You'd Be Mine

304p. Wednesday Bks. Apr. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250192882.POP
Gr 9 Up–Teenage heartthrob Clay Coolidge recently won best new artist at the Country Music Awards, but his bad boy image (fueled by the death of his brother who was fighting overseas) needs to be cleaned up as he is about to begin a U.S. summer tour. His record label has him invite Annie Mathers and her group to be his opening act. Annie is the child of country music royalty, but she has her demons too. Her mother died of an overdose, and her father committed suicide. As a tween, Annie was the one who found them dead. Annie's music eclipses Clay's as they make their way across the country, and both of them try very hard not to fall for the other. Romance may or may not be in store for Clay and Annie, but two of their band mates make a connection. Annie and Clay offer their views on the tour in alternating chapters, chronicling the ups and downs of the music and the band members' platonic and romantic interactions. The characters are very likable and seem true to life. The difficulty of having a normal life in the face of celebrity is addressed many times in this layered and fun romance.
VERDICT Readers do not have to be fans of country music in order to root for Annie and Clay to find their way to love. A strong choice.

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