I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Exile by Kevin Emerson
Also by this author: Encore to an Empty Room, , Finding Abbey Road
Series: Exile #1
Also in this series: Encore to an Empty Room, , Finding Abbey Road
Narrator: Emma Galvin
Length: 7 Hours 48 Minutes
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-04-29
Genres: Dating & Sex, Family, Music, Performing Arts, Siblings, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Kevin Emerson's Exile combines the swoon-worthy romance of a Susane Colasanti novel with the rock 'n' roll of Eleanor & Park. Summer Carlson knows how to manage bands like a professional—minus the whole falling-for-the-lead-singer-of-the-latest-band part. But Caleb Daniels isn't an ordinary band boy—he's a hot, dreamy, sweet-singing, exiled-from-his-old-band, possibly-with-a-deep-dark-side band boy. She also finds herself at the center of a mystery she never saw coming. When Caleb reveals a secret about his long-lost father, one band's past becomes another's present, and Summer finds it harder and harder to be both band manager and girlfriend. Maybe it's time to accept who she really is, even if it means becoming an exile herself. . . .
Why Did I Listen To This Book?
Exile by Kevin Emerson is totally a book that appealed to me because of the cover and the subject matter, which is bands and music. I had been approved on Edelweiss, then the ARC showed up in the mail. Then the cheery yellow cover started calling to me, so I added it to my books to read by BEA pile, also because it was short. Then serendipity happened and I was offered an audiobook review copy of Exile and I was like YESSS this will help me beat my BEA-TBR pile of doom. Also, it’s narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Emma Galvin who I just can’t say no to.
What’s The Story Here?
Summer goes to Pop Arts High School in what is kind of an LA suburb. She has a talent for picking out and managing bands that will go far. When her boyfriend Ethan’s band Postcards To something or other gets signed by Candy Shell Records, he drops Summer like a hot potato and she’s left kind of adrift. You see, Summer doesn’t have musical skills. She’s only really good at managing bands. And well, she doesn’t have any other friends really. So, after a birthday party at the lesbian burrito joint that is only attended by her parents and her awesome Aunt Jeanine, Summer has to get her life figured out. Anyways, to make a long story short, she comes across this guy, Caleb who goes to her school and she helps him form a band called Dangerheart (LOL). Anyways, Caleb is the son of Eli White who was a member of this super famous band, Allegiance To North. Anyways, Eli has been dead for awhile and there are some lost Allegiance To North songs and Caleb just might find those songs with the help of Summer. And that friends, is Exile in a super short leaving a lot of parts out nutshell.
How Is Summer As A Character?
Frankly, Summer is not even Summer’s real name. Her name is actually Catherine, but she goes by Summer, although her twitter handle is something like Catherine For Never, but all abbreviated. I think Emerson did a good job painting Summer’s yearning to find her place and acceptance. Like, I know that’s not the theme of the book, but Summer’s parents want her to do something normal with her life like become a lawyer, instead of a band manager. Summer’s identity might as well be that of band groupie even though she’s totally more than that. There’s a really great scene where she’s thinking about how her car is just a method of control that her parents have over her and her life. It’s actually really interesting seeing the identity crisis, almost, that Summer er Catherine er Summer goes through.
How Is The Romance?
There’s totally a romance between Summer and Caleb. You guys, I won’t say I swooned, because ehhh. However, what I will say is that Emerson’s Exile does a pretty good job capturing the awkwardness of teenage dating. There’s jealousy and a lot of it on Summer’s end. There’s self- consciousness. There’s some kissing. There’s some questioning about the kissing. There’s a distinct lack of certainty in the relationship. Both Summer and Caleb are flawed. There’s also fighting. I guess I just liked reading about them as a couple because it’s dramatic, but in a totally realistic, high school sort of way. It felt authentic from my end.
What Is The Narration Like?
I really think that Emma Galvin was the perfect narrator for this book. I’ll admit that I don’t always have the best luck with Emerson’s books, like I wasn’t 100% into The Lost Code. So if not for the cheery yellow cover, I would have been hesitant to read this book. Yet, Galvin’s narration made Exile seem more approachable for me. She does a great job narrating Summer with vulnerability. I actually liked Emma’s narration and the words so much that I kept flipping ahead in my physical copy just to make sure that Caleb wasn’t going to do something and to make sure that Summer was going to be okay. I don’t know that I would have had that reaction had I not listened to the audiobook. Like, I would not have been as invested in Exile if I read it physically. Also! At the end of the audiobook there are two songs performed by the author, Kevin Emerson, from the book. It’s such a cool little bonus. Thus, I have to recommend that if you decide you want to read Exile because you are in the mood for a music related young adult contemporary book, you need to listen to the audiobook.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
This GIF is actually kind of perfect because of the role that anxiety plays in Exile. Also, the music.