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Jasprit

Jasprit

Paradise - Jill S. Alexander Covers can be so deceiving at times; in the last few weeks I have come across several gorgeous covers, but the story hasn’t been worthwhile at all. I had my doubts when picking up Paradise, thinking it may be some light easy going read full with sexual banter, but the saying never judge a book by its cover could never have been more true than for this book.Paisley has wanted to be a drummer for as long as she can remember, she’s always busting out beats on anything her hands can find, always carries her drumsticks everywhere and when she gets a chance on the drums, it’s easy to see that she is one talented drummer. It’s their band the Waylon Slider’s band dream to make it to Texapalooza; an amateur band contest where big scouts come and watch. However first they need to find a singer and practice, practice practice. The only thing that is holding Paisley back is her mother, she isn’t aware that Paisley has been playing in a band, especially in a band with Waylon (the band leader). Paisley’s mother has never really gotten along with Waylon’s family. But also Paisleys mum wants much more for her daughters, she doesn’t want them stuck with a kid by graduation, stuck with a dead end job and no career like she was. She wants them to go for the best opportunities in life and grab them with both hands. So Paisleys dream of becoming a drummer and Lacey her sister’s dream of becoming a beautician, they have to try and achieve in secret.Paradise was such a gut wrenching story; about having dreams but not being able to grasp them because there’s always something or someone holding you back. Gabe/Paradise was the only real character whose mere presence made such an impact on the other characters around him; he gave Paisley the confidence to believe in herself, make her want to stand up to her mother and reach for her dreams; helped Waylon break out of his shell; a shell which he was smothered with because of his talented families expectations, and so he always he expected himself to fail. Paradise encouraged the group to go forward, to actually to believe they had a chance at Texapalooza. Paradise was such a talented lovable character, he easily brought a smile to my face, he had such a huge impact on me on an emotional level; had me bawling like a baby and just broke my heart.I really enjoy music themed books, sometimes it’s hard to find the balance; a book which focuses on the music aspect and brings out a story strongly too, Paradise does just that; the detail in which Alexander goes into the practice sessions I felt like I was actually there with the bass pumping and the drums pounding a steady beat, the atmosphere at times was electric, I was so caught up in the moment, it really got me in the mood for a music concert.“When Waylonturned the song over to him, Paradise growled out Waylon’s lyrics inhis velvety bass. The more he sang, the more his voice melted withthe whining guitars, the more the deep drum tones seemed to sinklike an anchor in a dark sea”The music theme was matched well with all the characters battling with their own problems, and the music; practising with the band being their only means of output of coping with it all. One of my favourite parts of this book was the lyrics we got to the songs in between the chapters, they had an essence of yearning, they were raw and just so heartfelt.“We’re heading back home, but it won’t be the sameMe and my boys, only a mention of your name It would’ve have been sweet to have you alongBut when he took your hand, I knew you were goneSome place away from the crowd and the noiseI should tell you I love care, but I can’t find the voiceSo this is how I doSix strings and a heart for you.”Paradise was a tender, poignant novel which definitely over-whelmed me in so many ways. I’m actually kicking myself for not picking it up sooner.This review and more can also be found on my blog: The Readers Den