Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn

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Leaving Amarillo (Neon Dreams #1)
    by: Caisey Quinn

Publication Date: Mar. 17, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 352 pages
Order Links: Amazon| B&N
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Nashville meets New Adult in Neon Dreams, a dramatic, sexy series from bestselling author Caisey Quinn, about a country band’s rocky road to fame—and the ambition, dreams, and love of the people who make the music.

Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.

"I play because I have to, because when everything falls apart and the walls of my world try to cave in around me, it's music that holds me up. Right now it's the only thing keeping all the parts of me together."
I feel like I can't even breathe right now. This book's essence has invaded my body and it is squeezing the life out of me. I am so wrecked over this one you guys. Seriously. Caisey Quinn has Blown. Me. AWAY. The writing is so gorgeous and vividly descriptive that I couldn't stop highlighting quotes as I went- they were that impactful. I loved everything about this book. The story, the characters, the tension and angst that threatened to consume every part of my soul...
I have to start with the prologue. Wow. Talk about an experience. I felt like I was THERE. Maybe it's the absolute music lover in me and the fact that I have been to several outdoor shows where musicians have poured their heart and soul into their playing, but I had chills from reading the prologue.
I loved Dixie. I love her honesty and how she really steps up and decides she's going to do something about her love for Gavin once and for all. She was such a vibrant character and I was wrecked for her so many times. She feels so much, has lost so much, and above all wants so much. I loved that about her and I was rooting for her every step of the way. I never wanted her to doubt herself or her talent and I just wanted Gavin to snap out of his 'I want you, but I can't be with you' funk already. Oh, Gavin. I know that he hasn't had the best childhood or has grown up dealing with the easiest of things, and that makes me want to hug him even tighter. He is always watching out for Dixie and Dallas and their relationships are so important to him. They are the two closest people on earth to him, so naturally he's afraid of overstepping his bounds with Dixie. Dallas has made it clear that Gavin is NEVER EVER to go there with her and Gavin doesn't want to destroy their friendship and he doesn't want to hurt her either. However, Dixie is getting hurt either way. She has loved him all her life, so it killed me to see her pine for him while he held himself at arm's length.
These two have crazy chemistry though. Gavin is at breaking point when it comes to Dixie and it is taking all of his strength and resolve NOT to let himself go there with her. The sexual tension was so maddening and I felt like I was going to burst from anticipation. (Quinn does build up so very well.) Their scenes together are filled with so much passion and longing... I can't even convey to you all the beauty behind it. They are like a volcano ready to erupt. So much is simmering underneath the surface and you just know when it explodes... it's going to be messy and hot and cause a firestorm.
"It's dangerous to love, to allow yourself to be loved. But I dared to fly too close to the flames and I've decided it's better to burn- to have that all-consuming powerful kind of love that scars you for life even if it only lasts a little while, than to play it safe forever."
The ending nearly killed me. The band is faced with some pretty impossible choices, especially on the heels of tragedy. It was hard to read, especially knowing everything Dixie desperately wants for her life. Life doesn't always work out the way you dreamed it would, but sometimes broken dreams lead to new ones. I'm eager (and a bit nervous!) to see the direction Quinn takes these characters next, and I can't wait to read a bit more about Dallas, especially since I love second chance romances.
I highly recommend picking this one up. I love the story Quinn has created, the musical aspect that surrounds it, and the vibrant characters she has brought to life within.
"I love that you can't pin it down, can't control it. Music is free. It's unpredictable and alive. You can't own it or buy it or sell it. Not really. No matter how hard people try. It belongs to no one."

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  1. Oh man so clearly I need to read this book cause that is some high high praise. This one sounds sooo good. Awesome review Jessica!

    1. :D I really loved it. Caisey writes musical books SO WELL. You can see how much heart and soul she poured into the pages through her writing. I admire the hell out of that.

  2. Yeah. I'm convinced. This will be on my Kindle before you can say....well I can't think of a word but I'm going to Amazon right after I hit publish on this comment ;) !!

  3. Ahh this is the 2nd raving review I've read for this book today and I'm thinking now that I know you LOVED it, I need to try it out myself. It sounds absolutely wonderful, Jessica and OMG my heart is already hurting for Dixie. I think I'm going to love the girl. And it also looks like I'm going to want to smack Gavin multiple times.
    Lovely review!

    1. I think you'll really like Dixie Nick! She's a great character who is driven by her heart and while that could be frustrating I loved the open honesty of it. You will probably want to smack Gavin. I usually always want to smack Caisey's men. And then cuddle them after.

  4. Ah I love the sound of this one but the music thing puts me off for some reason. Still, I am glad you loved this one

    1. Aw bummer! I love stories with a musical element in them, I can always relate to them so well because it runs through my own veins. LOL.

  5. Hmm, you know, I've seen this book around and really never gave it a second thought, but you've piqued my interest.

    1. I really enjoyed it Vi! The writing was fantastic and there are some very smexy scenes in this one!

  6. I love your review for this book. I mean, I loved the book so much the first time, but you made me think even more about it. I need the sequel so badly. Though I expect we won't get full resolution until the third book. :-/

    1. Aw thanks Kim! This means so much! I agree, we probably won't get much with Dixie and Gavin until the last one which will kill me to wait for! Still, I'm excited for Dallas!

  7. I'm kind of the opposite of tonya. the music aspect makes me even more intrigued. I will definitely have to get this!!

    1. I think you'd really like this one Wendy! I loved the performing aspect, as well as the relationships she's developed between the three of them.


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