This Chick Read: Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn

Finding out her entire life is a lie, Meg Hennessey leaves the safety of the town she has grown up with to take a trip up north to meet the family she never knew she had. On her first day in town she meets Micah Allen, son of an ex-pastor who is now in prison. The two strike up a friendship having more in common than first thought. Both are struggling to find themselves and reconnect with their faith that they feel betrayed them. Instead they find a connection that helps them find solace at the same time makes them question the ways they were brought up even more.

Never Saw You Coming is an apt title for a story that I truly did not see coming. Equal parts YA Contemporary and Christian fiction Meg and Micah’s story opened my eyes to a community that was supposed to be about support but instead seemed restrictive, especially towards women. Meg was brought up in a strictly religious household. Her church taught their girls to not catch the eye of a boy, wear clothing that covered their skin, and to keep themselves pure for God and their future husband. When she found out her mother got pregnant when she was a teenager with someone she met from youth group (who died shortly after) and her “father” was her mom’s best friend, all of that strict upbringing seemed totally hypocritical. Instead of taking her gap year like she had decided Meg drives upstate to visit her real dad’s family and see if she can make a connection to them and to her lost faith.

I don’t usually read Christian fiction. Well, I don’t go looking for it anyway but have been pleasantly surprised by a few novels in the past. Never Saw You Coming hit me like a freight train. Meg had this innocence from her sheltered upbringing that brought a joy to the decisions she made when she got to Marquette. When she meets her great-grandmother and uncle she brings to their lives that same joy, and it’s not surprising that she wants to delve into that relationship a bit more. Meg was also homeschooled and didn’t have a ton of friends so is pleased that she seems to have no trouble making friends in Marquette. Especially making friends with Micah who she shyly finds attractive.

Meg and Micah are both secure in their relationship with God, but they aren’t as secure in the way that faith seems to be addressed through Church. This is a topic that is deeply explored in this novel and which, truthfully, opened my eyes. I found this look into their faith fascinating and was really pleased with how the characters explored their questions, rejecting some attitudes, and accepting others. It seemed a realistic viewpoint and although I was a little horrified at how this religion treated Meg, I was pleased with how the men in her life stepped forward claiming that treatment unacceptable. (Thank goodness!)

As with other Erin Hahn novels, I really enjoyed this story! She is a truly talented author and while this topic isn’t my usual I could tell that it meant something to the author and I’m glad she told this story as I think it needed to be told. I’m a bit older than her target demographic but I think this is a message that was well told and needs to be heard. I will definitely be keeping an eye for this author’s next novel as she is quickly becoming a go to author for me. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* Never Saw You Coming: A Novel

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

Vada Carsewell’s music knowledge serves her well working at the Loud Lizard and writing her reviews of bands on their music blog. What she really wants is to get into Berkeley’s music program and become a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. Luke Greenly, podcaster and son of an aging punk rocker, doesn’t factor into her life until they get paired up on an assignment at school and she finds out they share a love for lyrics and music trivia. When his brother releases one of Luke’s songs on their podcast, and it goes viral, she can’t help but dream that the song is about her, but is it?

When I read this author’s debut novel, You’d Be Mine, I knew I was going to keep an eye out for her next release. I wrote in that review about “my love for the poetry in her lyrics” and she again captures those same emotions with her lyrics in More Than Maybe. However, More Than Maybe has a completely different tone and got to the heart of the love story sooner which made me love it just a tad bit more.

What can I say about these characters? I can’t help but start with their names. Vada Carsewell and Luke Greenly sound like they should be the hero’s in a Cassandra Clare novel wielding magical swords, instead of magical lyrics. Despite those otherworldly names, I found these characters very down to earth. Vada’s vast knowledge of music and lyrics was fascinating to a woman (me) who can’t remember the titles of her favorite songs. I loved how she and Luke used song titles and lyrics to hint at their emotions and level up the tension to their romance. Luke’s shy charm and interest in composing rather than performing only made him an even more perfect fit for Vada. They were a very easy pair to fall for and from their first text exchange I was all in.

The title ‘More Than Maybe‘ coincidentally was exactly how I felt as I settled into this novel. I had medium expectations from having read Erin Hahn’s first novel and some hesitations over whether she could follow up such a great debut with another hit. My hope for a ‘More Than Maybe’ story quickly changed as I got caught up in this music themed YA novel. Maybe this author should re-title the book ‘Better Than Good’? Or Much Greater Than Average? Just kidding, the title is more than apropos for what happens in the story, but my feelings upon finishing it were “Much Greater Than Expected” and I was very pleased with that discovery. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* More Than Maybe: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this novel through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

Friday YA: You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Annie Mathers is the daughter of two country music stars who had a tragic ending. Living outside the stage lights of Nashville, Annie tried to ignore her calling but she was born to write and sing. After she releases a couple of songs on YouTube her star starts rising. Clay Coolidge is one of the country’s hottest young stars, but he’s going down the path her parents took. After another drunk bar fight he’s told that he has to go to Michigan to talk Annie into opening for his summer concert tour. With his record deal on the line, Clay convinces Annie and her band to join them. Even though they are complete opposites, she the good girl and he the bad boy, they strike sparks both on stage and off.

You’d be Mine had a lot of the things I look for in a YA contemporary novel, great character growth, a simmering love story, and a great hook. What I wasn’t expecting was the magical poetry this author wrote for their music lyrics and the gritty feel to the story. Annie was an easy character to like. I’ll admit that she walked a fine line between being a “good girl” and kind of a prude, but it fit her back story and gave her the heart and soul she’d need to sell the reader on her chemistry for leading man Clay.

Clay also had a great back story. A brother who is a fallen war hero and a line of people who want to ride his coattails, making his bad choices pretty realistic. If there was one fault with his part of the story I’d say his demon battling went on just a touch too long. I wanted the story to speed up and it lagged just a tad in the middle. The supporting characters were loyal, funny, and charming and I adored all of their antics and support. Even though this was a story about music and love, at it’s heart it was about family and these characters gave the reader a solid base line on what family should look like.

I mentioned above my love for the poetry in the music lyrics. You could tell this author has a feel for writing lyrically and if she hasn’t done so already, she should think about her own songwriting career! They were pretty special and the story itself? Good, very, very good. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I was given a free ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“You’d Be Mine is a cute little contemporary romance that reminded me a bit of the television show Nashville. This has all the ins and outs, the ups and downs and intrigue of the behind the scenes of the music business. The characters were likable and fun to root for and the story felt as if heading right out on tour along with them giving all the emotion of their journey along the way.” Carrie’s Book Reviews

“This was a fun story about the lives of these two talented performers. I am not a big country music fan, but I found myself cheering for these young country stars. I would definitely recommend this young adult book!” Welcome to our Campfire

Click this link to purchase!* You’d Be Mine: A Novel

Copyright Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate