Monday, April 11, 2011

Paradise by Jill S. Alexander {ARC tour}

Published: July 5, 2011 by Feiwel & Friends
Received: ARC tour from Jen at I Read Banned Books
Paisley Tillery is the drummer for a country rock band. If they can make it to the stage at the Texapalooza music fest, then Paisley will be closer to her dream of a career in music and a ticket out of her small Texas town.

Drumming and music are what Paisley has always wanted. Until the band gets a new lead singer, the boy from Paradise, Texas. With Paradise in her life, what Paisley wants, and what she needs, complicate her dreams coming true. {taken from}

First I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Jen from I Read Banned Books for sending me a copy of this book on her ARC tour.  I had added this one to my TBR list awhile back & jumped at the opportunity to read it this far ahead of it's release date.  The synopsis set the scene for a beautifully written story about a girl from a rural Texas town, who has a passion for music, & the ambition to make her dreams come true.  That right there grabbed my attention, as I'm sure it does for a lot of people.

Paisely represents every young girl who has a dream of making it big, & getting out of this small town life.  She's been under the watchful eye of her down-home, obsessive, controlling mother for too long.  In her mother's eyes, the only way to make something of yourself is to focus on being the best the town has to offer.  Money & status are two very important things in her mother's eyes.  Both of which Paisley could care less about.  Music & the drums is what is important to Paisely & she will not stop until she succeeds in her goal of playing one of the biggest music festivals in Texas; in hopes of being noticed & finding her ticket out of town. 

Secretly Paisely meets with her band to practice in the late afternoons, among the never ending pastures, for which she calls home.  It is here that she meets their newest member of the band, a handsome young man who not only can sing but also has talent for the accordion.  Immediately Paisely's attention is focused on Paradise (her nickname for him since he is from the small town of Paradise, Texas).  Her mind begins to wonder what those fingers would feel like tickling her skin, rather than the keys of that accordion.  Thoughts that never entered Paisely's mind are starting to consume her & soon her focus on the Texas music festival begins to shift.

Jill S. Alexander does a superb job of describing the elements of what Texas represents, not only in the green pastures, but also the life of a small country town.  Being a girl from Texas, I felt myself identifying with a lot of the descriptions.  There is a scene in particular where Paisely meets her band & other friends at a barn party, out in the middle of nowhere.  Yes, barn parties really do exist.  And yes, they really do serve trash can punch in which you consume so much of it that you're forced to relieve yourself behind that bush over there!  Ahh Texas.  So classy.  I also really enjoyed the descriptiveness of the band, their musical instruments, & the way it made Paisely feel; not only to play it, but also to hear it.  If I listened hard enough I almost heard Paradise's accordion against Paisley's melodic drum beat, accompanied with the band's guitar strums.

The relationships that Paisely had were true & convincing.  I understood the pressures that her mother put on her.  I also understood Paisely's reaction to want to hide her dreams of becoming a famous drummer girl, rather than seek the wrath of her disapproving mother.  The connection she felt to Paradise was convincing as well.  The two of them eased in to a relationship that was pure & meaningful.  Even though he began as distraction to Paisley, he soon became the catapult that set their band in motion & gave them the opportunity to fulfill their dreams.

I really enjoyed every thing about this book up until the last 15 or so pages.  If I could I would have ended the story there.  I will not go in to detail, so that I do not spoil anything.  But I will comment on the fact that the true ending left me a little disheveled.  I felt that the author took time & patience in building the story to be something quite beautiful, but then a turn of events occurred & I found myself literally wondering what in the world just happened?  With that being said, I still recommend this book for the entirety of it, I would just have ended it 15 pages sooner.



  1. Great review! This books sounds really good. Maybe I will just stop reading 15 pages prior to the end! :)

  2. Great Review. I so want to read this book. I think you might need to look into some Roger Creager for some accordion Texas country music for inspiration. Always looking for a good TX tale OR music. My hubby is trying to make a living playing his music. And my daughter has been playing fiddle during band breaks here lately. Fulfilling but a rough life.

  3. This sounds like a great book! I will put it on my tbr list :) And it was nice meeting you Ginger!!

  4. I'm trying to think of a book I've read where the ending left me how you left...nothing is coming to mind! Great review!

  5. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

  6. This looks interesting and I'm about ready for a non-fantasy YA book. *gasp* Did I actually just say that???

  7. Thanks, G for the great always! I was so excited to get this one out there that I haven't read it. I will though!


  8. I hate it when an ending doesn't fit with the rest of the story. I am a firm believer in the make-or-break power of an ending.

    I have this one waiting to be read. I'm not thrilled knowing about the less than stellar ending, but I'm excited to read the rest of the story!


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