Can a struggling boy who writes beautiful music find love with a privileged girl who writes beautiful lyrics? Maybe in a country song.
From country duo Thompson Square, in collaboration with Thrasher (Home Run, 2013, etc.), comes a love story. Inspired by their Grammy-award winning song “Are You Gonna Kiss me or Not?,” the novel traces the romance between Casey Sparkland and Daniel Winter. It’s senior year in high school, and Casey used to have her life planned out: Until her boyfriend, Liam, dumped her over the summer for a sophomore, she had planned to attend Duke with him. Then Daniel notices her. Daniel is smitten with Casey, but his future is anything but certain. To graduate, he desperately needs to pass math, and so he proposes an extra credit project: a song for Pi Day. Mr. Macklin pairs Daniel with Casey—he’ll write the music, and she’ll write the lyrics. And so a hit-making, songwriting duo is born. After Liam once again proves himself a jerk at the prom, love blossoms between Casey and Daniel. The pressures of a long-distance romance, however, push Daniel to leave Casey behind as he pursues his musical career. Casey marries a faithless cad, and years pass, plunging her into emotional turmoil and Daniel into dire financial straits. Yet each still dwells on their time together, fantasizing about recapturing that magic. Sprinkled with reflections upon the music that formed the soundtrack of their lives, Daniel’s journey back to Casey traces well-worn sentimental terrain, from high school hopes to college frustrations to young-adult resignation. Jumping back and forth between the past and present, as well as between Daniel’s and Casey’s perspectives, further underscores the predictability of the plot.
Daniel and Casey’s story is warmhearted but slight.