Title: You’d Be Mine
Author: Erin Hahn
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Published: April 2, 2019
Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.
But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.
Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.
So, my most anticipated book of the year. No pressure, right?
Well folks, did it live up to the hype? Nope.
It surpassed it.
That’s the glorious thing about music. It speaks to the very heart of things in the most absolute and obtrusive way.
We’ll begin with Clay. Oh, Clay. I wanted to strangle and hug him the entire time I read this book. In truth, he’s really messed up. He’s spent a long time pushing down his emotions, and, you guessed it, they’re about to bubble over. I rooted for him the entire time anyway. My heart went out to him every time he stumbled, and lifted whenever he got back up again.
Then, we have Annie, who is just the greatest. She’s so ready to call out anyone and speaks her mind all the time. Her voice was so distinct from Clay’s. Yeah, she has it together in some ways, but in others, she really doesn’t. And I loved that about her. Like most of us, she’s a work in progress, but she’s a pretty amazing work in progress. She’s so passionate and hardworking and it was infectious to read.
The book basically follows Annie and Clay as they spend a summer singing country music and touring. Clay is trying to redeem himself, while Annie is trying to find herself in a music world that still idolizes her now-dead parents. Both of them have demons, and this book does not shy away from them. I’d heard that this book covers surprisingly dark themes, and it does, with so much grace.
I loved these two characters on their own. But together? I was not ready for that at all. Their chemistry is off the charts. Any time they got on stage together, I was a total goner. Apologies if you follow my bookstagram or bore (bared? bored?) witness to this thread, because I was an absolute mess.
Up until this point, his voice has been wasted. This is his life’s work right here. I’m shaken and thunderstruck and electrified to the point of jittery. He’s a fiery summer storm and I’m in the middle of an open field.
The writing feels so honest. Every line felt like it was spoken from the heart. It’s blunt at times, but in a way that truly makes me believe Annie and Clay are teenagers trying to deal with emotions no teenager should have to deal with. (A lot of these emotions, by the way, are things I want to discuss so badly but I will refrain in the interest of not spoiling.)
Also, let’s address the elephant in the room: this is a country music book. Do I particularly enjoy jamming to country music? No way. But did I jam to it the entire time while reading this book. Yes way. Hahn has this super cool playlist to go with the book, and it made the reading experience even better. (I didn’t know I could enjoy a song called Long-Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man but here we are, folks.)
The music is truly one of the best parts of this book. The mood of this novel is unabashedly country, and I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about that. But it made me realize that all types of music can bring people together. Just because I don’t usually listen to songs about whiskey, blue jeans, and God, doesn’t mean those can’t be rallying for people. And they are. This book is proof of that. I may not be a Southern belle, but getting to read about it was refreshing, new, and entirely enjoyable.
The side characters in You’d Be Mine also have my full and total support. Fitz, Kacey, and Jason all compliment Annie and Clay so much, and I loved the scenes where the five of them hung out. And, as I mentioned before, Annie and Clay are pretty irresistible together.
He’s more than kissing in the dark and filled-out denim. He’s just as damaged as I am. He’s got heartache and grief and loneliness, and if I can’t survive him, he sure as hell can’t survive me.
I’m trying to keep this review as vague as possible, because I honestly think that the less you know going into the book, the better. It went into a lot of directions I wasn’t expecting it to, and I’m glad I didn’t get to see them coming.
Overall, I just adored the energy of this book. It’s the kind of novel that makes you want to get up and sing and dance and shout. I love it when reading a book is such a delight, and this was one of those times. Believe the hype. It rings so true with this one.
And hey – don’t be afraid to try some country music! Erin Hahn may make a convert out of me yet. I can’t wait to see what she blows me away with next.
You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn releases from Wednesday Books on April 2nd, 2019. Do yourself a favor and go buy a copy.
All quotations are taken from an advanced copy of the book and may not match the finished edition.
Trigger Warnings: underaged drinking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, suicide description.
Are you planning on reading You’d Be Mine? If you weren’t, have I convinced you? What excites you more about this book? Any favorite country songs/bands/artists you’d recommend? If you’ve already read this book, what did you think? Tell me in the comments! 🙂