Thursday, February 11, 2016

Book Connection with Ella Martin: Guitar Notes

Books and music are similar art forms in that they can transport you back in time to when you first read a passage or heard a song, and they can mean different things to different people. Like other art forms, they can touch your heart and make you think, but I’ve yet to find another medium that can strip my soul bare after countless readings or listens. Even movies lose their luster for me after the second (or sometimes fourth) viewing. And now that I shuttle my son to and from music lesson every week, I have a whole new appreciation for musicians and the music they write.

Mary Amato’s GUITAR NOTES is a story about two very different kids on different paths who find a connection through music. Lyla is a cellist and a straight-A student destined to follow in her late mother’s footsteps. Tripp is so grief-stricken over his father’s death that the only thing that matters to him is playing his guitar. Early in the book, they are assigned times to share a practice room: Lyla gets to practice on even days, and Tripp gets to play guitar on odd days. What begins as petty correspondence over trash becomes something much deeper. It turns out Lyla’s life is full of static, and Tripp isn’t the unintelligent loner he appears to be.

I love books in which we see a relationship progress. There’s no instalove—or even instalust—in this book. What we do get is a girl who rediscovers her love of music by playing guitar and a boy who learns to open up and care about more than himself. The two of them develop a strong bond that could lead to romance, though it’s never explicitly stated, and by the end of the book, there’s a strong sense of how much these kids need each other. (There’s a hint tension between them underneath their strong friendship. You can’t help but root for them to get together.)

GUITAR NOTES is about doing what makes you happy, about finding that thing that makes your heart thrum and pursuing it. With Tripp’s help, Lyla found something she loves; in Lyla, Tripp found someone who understands him and his music. And though the story felt a little rushed at the end, the conclusion was satisfying and left me feeling hopeful.

“Maybe it explains the reason why one person likes another. It's because their souls both thrum at the same frequency.” ~ Mary Amato from Guitar Notes
Ella Martin
Bio: Ella Martin is an award-winning young adult author and self-described “prep school survivor” from Southern California. With a keen sense for combining relatable teen characters with engrossing stories, her books blend aspects of romance, angst, and intrigue. Her Westgate Prep series of books tackles female friendships, quirky characters, and sensitive topics with equal tact.

I Love Him, I Love Him Not blurb: Talia Nicoletti’s life has been turned upside down–and that’s probably an understatement. Her mother goes off on a business trip… and comes back married! Her estranged father wants to be less estranged. And her best friend Jake DeSantos suddenly has a new confidante who Talia doesn’t want to like but kind of does anyway.

Talia has to unravel her tangled up emotions to figure out what she really wants. Does she want to accept her father back in her life? Can she trust her new-stepfather? There’s too much hitting Talia at once, and she’s not ready to deal with any of it. The one person she can always turn to is Jake, and he’s being secretive and isn’t exactly available. And that hurts her more than she thought possible.

Talia hates that she’s jealous of the new girl in Jake’s life, especially since she can’t decide if she loves him … or if she loves him not.

Goodreads Contests for Ella's Books:

Buy links for I Love Him, I Love Him Not:
Barnes and Noble:


Check out the rest of the Tour:

o   February 8: Read. Sleep. Repeat. - Getting Over Garrett Delaney
o   February 9: Cuddlebuggery - Better Off Friends
o   February 10: Ageless Pages Review - The Stepsister's Tale
o   February 11: YA Book Nerd - Guitar Notes
o   February 12: On Starships & Dragonwings - These Broken Stars
o   February 13: Read Love WriteReaper
o   February 14: The YA ClubRebel Mechanics

 Giveaway One copy of Guitar Notes available for giveaway to readers in the U.S

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1 comment:

Jessica said...

I'm not able to play any instruments, but if I was able to, I would love to be able to play either the guitar or the piano! :)