Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton {Review+Giveaway}

By 9:51 AM , , , , , ,

Rock and a Hard Place (The Jamieson Collection #1)
   by: Angie Stanton

Publication Date: Sept. 24, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Received copy from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 224 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Susane Colasanti, Angie Stanton's swoon-worthy romance--about an ordinary girl and a young rock star--will keep readers on the edge of their seats . . . and leave them wanting more.

In an instant, Libby's life went from picture-perfect to a nightmare. After surviving a terrible car accident, Libby is abandoned by her father and left with her controlling aunt. A new town, a new school, no friends--Libby is utterly alone. But then she meets Peter.

The lead singer in a rock band with his brothers, Peter hates that his parents overly manage his life. Constantly surrounded by family, Peter just wants to get away. And when he meets Libby, he's finally found the one person who just wants to be with him, not the rock star.

But while Peter battles his family's growing interference in both his music and personal life, Libby struggles with her aunt, who turns nastier each day. And even though Libby and Peter desperately want to be together, their drastically different lives threaten to keep them apart forever.
My Review:
I'm really glad I received Rock and a Hard Place for review. I thought this was a cute, sweet young adult romance about the ups and downs of falling in love. However, this love is story is one every young girl would live to live out for herself. Libby Sawyer doesn't just meet and fall for an ordinary guy- she meets Peter Jamieson, who is 1/3 of the highly known band Jamieson. (Think of the equivalent to the Jonas Brothers- they tour with their family and their dad plays a big role in their management)
Peter and Libby's relationship is very sweet and I like that Stanton has done such a great job of capturing and utilizing teenage voice. Most teens have that naivety about them- they meet someone, connect, and find themselves in love. It was very much the case here with Peter and Libby. While insta-love usually bothers me, I remember being 16 years old (sort of!) and spending time with my first boyfriend. I didn't want long and drawn out to find out if it was real- I wanted to jump right in to find out myself. We did have some cheesy moments at times, but I didn't find they took over the story or dialogue. What I liked most of all is that their relationship is realistic. Libby's living situation is less than ideal and I found my heart beating erratically for a good portion of the book because I was so devastated for her. Peter makes plans to get Libby out of there, but due to unforeseeable circumstances this doesn't work out like he wanted. I thought that was for the best however because Libby started as such a meek character. She wouldn't stand up for herself, didn't interact with others, and let herself fade away into the shadows. She has been dealt a crushing blow in her life. Losing her mother and sister to a car accident and then having her dad bail on her because it's 'too hard' to be around her is something any normal teen, let alone person, shouldn't have to deal with in their life.
However, through her experiences, she becomes much stronger than she was and starts to go after what she wants. Peter may have played a large role in this change, but she did it on her own and she doesn't need him to take care of her. She proves herself quite capable of taking care of herself, and I like that she sees that.
A relationship between a musician on tour and a normal girl is not easy, though. Peter is the leader of the band and his devotion to his music is what matters the most to him. He loves the rush of being on stage and enjoys what he does- but meeting Libby is like a breath of fresh air. Touring with his family can be stressful and he feels suffocated at times. She has not heard of him or the band, and he likes that he can just be himself with her. She doesn't look at him like Peter, the superstar, but as Peter, the boy.  However, Libby is important to him too, and lengths that he will go to for her is really sweet. However, not everyone is on board with their relationship. Peter's brother, Garrett, feels like she is a waste of time and that Peter should be focusing on their career, not some girl from the Midwest. He feels quite strongly about this in fact, and doesn't have a problem with trying to manipulate and destroy their relationship. Their father feels similarly, but doesn't go to the extremes that Garrett does. He does make his dislike for their relationship clear, and it is their mother who is his saving grace. His mom is more understanding about Libby and for the most part tries to diffuse the tension that arises over the situation.
Aside from Peter, Libby has no one to turn to at home. Her aunt is a nasty piece of work, drinking and smoking her life away. She doesn't want to be bothered with Libby and is horrible to her when she has to deal with her. Libby takes solace in a nature preserve, drawing, and that is how she first meets Peter, as their family favors that area while passing through town. The one person who Libby finds she can confide in is her school counselor. However, I was a bit miffed about how she handled Libby's situation. If I had been in her position and saw how her aunt was treating her, I would have pulled her out instantly and not waited.
Overall, this was a sweet romance and I enjoyed watching Libby grow as a character. By the end of the story, she had hope for the first time in a long time and I really liked that. She goes from a meek, sad girl at the beginning to a stronger girl determined to find her way in life. Like the blurb stated, if you are a Dessen or a Colasanti fan, you will probably really enjoy the sweetness of this young romance.
One of my favorite quotes that made me chuckle (because I am a teacher after all): "No, it's teacher in-service. We get a Wednesday afternoon off once a month so the teachers can meet and talk about how horrible today's youth are." (Libby's response as to why she's not at school)
Author Biography:
Angie Stanton never planned on writing books, she wanted to be a Rockette. However, growing up in a rural setting with her brothers' 4-H pigs as pets, dance didn't work out. Instead she became an avid daydreamer. After years of perfecting stories in her head she began to write them down and the rest is history.

She loves dipping french fries in chocolate shakes, all natural disaster movies and Broadway Musicals. When not writing, Angie is concocting ways to make more dreams come true, whether it be tickets to a Broadway show or convincing her family they should rent an RV and travel the country. She's still working on that one.

Angie is a proud double finalist of the 2011 National Readers Choice Awards for Love 'em or Leave 'em, as well as a finalist for the Golden Quill Awards.

Angie's blog: http://angiestanton.com

For regular updates, like Angie at www.facebook.com/AngieStantonAuthor


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  1. Great review girl! This book sounds cute and I'm like you, I (sort of) remember being 16 and how quickly you jump all in with a boy.Well not ALL in but you know what I mean :-) Anyways, I love these normal girl meets famous boy and they fall in love. I have Angie's Christmas novella to read and review and I'm excited for it now. You should read Breathe by Abbi Glines. You would love it. Read the second edition that she re-wrote to make it a little more New Adult.

  2. I'm a Dessen fan so I will have to check this one out. I like the fact that it's about a normal girl and a celebrity.

  3. I haven't read anything by her before but would love to! Thanks!

  4. Aww this sounds cute, as soon as I read the blurb I thought Jonas Brothers too :-)


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