'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 25 July 2019

Review: The Astrid Notes

Taryn Bashford has a way of hooking you on the first page and drawing you in with each new chapter.

In this latest book, she focuses on Jacob, a character from her debut novel, The Harper Effect. Jacob, a trust-fund kid with ever-absent parents, has an immense talent as an Indie singer but feels unable to sing again. We also meet Astrid, a rising opera star and dutiful daughter with a serious case of stage fright.

At first, they seem like complete opposites, but both are going through similar life-changing experiences, struggling to overcome tragedy and parental expectations.

Set in the world of elite music, we follow their journey through grief and guilt as they try to establish themselves in the competitive music industry.

Astrid, desperate to please her father and live up to her dead mother's reputation as a classical singer, would rather be writing pop songs. The revelation of a shocking family secret throws her into further turmoil.

Meanwhile, Jacob, unable to deal with a tragic loss and his recent break-up with girlfriend Harper (yes, that's right!), is refusing to sing again and turns to self-destructive behaviour — until his father issues an ultimatum that brings the two teenagers together.

Bashford's characters are authentic and intriguing, and she builds the plot with finesse to a beautiful crescendo. Her portrayal of the elite music world and her balance between the teenagers' burgeoning romance, family struggles and internal conflict are finely tuned and make for a heartrending and gripping read.

Title: The Astrid Notes
Author: Taryn Bashford
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia, $18.99
Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760552213
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction