have to be a fan of country music to enjoy Every Time You Hear That Song by Jenna Voris—I'm certainly not. Even though this is a massive love letter to country legends and their impact on fans, it's so much more than that. It's a queer coming-of-age story wrapped up in a road trip with dual POVs to give an added layer to the story.

Having Decklee's point of view through her career helped round out the story for me. Knowing that Darren and her mom strongly connect to Decklee Cassel was great and all, but seeing how Darren views her vs how Decklee actually was and seeing her do what she thought she had to to get where she ended up was so much more impactful that if we hadn't gotten her POV at all. She may have clawed her way to the top from nothing, but at what cost?

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It's the perfect read to kick off summer and what's typically considered road trip season. Darren and Kendall had such great chemistry and the slow build was totally worth it. I loved seeing Darren wrestle with her queerness and all the little things along the way that helped her realize that it's okay to be bisexual. Even in a small Arkansas town that seems to defeat you before your life has really begun. The road trip and scavenger hunt not only helped Darren learn more about her favorite musical artist, but it helped her learn more about herself and what she wants out of life.

I won't spoil more than I already have, but I think this is such an impactful read. Especially to young queer girls. The ending isn't the payoff I wanted, but it was incredibly realistic and a breath of fresh air, honestly. Not everything has to end up with a flashy ending. Things turned out well in the end for Darren and cast, but it didn't exactly go where I expected. That said, I highly recommend this for fans of Brian D. Kennedy's A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY.

CONTENT WARNING for talk of cancer and potential relapse, parental abandonment, and homophobia

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This was such a fun read! I love road trips and I love scavenger hunts. Darren and Kendall are great, I loved their chemistry together. I really liked the dual timeline narration between Decklee and Darren, seeing Decklees career through both of their eyes. I really did not want to put this down. You get small town slice of life and big city adventures, I was raving about this book before I even finished it.

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Everytime You Hear that Song is the perfect book for fans of country music, roadtrips, love, history, mysteries, and books like A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy. This book features stories of love that span decades and features a fun trip and story about uncovering the past & being who you are. If any of
This appeals to you then you’ll need to pick up Everytime You Hear That Song.

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