After breaking up with her girlfriend of three years, and dropping out of college, Chris’s life is a complete mess. Her parents keep pressuring her to go to school again, when all Chris wants to do is figure out her life herself. But then the new girl starts at work, and Chris thinks that their quick friendship could be something more.
Why this book?: I think the e-book was on sale, and Taryn from Novel Paradise is always raving about it on Twitter. I finally got a chance to start it!!
Just what I needed
The main focus was the characters, whom I loved, and their relationships. As there’s not really much of a plot, the characters are really well developed. Chis and Josie meet fairly early in the novella, and they hit it off from there. However, Chris’s crush on Josie also comes really early, so it’s really funny reading about Chris tip-toeing around Josie, trying to determine if she was straight or not. As the story progresses, you get to know both Chris and Josie better, and the characters really grow on you. I especially enjoyed Lily’s character, and I’m excited to hear that Lillac Town #2 is focused on Lily and another character, Mayte, who is Chris’s roommate.
The well-developed characters contrasted with the barely-visible plot, but The Melody of You and Me still hit on some difficult topics, like going to college, knowing what relationships are good or bad for you, coming out, and finding yourself. The fact that this novella is basically just a really cute and explicit (!) love story, yet still manages to touch on these topics, amazes me.
Going to the “cute and explicit” part, yes. There are sex scenes. Two of them, in addition to a masturbation scene. And no, they weren’t just “fade to black” or “uses really flowery language to cover up the scene” type, they were actually explicit, so if you’re not comfortable with that, just skip this one.
Pansexuality in text representation
One of the best things about this one is that the orientations of the characters, or at least just Josie and Chris, are stated in the text. The word pansexual comes up a few times, in reference to Chris, and, to be completely honest, this is the first time that I’ve read that word in a book. Although Hollis doesn’t go completely in-depth about Chris’s orientation, it does go on to say that she felt better with pansexual, compared to bisexual.
I really loved how Chris knew she was pansexual, despite only having been in relationships with girls. A lot of people say that you can’t know one way or another unless you’ve been with someone of all of the genders your interested in, but I’m happy that this one doesn’t follow that path.
Josie is just stated as being a lesbian, which I loved. There was a lot of effortless diversity that Hollis threw in, including Josie being Filipino, and Mayte, Chris’s roommate, being Cuban.
Final Rating: ★★★★½☆
The only downfall of this book, in my opinion, was the odd writing style. I don’t see many limited third person point of view, written in present tense. It took a while to get used to, and felt clunky at certain points in the novella.
Other than that, I overall really enjoyed The Melody of You and Me, and look forward to possibly getting the second Lillac Town, The Paths We Choose.
Would I Recommend?
If you want to see pansexual representation on page, along with some steamy sapphic love scenes, then totally. Did I mention that it’s also a bookstore love story? Both Josie and Chris work at a bookstore, so that was also wonderful.
Published: February 19th, 2017
Page Count: 144
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Synopsis: via Goodreads
After dropping out of university and breaking up with her girlfriend of three years, Chris Morrison’s life is now a mind-numbing mess. She doubts that working at the small neighborhood bookstore is going to change that. The rest of her time is spent mostly playing guitar and ignoring the many messages her mother keeps sending her about going back to college.
But one day, an adorable and charming new bookseller waltzes her way into Chris’s life. Josie Navarro is sweet, flirty, and she always has a new book in her hands. The two girls start a fast friendship that, for Chris, holds the promise of something more. But is she reading too much into this or is it possible that Josie feels the same way?