Review: Songs About Us by Chris Russell

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Two months on from the explosive finale to book one, Charlie’s life is almost back to normal again: rebuilding her relationship with her father, hanging out with best mate Melissa, and worrying about GCSEs. All the while, Gabe’s revelations about her mother are never far from her mind. And neither is Gabe.
It’s not long before Charlie is pulled back into the world of Fire&Lights – but the band seem different this time. But then again, so is she…
Meanwhile, tensions between Gabe and Olly continue to run high, leading to more turmoil between the band members and press than ever before. But when Gabriel and Charlie stumble upon yet another startling truth that links them together – everything they have stands to implode in front of them.

I’m back in the world of Fire&Lights, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a few weeks since I finished Songs About A Girl, but it felt like I’d had no break at all. These books have such an easy and comforting flow to them, I picked it straight back up right away.

I shall continue on here from my review of Songs About a Girl with my pure and incredible amount of admiration for Chris. Again, this book is amazing, and the writing is a massive part of that. These books wouldn’t be what they are without the writing. They wouldn’t even be half as good.

“You shouldn’t put so much pressure on yourself…

Without spoiling too much of the goings-on in Charlie’s story, I want to say that this book has amazing representation. There are many struggles from different characters, including relationship, friendship and family issues. So many things occur and are handeled in such a good way, and it really gives a whole host of different readers something to relate to.

Before I go into the poetic speech I feel is going to come, let’s break this book down simply. As I mentioned, the writing is incredible. The plot is very fast-paced and there is constantly something going on. There is an awesome moment with LGBTQIA+ representation that was both unexpected and excellent. The way it didn’t change how Charlie saw this character felt so damn important, it might be some of the best passing representation I have seen in YA so far.

“You are who you are. Maybe that’ll change, maybe it won’t.

As mentioned in my review for the first book, we continue to have a broad range of characters. Some good, some bad, all of them are well developed and add a lot to the story.

Now for my speech, I guess! I don’t even know how to describe this, but Chris has done something incredible. He took something I saw as shallow, materialistic and full of screaming teenage girls (band life), and gave it real depth and emotion. He gave me a world I adore and surprised me with how much I fell for it.

“As long as you’re happy, none of it matters.”

★★★★★

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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