Midwest Book Mom Presents: He's With The Band - Book Review
Book Rating: ★ ★ ★ .5
“This book is dedicated to anyone out there working towards their dream. It isn’t too late. You aren’t too old. There is no expiration date on your happily ever after.”
Julie Stone - "He's With The Band
Campbell Cavett finds herself newly divorced in her 40’s with a dead-end photography job at the Portrait Hut and the not-so-proud owner of a beige house designed by her ex-husband, Jack. She used to be a starry-eyed groupie, following the rock-n-roll band, Golden Tiger. After a night celebrating with her bestie, Marissa, Campbell wakes to find she quit her job, listed the house, and now has tickets to see Golden Tiger on their reunion tour. She’s picking up her old life right where she left off only this time Campbell discovers more about herself, why her blast from the past is looking hunkier than before, and the secrets behind the legendary rock-n-roll band, Golden Tiger.
I’m normally don’t pick romantic comedy books, but this one piqued my interest while watching a virtual event with the Iowa Women Storytellers. Julie Stone refers to “He’s With The Band” as a mature romantic comedy and I agree. I found the main plot of the story likable, wondering if Campbell was going to find a second chance at life again. The plot had momentum especially when Stone leads the readers through Campbell’s struggles with trying to be a professional journal photographer for the rock band, not wanting to fall back into her former groupie days. There were a few pages where I felt the story slowed down; however, once I read beyond those points the story started to pick up pace through action scenes.
(Campbell) :“Your people skills have not improved in twenty years.”
(Vince) : "People haven't really improved in twenty years, so it works out."
Several character relationships were enjoyable to read like between Campbell and her bestie, Marissa. I really enjoyed Marissa, the friend who looked out and wanted the best for Campbell. Honestly, we’ve all had that one friend who sells everything they owned and wants to move to Australia. Even when you stand there with eyebrows raised contemplating their decision, no matter how crazy their idea sounds, you somehow decide to support that one friend. Marissa is that friend. The supportive friend regardless “of this somewhat harebrained idea” when Campbell decides to be the photographer for Golden Tiger.
The other character relationship development is with Campbell and Davis Scott, the lead singer. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I liked seeing how their dynamics towards each other shifted as the story progressed. There’s also a “will they, won’t they get together” relationship between Campbell and Vince, Golden Tiger’s band manager. In the story, they are friends, but I struggled with their relationship during certain points in the story. There were moments where the characters were alone together, but it played off like they were living in their nostalgic memories. Even Campbell doesn’t understand what to think about Vince most of the time till the end. I did like a few of their witty lines with each other throughout the story
Conclusion: Overall, I found the book likable especially since it was outside my area of interest. I thought the plot had some momentum and the physical character descriptions were vividly written. The beginning and the ending had me hooked, but for myself, I struggled with the middle and why I’m giving it at 3.5. Some people asked if this was a “raunchy” romance book. This book is far from “raunchy.” It’s a fun, rock-n-roll story about a woman who’s rediscovering herself and the kind of life she wants for her.
You can purchase Julie Stone’s book at the Beaverdale Bookstore or Dog-Earred Books in Ames. Any of these independent bookstores will be glad to help. Amazon is always an option but if you can purchase from your local bookstore, it does go towards helping your local bookstore thrive in the community around you.