Series: Hub City #2
Published by InterMix on 06/21/16
Genres: New Adult, Romance
What happens on the road stays on the road in the latest New Adult novel from the author of Loud Is How I Love You.
Twenty-one-year-old Sonia Grant, a business major, has big plans for a career in the music industry. So when she’s offered the job of tour manager for her best friend’s band, she jumps at the chance for some real life experience. When her number one crush, bassist Cole McCormack, jumps her the first night on tour, she hopes she’s in for three weeks of some hot backstage action, too. But Cole turns out to have more up his sleeve than she or anyone realized.
Nobody knows that Cole is on the road to party like a rock star one last time before quitting his dream to take a more practical job and settle down. What he hadn’t planned was to fall in love with a girl he believes is out of his league. Will Cole play out the rock star fantasy he thinks Sonia wants from him, or tell her the truth and take the chance that she’ll either break his heart or make an even bigger dream come true?
It’s a review bonanza! We all read and reviewed Stay Until We Break, and like with book one, the opinions are varied. I guess it’s just one of those series. Read and tell us what you think!
I loved the first book in this series, Loud is How I Love You, so much that I was very much looking forward to this one. I am pretty disappointed to have to tell you that it let me down.
Was it bad? No. But it was just okay, especially compared to its predecessor. I wanted it to be so much more.
I struggled in the beginning to become engaged. I was pretty bored at the start and quickly became unmotivated to continue reading but pushed myself to keep going. Then it really picked up, and I loved the characters and the story. It was funny and sexy and there was some pretty delicious tension between Sonia and Cole.
While I really enjoyed a good chunk of Sonia and Cole together, I didn’t especially care for them as individuals. I liked Cole’s character but his conflict and issues seemed too forced. It seemed like the author really had a hard time coming up with a problem for them that needed to be overcome and she forced these square peg characters into the round hole of the plot. And then it was resolved way too easily. It made all of the turmoil seem so unnecessary.
Sonia wasn’t especially likeable either. I didn’t dislike her; I just didn’t really get her. I can’t even really think of a way to describe her. She was just kind of there. There wasn’t anything memorable or special about her.
Anyway, as I was saying, the beginning was boring, then it picked up. Then? I hit about 70% and became very bored again. I found myself skimming way too often. In Brown’s bio, she says that she’s a musician so I can kind of understand how she can wax poetic about music for pages and pages and pages, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the reader will find it all that interesting. Which I didn’t. I was so bored by all of the music talk. There were these huge, chunky paragraphs that didn’t seem to add anything to the story. It got to the point where I would skim, turn pages, and think, “She’s still going on about this show”.
There were certain things that I enjoyed about it, and parts that I even really liked. But the book as a whole fell flat.
SPOILER: Tara pret-ty much said everyfuckingthing I wanted to say. How did you do that, bitch?
Earlier this year I read and reviewed Mercy Brown’s debut novel, Loud is How I Love You on my previous blog. I was instantly drawn in by the sharp writing and hometown feel and can say that it still stands out as a book I really enjoyed. Coming off of such a great experience with Loud, I was eagerly waiting for its follow up, Stay Until We Break. And, well…meh.
Just like Loud the cover is pretty great. No, actually, it’s better. I love the coloring, the fonts, the overall feel of it; it all works well together. If I saw it on a bookshelf I would absolutely pick it up, touch it, smell it, run my fingers up and down the…don’t lie, you do this to your pretties.
I also enjoyed the decision to narrate the story in a dual POV. I honestly didn’t even realize, but about halfway through I stopped and thought to myself “wait, this is dual POV”. I can distinctly remember being disappointed that book one was only presented in Emmylou’s POV so that was a nice change. However I’m wondering if it was necessary here. Yes, I loved being able to experience the thoughts and feelings of both Sonia and Cole, but now I’m wondering what my reaction would have been had it been only Sonia’s POV, or Cole’s. Never satisfied, am I?
Cover and delivery aside, I wasn’t as impressed this time around. The pacing was uneven, the characters marginal and so much of the story was overshadowed by tour misadventures. I did not enjoy the way the tour shenanigans seemed to trump the characters personal issues or backgrounds as the source of tension between Cole and Sonia. I felt it was unbalanced and didn’t propel the storyline or make the climax and resolution as impactful as it could have been. And it could have been so much more heartfelt, because that epilogue? really sweet, albeit a little cheesy. I actually feel bad for Sonia and Cole, I really enjoyed the romance between them but overall? Their story definitely gets the b-side.
Unfortunately, Stay Until We Break doesn’t leave me feeling curious or excited about future books in the series. I really feel like book three, whatever the title is or whoever it might be about, really needs to bring it. Give me authentic and relatable characters, bring it back to Hub City and write the fuck out of it.
Hmm.. Well I had a totally different experience that those two ^^ Here’s what I thought:
“As long as you’re still dreaming there’s always another moment that comes along. Maybe an even better one.”
Oh, to be young and free and living the dream.
I’m jealous. Stay Until We Break is a story about a tenacious group of dreamers who stubbornly pursue their dreams while making crazy, reckless, stupid, and inspired decisions along the way. In book two of The Hub City series, Mercy Brown took me on a fun ride through music and time, and though I might not have loved every second of it, I can say that I truly loved the parts that I loved.
Stay Until We Break follows the whole Stars on the Floor gang that was introduced in Loud is How I Love You, but focuses on Cole and Sonia, two characters that I barely noticed in the first book but ended up liking more that Emmy and Travis. Actually, I liked this whole installment more than I did with book one. Where in book one the focus was on the tumultuous relationship, and the never-ending push and pull between the two protagonists, SUWB has a broader lens, though the romance is still vital. This installment seemed to give me more rounded characters, because the protagonists had their own stuff going on, their own issues to overcome and I enjoyed watching them juggle it all while figuring out their feelings for each other.
In Stay, the band (Soft) sets out on a tour (imagine a beat up van, small clubs, five people sleeping in one room, surviving on peanut butter sandwiches, and drunken foolishness to pass the time — that kind of tour). Sonia is on a mission to get the band signed to bigger and better things, and Cole is just living in the moment, aware that when it’s all over his future is already set. I loved both Sonia and Cole, and they’re the reason I liked this story so much. Especially Cole. Sonia, the awkward girl with little experience with rockers; and Cole, the womanizer who’s been secretly pining for Sonia for years though he doesn’t think he’s good enough for her.
I’ve never read a book quite like this before. I’ve seen movies like this, but this is the most unfiltered, unglamorous look I’ve gotten of the rocker lifestyle in a romance novel, and I liked the experience. I loved all the musical scenes (they were just filled with so much passion), but the after parties, not so much. There were times when the immaturity spiked above my tolerance level, but generally I found those scenes amusing, even if I did roll my eyes a bit, and occasionally grew impatient. Overall, I found the tour shenanigans a fun experience, because I could definitely sense how passionately the author feels about music and this world, and I didn’t mind going along for the ride. Though, those times when Sonia and Cole are able to connect during the madness… I kept reading for those.
Stay is a different experience than book one, and I can appreciate that, especially relating to the romance, because there is no ridiculous angst. Thank, Christ. There were a few moments in the beginning when I was nervous these two would annoy me, but that wasn’t the case. And … Whew! … Because, I would’ve choked someone if I had to experience another EmmyLou situation. She even annoyed me in this book!
Mostly, I enjoyed the romance because it was a slow burn. Man did Mercy Brown make me wait for it, but it was worth it. I loved watching Cole and Sonia fall in love, even with the serious possibility that it wouldn’t work out. I’ll be honest, there were tears shed during some surprisingly emotion scenes. Oh, Cole!
This book was an enjoyable escape (and very needed during a time when I just couldn’t stand the world anymore). The characters live freely, they live boldly, and they live loudly. I really liked being in their world. I’d recommend this book to someone who wants a little bit more than just romance in their romance as it isn’t quite the typical romance. I’d also recommend this to anyone who wants to lives vicariously through the young and the reckless.
“I know not all dreams last forever. But you never really know. Maybe some do.”