Only the Good Die Young | Review


Afraid to disappoint her mother, Rebecca tells a terrible lie that can possibly ruin the life of another. So how will it all end? Will she go through with the lie for her own selfish reasons, or will she tell the truth in sake of another person's freedom. Read more below to hear my thoughts on Only the Good Die Young.



                                                                                            

Only the Good Die Young | Douglas Trueman
Pages: 297
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary
Published: July 26, 2014 | Smashwords Edition
Format: Ebook (Epub)
Source: Publisher



Rebecca Lockhart moved to Vancouver to start a new life. What she found felt more like the end. 
Raised with Victorian values and classically trained as a pianist, seventeen-year-old Rebecca takes solace in the prose of Jane Austen and the music of Debussy. But when a virtuoso guitar player exposes her to the free spirit of rock and roll, Rebecca's outlook on the world begins to change. She dares to take risks her old self couldn't imagine. 
Hallway rumors of her new behavior reach the high school office, and Rebecca comes face-to-face with the vice-principal - Catherine Lockhart, her mother. Desperate to remain in mom's good graces, she lies. Before she can blink, Rebecca is caught in a web of deceit that envelopes her entire life. If she reveals the truth, she and her mother will have to face an unspeakable secret from their past. If she doesn't, a fellow student could be sentenced to prison. 
Only the Good Die Young is a coming-of-age story for the teenager in all of us, laced with the dry, deadpan humor of a shy girl struggling to find her way.


After I finished this book last night, I sat up thinking, "What should I rate this?" About halfway into the story, I initially thought to give it 4 stars. But with a few flaws, an event I couldn't get over, and a weird ending, I think I'll settle for 3.5. Yup that's fair.

Only the Good Die Young follows our main character, seventeen year old Rebecca Lockhart, as she transitions into a new life. Well, attempts to. She moves to Vancouver from Toronto in hopes to escape a past her mother and her want to forget. No cellphones, no internet, no social network, an address no-one knows but them. They intend to stay hidden for as long as they can. But how far can you run before your past catches up to you?

Settling into a new school , mid semester by the way, with her mother as the Vice Principle, is the least of her problems. In need of an extra curriculum activity to raise some credits, she joins the school's band, "The Yellow Jackets" where she makes a few friends. First we have Kyle Foster. A shy chubby kid, who strove to be a musician. Kyle and Rebecca form a bond over her classically trained background as a pianist, and his great ear and strong passion for music. He was a character straight out the 80's with his shaggy, unruly hair, his stone-wash jeans, Doc Martins, and band t-shirts. There wasn't a moment where Kyle didn't have his electric guitar "Isabelle" or a diet coke in hand. Then we have the mysterious J.J with his dirty blonde hair, dimpled cheeks, and "hippy style." He's the band's lead drummer, and soon Rebecca's crush. Last but not least, comes Alexis Lee. The band's singer, J.J's girlfriend, and Rebecca's enemy. 

Soon we dive into the drama of typical high school students. J.J begins to show interest in Rebecca, which causes Alex to begin bullying her, and when the band takes a trip to a ski-resort for a showcase, things take a turn for the worst. Feeling a little rebellious after being humiliated by Alexis in a public store, Rebecca decides her good girl image is no longer. Stuck at the ski-resort due to bad weather, our main characters find themselves in a local bar playing the drinking game, "Worst Day of My Life." Rebecca is then put on the spot, and in a drunken state, almost reveals her past to her friends. Thank goodness she doesn't, and instead a bit embarrassed, flees the bar. She is soon followed by J.J, and with his charismatic personality, convinces her to spend a little time in his hotel room. Here is where things go too far . . . or did they? 


Trying to give a spoiler free review on this book has proven to be difficult. The main plot of the story is centered around two things: Rebecca and her mom's past, and what happened in the hotel room between her and J.J. To elaborate would be to tell everything! That my blogger friends I cannot do, which is actually my biggest problem with this story. When giving a spoiler free review, you of course have to leave out a few details on certain events that take place. Cool no problem there. But, what happens when the only things worth talking about, are the ones you can't discuss? I'm in a bit of a pickle people. 

You see the characters were just . . . characters. I enjoyed Kyle, and his annoying ability to come up with a song fit for every situation, and J.J, with the mystery behind him. Even when the cat is out the bag, I still preferred him over Rebecca. There's not too many books where I dislike the main character. It's usually always the supporting cast that ruffles my feathers, but that wasn't the case here. I get that Rebecca was a seventeen year old girl, but oh my goodness was she naive, and a bit ignorant as well. 

"Asians always seem to play the piano, flute, violin or cello. They get high marks on their exams and pay scales like their pouring a glass of water. If you go to a music competition for teenagers, chances are the top three names will be something like Wu, Choi, and Chow. I'm not being racist, I don't think. I'm not insulting them or saying they don't know how to drive . . ." The author considers this dry humor, I'm not too sure I agree. On the other hand, I liked the final decision Rebecca made in the end. She didn't necessarily grow into a better person to me, but I appreciate the fact that despite everything, she went ahead a made things right. One thing I will say, is that the author successfully delivered a message within this story. If you pay attention, and listen to the songs that are referenced in the book, (thanks youtube) little by little, piece by piece, the message will reveal itself, and that ladies and gentlemen is what I call brillant. 

I've never been so conflicted about a book like I am with Only the Good Die Young. I'm on the fence about so many things within the story that I felt my review would never end. I don't want anyone to read this review and say "Sheesh, that book sounds horrible." because in all honesty it wasn't. OTGDY had the bones to be a five star read to me, but hey, every reader's opinion will never be the same.