Trigger Warnings: underage drinking, death, suicide, drug use and overdose
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Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.
But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.
Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.
It only took 22 pages for You’d Be Mine to completely take over my heart. I didn’t grow up as country as some did in my small Oklahoma town, but the roots are definitely there, and this book reminded me of that. This was a highly anticipated read for me. It sounded like it was going to be right up my alley, but I was unprepared for just how much I would truly love it. As soon as I started reading, I was transfixed, and before I knew it five Luke Bryan albums had gone by and I was reading the last page.
You’d Be Mine features dual point of views, so we experience things from both Clay and Annie’s perspectives. Normally when a book has more than one POV I find myself favoring one of the voices and always wishing it were their chapter. Erin Hahn’s characters were some of the best I’ve ever read though, and I was fully invested in both Clay and Annie. There were so many levels to each of them, and as the story unfolded, layers were stripped away and the reader is able to really get to know and understand their feelings and actions. The Clay and Annie we meet at the beginning of the book are not the same Clay and Annie we leave at the end. Their essences are the same, but they’ve grown and developed so much.
Hahn’s main characters don’t completely steal the show though because all of the supporting characters were just as wonderful. The dynamic between Annie and her bandmates/best friends, Jason and Kacey, was wonderful. I was afraid something would happen to break them up, but they stuck together and never once stopped supporting each other. Clay makes some really stupid decisions throughout the book, but the way Fitz was always there for him and willing to help was also so good to see. And I can’t go without mentioning Annie’s grandparents who were absolute delights and I loved when they would pop into the story.
Because I was so invested in the characters and plot, You’d Be Mine was such a fast read. Hahn’s writing is lyrical and never once does it feel like things are dragging. Every word has a purpose and there is no mindless filler. I’ve read books where the main character is a music artist that writes their own music, but oftentimes we don’t get to read their songs. I was so excited that Annie and Clay’s music was put onto the page for us. Not only is Hahn an amazing young adult author, but she’s also an incredible songwriter. I really need Kacey Musgraves to record Annie’s original songs ASAP. It desperately needs to happen. I also really love when the title of the book actually shows up at some point in the story, so the fact that Annie’s biggest song was titled You’d Be Mine was really more than I could ask for.
Y’all, I really feel like I could talk about this book all day. When I say that this is going to be my favorite book of 2019, I really mean it. Hahn’s words completely got under my skin and ingrained themselves within me. The fact that this novel is a debut blows me away because it doesn’t feel that way at all. This completely became one of my all time favorite books and I’m now a lifelong fan of this author. I’m so glad that Wednesday Books has already acquired a second novel from her, and I can’t wait to read it.
Seriously though, if you only pick up one book that I recommend this year, let it be this one. Pre-order it, go to your local bookstore the day it comes out and buy it, pick it up the next time you have some extra money. At some point, just get it. Give Annie and Clay a chance. You won’t be disappointed.