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

Friday 27 October 2023

Review: One Song: Sometimes A Song Presses Pause On The World

This coming-of-age meets The Voice (the tv show, not the referendum!) story, taps into the zeitgeist that is music, fan-dom, celebrity, being seen and heard, personal integrity , teenage angst and connection.

And it’s truly awesome!

One Song tells the story of 17-year-old Eva, an introverted songwriter who is obsessed with Cooper, the son of a genuine rockstar. 

The two of them used to have something going on before the pandemic, but now it seems they’re just buddies. Although he HAS just invited Eva into his band, with the hope of winning Triple J’s Unearthed Songwriting competition.

For Eva, there’s a lot on the line. 

Her heart – which still holds a flame for Cooper. And this is her fourth year of entering the competition, so she’s decided it’s her last. The previous knockbacks in the form of no response at all, have taken a heavy toll on her. 

There is so much to love about this riveting, page-turning book with clever twists and reveals throughout. It is set over one weekend during which the newly formed band must write a killer song, deal with each other’s obsessions and flaws, and recognise some home truths that are not easy to swallow, One Song is a page turner from start to finish.

The book is beautifully written, with characters who are flawed and outrageous and normal and selfish and totally relatable – we care about them as we read and we think about them when we put the book down, IF we put the book down. 

Cleverly capturing the energy of young musos and placing this brilliantly into a contemporary song competition, is nothing short of genius – as is writing a book about the creation of music when there’s nothing to hear but the sound in your head as you read! 

It totally works - it’s spell-binding, spine-tingling stuff. This story is one for the ages. Actually, it’s one for ALL ages. So much to think about. So much to dive into.

The perfect teenage story!  

Title: One Song: Sometimes A Song Presses Pause On The World
Author Illustrator: AJ Betts
Publisher: Pan MacMillan, $19.99
Publication Date: 25 July 2023
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781761264900
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction