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Monday, January 4, 2016

Lefty's Lowdown: This Song Is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin

This Song Is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin
Published: January 5, 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire
Source: I received an eARC for review from the publisher via Netgalley, but that hasn't influenced my opinion at all!
Summary from Goodreads:
Bandmate, best friend or boyfriend? For Ramona, one choice could mean losing them all.

Ramona and Sam are best friends. She fell for him the moment they met, but their friendship is just too important for her to mess up. Sam loves April, but he would never expect her to feel the same way--she's too quirky and cool for someone like him. Together, they have a band, and put all of their feelings for each other into music.

Then Ramona and Sam meet Tom. He's their band's missing piece, and before Ramona knows it, she's falling for him. But she hasn't fallen out of love with Sam either.

How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?
This book is weird. There is no other way to put it. The characters are weird and the romance is weird. But weird isn't always a bad thing. I requested this book because it was about teenagers and music and I'm a teenager who likes music, but I had no clue what I was getting myself into. In This Song Is (Not) For You, Laura Nowlin uses quirky outcasts to explore ideas that we don't often see in YA lit. 

I wasn't lying when I said these characters are weird. Ramona is this ball of energy. She gets these ideas in her head that she is usually right about, but she feels so strongly about things she won't let anyone tell her she's wrong. She plays the piano and the drums. Her best friend (and the guy she loves) is Sam. He is pretty quiet and thoughtful and he plays basically every stringed instrument known to man. He is in love with Ramona, but he's too afraid to tell her. Then they meet Tom who is truly a unique character. He feels very strongly about changing the way people look at the world. He likes art and glitter. All three of these characters have very distinct voices and are very interesting to read about. It was really enjoyable to see them grow and figure themselves out and break out of social expectations. 

Here's a fun fact about me: I absolutely loooove when people challenge society's expectations and viewpoints. I love when people learn to accept themselves even though every one else tells them there is something wrong with them. That's a very prominent aspect of this novel, and I just adored it. I especially loved that this novel deals with asexuality. The author doesn't explicitly use the word "asexual" but that's what it is. I think that this book is really important because of this. I have a friend who is asexual and I still have a really hard time wrapping my mind around the concept. The thing is, I think there are a lot of people who don't understand the concept all that well, even though it's really important. I just think that This Song Is (Not) For You is great because it brings attention to asexuality (among other things), helps widen our understanding, and makes us think. 

Like I previously stated, the romance is really weird (again, not bad) and different and you might not fall in love with the situation, you might not ship it very much. I know I didn't. But I just can't stress enough how important I think this book is and the ideas in it. 

I'm very happy I read this book. I know I say that about pretty much every book I read, but that doesn't make it any less true. I think a lot of teens who are struggling to figure themselves out could benefit from reading this book. It's quick, it's fun, and it's riddled with music talk and self-discovery.

My rating:
actually 3.5/5

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I have to say and give your opinion on it. It really means a lot to me. And of course, I will do my best to return the favor. However, as easily distracted and scatter-brained as I am, please don't be offended if I forget to comment on your blog.