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All The Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso Review

Hi ForeverBookers, 

I’ve just finished “All The Wrong Chords” by Christine Hurley Deriso, and it was okay! It certainly isn’t on my top reads list of the year but I didn’t completely hate it. 

3 Stars!

“All The Wrong Chords” is written in first person. I liked this because we could see what our main character, Scarlett was thinking throughout. She was sometimes a little annoying but all characters have their flaws as well as good points. Scarlett is staying with her Grandpa. I loved reading about their relationship. Her grandpa reminded me of my Grandad a little, too. 

The title of the book, “All The Wrong Chords”, is a take on the music scene, which the book is very much about, but it’s also about life in general, I think. It’s about watching young people grow up, making wrong decisions and seeing how they resolve their issues.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with this arc. All The Wrong Chords has just released, according to Goodreads.

Spoilers Below...

Most of the story follows Scarlett who’s in love with Damon, lead singer of The Beestings, the band she joins. She’s infatuated with him, it’s that bad! If you don’t like instalove this might not be for you. I like and yet, I was put off by this relationship. The author writes, 

“It’s really insane how good looking he is”

This is what Scarlett thinks about the lead singer of the Beestings. I don’t think many girls fawn over guys like this. I know I certainly didn’t. It’s just so unrealistic. Scarlett has known Damon for a matter of weeks one summer and she’s already so in love with him. It’s tacky writing from the author. 

A good part of “All The Wrong Chords” was representation for sibling loss. Scarlett has lost her brother to a drug overdose. This is reflected upon throughout “All The Wrong Chords”. She still has a sister, Sara, who she’s close too but Scarlett’s brother is who got her into music. This brother died of a drug overdose. She really joins the band for him, to carry on his memory. 

Also there’s a parental figure that suffers with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which Kyle, one of the bandmates tells Scarlett is a 

“horrible deal where your body freezes up inch by inch”. 

It’s Zach’s mom who’s suffering. Zach is another band mate. He’s actually the one that invites Scarlett to join The Beestings. I’d never heard of this disease before reading All The Wrong Chords, and although it’s only a side character that has it, it’s again good for the representation.

There are gay characters as well. One of whom is Scarlett’s best friend, Varun. I don’t want to spoil who the other one is, but it was a surprise, to learn who’s also gay. 

Another thing that I didn’t like about “All The Wrong Chords” was the pacing. It felt really off all the way through. One minute the characters would be practicing for a gig and the next Scarlett and Zach would be at the swimming pool, where Scarlett is working for the summer. It didn’t read smoothly at all. 

What did I like about “All The Wrong Chords”? 

I liked all the different forms of representation that were brought up in All The Wrong Chords.

I liked most of the relationships between the characters. The only one I didn’t like was Scarlett and the lead singer of the Beestings.
What didn't I like about “All The Wrong Chords”? 

I didn’t like how the pacing of the story jumped around. One moment we were following Scarlett and band practice, and the next we were at a gig. It made the story hard to follow and keep up with. 

I didn’t like how Scarlett was obsessed with the lead singer of the band. I don’t think it’s good to have characters like this in the books young adults read, as they could want to be like Scarlett.

Will you be reading All The Wrong Chords?  


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