Rock And A Hard Place | Angie Stanton | Book Review

Sometimes, I am totally in the market for books that won’t take a whole lot out of me and books that do not require so much effort on my end, either emotionally or intellectually to read. Maybe you agree with me, maybe you think all books should be challenges. That’s fine. For me though, when I am lying in bed hacking up a lung and drifting in and out of sleep, I want a simple book with a lot of melodrama, not something full of metaphors and big ideas. That’s where Rock And A Hard Place by Angie Stanton comes in. It’s a young adult contemporary book about a girl who falls in love with a rock star. It’s very short, it doesn’t go too far beneath the surface, but it perfectly met my needs while I was not feeling up to speed. I found that I actually really loved Rock And A Hard Place and would definitely recommend it to people looking for a light and easy read.

Rock And A Hard Place by Angie Stanton | Good Books And Good Wine

Rock And A Hard Place by Angie Stanton has an easy to follow storyline. Essentially the main characters are Libby and then rock star Peter Jamieson, who is in a band with his brothers called Jamieson. Basically, Libby lives in Wisconsin near a preserve in a tumbledown farmhouse with her aunt who is legitimately cray-cray, if you know what I mean. Libby is barely allowed to leave the house. She does not have a computer or a phone. She’s not allowed to get a job. She’s basically isolated. So anyways, one day she is at the nature preserve which is the only place she’s allowed to go when the Jamieson tour bus pulls up and the boys get out for a picnic. She has no idea who they are. Peter, a bit of an introvert, begins talking with Libby who clearly does not know his fame, and finds himself immensely attracted to her. The two form a bit of a love at first sight bond slash romance. All kinds of things begin to test their burgeoning relationship, but of course based on the cover and the summary we all know how this will end. The journey though, is juicy and dramatic and quite engaging. It’s a lot like a CW show, I’d wager.

As a person, I am not entirely sold on Libby. Like, she has a very sad back story, you see, her mom and her sister died in a car accident. Her dad has abandoned her to his aunt and has like no contact with Libby. Her aunt is quite abusive. Yet, to live through all of that and still have hope shows me some measure of strength. I just kind of wish Libby had a bit more moxie or maybe a stronger personality? She’s sort of a blank slate where you can kind of imprint yourself or easily put yourself into the story. I also was not totally in love with this whole ‘Peter you save me, you saved my life’ thread, because you know, the whole damsel in distress thing is overplayed. But, beyond that, I didn’t hate Libby and I was compelled by her dark history.

The love interest, Peter, was also okay. He’s sort of the front man of Jamieson. Yet, he doesn’t take total advantage of the fame. Peter is the middle child. He definitely gets along well with his family, but they still annoy him. Some of my favorite parts of Rock And A Hard Place were the interactions between the Jamieson family members. I guess he’s swoonworthy in that he is a very, very nice guy, a good listener and a musician. If you’re into that, you’ll be into Stanton’s book.

Honestly, while there are parts of Rock And A Hard Place that come across as cheesy and eyeroll worthy, I could not set this book down. I was totally absorbed by Libby’s back story and whether she would get out of her situation or not. I was compelled by the band drama. I was into the kissing scenes. I have to state that Stanton is really awesome at plotting and writing storylines that have me completely engaged. While I was not challenged by this book, I was totally entertained by it and so if you’re looking for an entertaining quick read, pick up Rock And A Hard Place by Angie Stanton.

Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher

Other reviews of Rock And A Hard Place by Angie Stanton:

Into The Hall Of Books – “one of those perfect in-between books
Quinn’s Book Nook – “I was very underwhelmed
YA Book Diva – “It was super good and a really quick read.

Books by Angie Stanton:
Snowed Over

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I know exactly what you mean when you say you sometimes search for less taxing novels to read! For whatever reason, whenever I’m sick, I want to read nothing but one simple, fun urban fantasy novel after another. If it had werewolves, vampires, or shape shifters in it, it’s safe to say that I read it last week when I was sick with bronchitis. There’s nothing wrong with wanting something that’s a little more fun or doesn’t require your entire focus or attention. Like you, I don’t want to have to dissect everything I read for some greater, deeper meaning!

    While my track record with the New Adult genre has been less than stellar, the premise of Rock And A Hard Place definitely appeals to me. I’ve always had a weakness for romance novels in which one of the main characters is a musician (That, and cowboys. Beautiful, rugged cowboys), so I could imagine falling quite easily in love with Peter. That said, I don’t tend to enjoy stories in which the male lead has a hero complex and needs to ‘save’ the heroine. Why not have a romance novel in which the heroine saves herself instead? Something tells me I would find Libby a little grating for precisely this reason, as it sounds like she has very little agency of her own and is more of a reactionary character, which I don’t tend to have much patience for.

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this one, April! I’m not convinced it would be the right choice for me as I usually gravitate toward something a little different when I’m looking for a ‘lighter’ read, but I’ll keep it in mind the next time I’m in the mood for something with a little music and a whole lot of melodrama 😉

  2. This definitely sounds like a light, engaging read! Having been a big fan of boy bands all my high school — well, all my life, the fact that this is a love story between a rock star and an ordinary girl would clearly appeal to me. Even though it does come across as a bit fluffy, in spite of the issues and all, I think it would make for an entertaining read.