Elise Reads! More than Music (Chasing the Dream #1) by Elizabeth Briggs

Maddie Taylor just finished her Junior year of college and she’s all set up to be the model music major. With a summer internship lined up at the LA Philharmonic this geeky girl has everything sorted, until she has a jam session on the tattooed rock singer Jared Cross’s guitar. When his band’s bassist walks out the door Jared and his younger brother – who’s also Maddie’s long-time friend – turn to her to fill in. Casting everything aside Maddie takes the leap and enters into the competition “The Sound” with the band. Being a rock star may not be everything she signed up for, especially when Jared’s more than his bad playboy reputation and he may just have his eyes on a certain new guitarist.

I signed up for #PitchWars this past year. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is and is an aspiring author educate yourself at Brenda Drake’s website HERE. Elizabeth Briggs was one of the mentors I pitched to. In the process of speaking with mentors I discovered that she was really, really, cool (That’s a nice way to say Twitter stalked for a month, right?). While I was not ultimately chosen (sad panda, but best of luck to those who were!) I didn’t want to just drop the awesome people I’d met along the way.

So, I thought, what better way to get to know an author than read their books?

I’ve been curious about New Adult, or NA, since I started to enter into the publishing world about a year ago. It’s a newly defined market that’s mostly filled with contemporary romances, like More than Music. Curiosity meets #PitchWars introduction and More Than Music was on my kindle.

The book starts with Maddie at a Villain Complex show. Villain Complex is a local band on the cusp of hitting it big, they won local contests and have begun to gain traction in the local music world. Right away Briggs does an excellent job of setting up the tone and voice of the novel. That’s saying a lot coming from me because this book is first-person and I normally HATE first person, but Briggs does it very well. So well that you instantly “get” Maddie. She’s the music nerd who spends way too much time in practice rooms and has been pushed in front of a piano all her life when her fingers itch for guitar strings. Briggs makes it a point throughout the book to define Maddie as the “geeky” girl. I saw this lightly in Maddie’s character, definitely with music, but other references seemed to be a little superficial. I bought that Maddie lived, ate, and breathed music. Caring about Star Wars – eh.

But, that’s okay, and that’s really my only immediate criticism of the book. So, there it is, that’s the worst I can say about this book. Do you want to read it yet? If you’re still not sure, I’ll keep going…

So, we meet Jared Cross. He’s the love-interest and you can feel the chocolate-syrup-lightning (yes, I made that up just now) between them immediately. I kind of imagine him to be a tattooed lovechild of Brendon Urie from Panic! At the Disco and Adam Levine from Maroon 5. (Again, have I sold you yet on this book? Because I just said lovechild of Brendon Urie and Adam Levine.) Right from the first meeting you’re waiting for them to hook up. It’s gonna happen, you know it’s gonna happen, and Briggs keeps dangling that carrot.

After Maddie joins the band to enable them to audition on The Sound (basically The Voice) we get an element of forbidden love. Jared’s reputation precedes him and they lost their last bassist to a hook-up gone wrong. So, no more inter-band romance. It’s just for a few weeks, how hard can it be?


I mean, for you, the reader. Expect to fantasize about horrible things you can do to this book as your reading waiting for the two of them to just give in already because you KNOW they’re going to do it. I seriously would have lit fireworks when they finally got together (I don’t think that’s a spoiler, it’s kind of the point of books like this) if it wasn’t 2:00am when I was reading.

Oh yeah, I said 2:00am. That’s what this book will do to you. Expect to not put it down because, again, Briggs is GREAT at giving you just enough to be hungry for more. The night I started, and finished, More Than Music I was up till almost 4:00am and went to work with about 3 hours of sleep.

By the end of the book you can look back and realize, “No, we didn’t have world-changing plot here. But, I am OH SO SATISFIED.” And, really, wasn’t that what you wanted from this book in the first place? That’s what I expected and it delivered hands-down. I don’t think I will insult (I mean I hope I don’t) Ms. Briggs when I say that I don’t think she was trying to change the face of literature as we know it with More Than Music. I think, if I could be so presumptuous, that she was trying to write a swoon-worthy, impossibly teasing, can’t-put-it-down, romantic, musical, fun-ride. And that, she did.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it.

Head to GoodReads HERE and check out other reviews.


Go to Amazon HERE and read reviews then buy the book.

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