Love Songs & Other Lies – Jessica Pennington

35034369Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: April 24th, 2018
Publisher: Tor Teen
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Music, Romance, Mystery, Bad Behaviors


Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.


All I can hear is her breathing and mine. It reminds me of the nursing home, listening to her through the curtain, sure she’d find me eavesdropping.

Meet Cam, he is a stalker.

What can possibly be so sexy about guys following girls around? I, for one, don’t want to have someone observe my every move and eavesdrop on me. I live in a free country, so let me enjoy my freedom, thank you very much.

At the same time, it’s somewhat possible to like Cam because he is very sweet, but I certainly do not condone his propensity for stalking the girl he likes, even if this eventually becomes part of a school project. Sidebar: Why would you make someone your ‘‘school project’’ if you don’t want them to find out you’re stalking them?

It might be Cameron Fuller’s first day at Riverton High School, but it isn’t the first time I’ve seen him. I worked at the beach over the summer and saw this guy every single day for the last few weeks. Always carrying his surfboard, always by himself. Most of the day he would float on his board, never even trying to stand; just floating, drifting. He never even approached any of the girls constantly surrounding his towel who—let’s be honest—pretty much had signs positioned over their blankets that said ‘‘willing and available’’.
Clearly he was a terrorist.

Vee then proceeds to explain, in more detail, what she means by ‘‘terrorist,’’ which she is doing to justify her use of the word. How often are we required to justify the words we use? Not often, because we only do so when we find it necessary. The author knew this word would cause frowns, and yet chose to include it anyway.

Really, since when is it okay to throw such a word around so casually? Would it be okay for me to call people who prefer light coloured fruits to darker fruits ‘‘racists’’?

No, it would not be acceptable. You’d think an adult would know better than to include such a passage, but that just proves that ignorance touches every age range.

If Cam wants to stare at me, I’m going to give him something to watch. Something to really think about. As much as I hate to admit it, when I’d put on this little sundress, this is the moment I had in mind. Him thinking about what he could have had, what he missed, what he wasted.

I did not like Vee. She is immature, holds grudges, and judges others. Those are not things I want to see in my contemporary heroines. When someone refuses to give another person a second chance, without straight-forwardly explaining why, it gets old fast.

The story alternates between Cam and Vee, and past and present, to explore why these two’s relationship deteriorated, and that, too, gets old fast. I don’t care for a mystery in my supposedly light beach romance read. If I want to read one, I will choose a great mystery novel without a lot of romance to overshadow that aspect of it.

Decent writing and love interest – stalking propensity aside, although it is hard to overlook it – but an annoying heroine and even more annoying cast of secondary characters. Ever heard of respecting women, Logan?

A fully grown female author wrote this without noticing how it reduces girls to objects to look at and treat as boys please. Shame.

*Quotes taken from an Advance Reader’s Copy.


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