5 Mar 2019

Review: The Sidewalk's Regrets

'' I love this boy. I love him. And he loves me. But is that enough? This time I'm not sure it is. ''

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

From Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Sacha McLeod isn’t looking for someone to rock her world. But when she hears the boy in the music store play the guitar, the music thrills her and she falls hard for Dylan and his sound.

Sacha finds herself spending less time with her violin and more time with this guy. Her plans for her violin-virtuoso future—and her self-confidence—are shattered when she screws up the audition for a summer music program. Failure isn’t something she’s had to face before, so when Dylan asks her to spend her vacation with him in the city, she lies to her parents, pretends she won a place in the summer school, and secretly moves in with Dylan.

She’s expecting romance, music, and passion, but when she finds herself playing second fiddle to Dylan’s newly acquired drug habit, she realizes despite what the songs say, sometimes love isn’t all you need.

Falling in love might change the priorities in our lives. What used to come first is now the last thing on your mind. At least for a while. Then, people around you begin to notice the changes you are experiencing, they start to get worried, and the vicious cycle of deceit and lying begins.

Sacha has figured out the rest of her life already. After she gets into the Summer School program she has trained hard for, she'll get the kickstart she needs to get her professional career as a violinist going. Then she meets Dylan and her priorities are turned upside down. The music Dylan makes resonates inside her making thinking straight harder and harder.

I loved the writing style. The way Sacha describes the way Sidewalk's Regrets' music affects her, how it surrounds her and consumes her, hits spot on how the writing affected me. The writing is consuming, like being submerged in the bath as long as can before coming up for a gulp of air before going below the surface again. Of course, the writing isn't perfect and there were a few spots where it stumbled a bit, but mostly it just is a joy to follow.

I haven't read many books about addiction. Eating disorder books are a more familiar area for me, but I could imagine the two are quite close to each other in terms of falling and recovering. The way Sacha feels like she needs to know the reasons behind Dylan's using and to understand him better she needs to know first hand how it feels to use. Then the one time turns to two to three to... It's a never-ending circle where the only one you're lying is yourself. One of the best features of the portraying of the addiction was that the author wasn't pointing fingers and being condescending towards the characters. If you write about addiction to describe a journey through a hard time, you have to show that abusing substances and/or using is not good by the way the character reacts and how they end up. Not by telling the reader and judging the characters. The author got this right, and although, following from the sidelines was hard, it was worth for the sake of the entire book.

I had a few apprehension going into this book, I wasn't quite sure if the music-setting would be my thing, but the way the music is tied to the plot and characters so strongly, only made the entire book more attractive. The music didn't only exist to please the reader and characters, but also to show the fall for the worse and the rise for the better times. The Sidewalk's Regrets is truly worth reading and experiencing.

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