At the unusual, LA-area Mount Hope High, students are immersed in the music industry, taking classes such as Physics of Volume and playing showcases in the Don Henley amphitheater; here, even nonmusicians like Summer can study the marketing and management aspects of the music business.
Caleb and Summer quickly bond at the beginning of the book; incidents that occurred last year have left them both exiled from the school’s music scene. Caleb shares with Summer the revelation that prompted his recent unravelling—he has learned that he is the son of notorious dead rock star Eli White. As Summer helps Caleb put together and promote his new band, Dangerheart, she also helps him unravel the mystery of his father’s legendary lost songs. She struggles to balance her roles as supportive girlfriend and band manager, especially once the mysterious Val shows up, who rocks as Dangerheart’s bassist but seems interested in being more than just bandmates with Caleb. The well-paced narrative presents a unique perspective on this genre, showcasing teens on the business side of the music industry, and the twists in the storyline will keep readers’ attention. The abrupt ending avoids wrapping up many of the story’s loose ends, leaving several subplots and characters waiting for the sequel.
This engaging read steeped in music, romance and mystery opens a promising trilogy. (Fiction. 13-17)