When The Beat Drops by Anna Hecker #bookreview #YA

Seventeen-year-old Mira has always danced to her own beat. A music prodigy in a family of athletes, she’d rather play trumpet than party—and with her audition to a prestigious jazz conservatory just around the corner (and her two best friends at music camp without her), she plans to spend the summer focused on jazz and nothing else.

She only goes to the warehouse party in a last-ditch effort to bond with her older sister. Instead, she falls in love with dance music, DJing…and Derek, a gorgeous promoter who thinks he can make her a star. Suddenly trumpet practice and old friendships are taking a backseat to packed dance floors, sun-soaked music festivals, outsized personalities, and endless beats.

But when a devastating tragedy plunges her golden summer into darkness, Mira discovers just how little she knows about her new boyfriend, her old friends, and even her own sister. Music is what brought them together…but will it also tear them apart? – Goodreads.com

As a music lover and former band geek, I was immediately drawn to this book.  Mira’s obsession with music, ambitious goals, and close relationship with her family make her instantly likable.  Despite that close relationship, she feels as if her parents always put her sister’s needs and interests ahead of her own, and Mira’s very accommodating and understanding for her age.  I admired her determination to work on her goals, try new experiences, and meet new people instead of sitting around sulking after missing music camp.  The dynamics between Mira and her best friends are genuine and relatable, and getting an insider’s view of DJ-ing made this tech-lover very happy.

The first 70% of this book was enjoyable read for me, but soon after, things seem to go off the rails.  I’ll try to put this in general terms to avoid spoilers.  I found it difficult to believe that parents would be oblivious to such a profound change in their child’s appearance and actions.  Mira and her family are dealing with, as well as avoiding, several problems, but the blame comes across as misplaced.  By eliminating a certain aspect from their lives, everything is resolved, which is an unrealistic expectation.  Questions are left unanswered, I was ultimately disappointed at certain choices that didn’t ring true for the character, and the ending felt rushed.

My issues are personal, and I’d still recommend this book to music lovers, because it’s rare to find books exploring that world – they’re few and far between, and I’d love to see more.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.


2 thoughts on “When The Beat Drops by Anna Hecker #bookreview #YA

  1. Hi Teri. Thanks for this mindful review. Denial is a powerful force (I’ve seen a lion’s share), but if in the context of the story it just seems too unlikely, then it would annoy me. I appreciate you being honest about this book — about the good and the not so good. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Teagan! The majority of the book kept me glued to the pages, but as a parent, it just seemed too unlikely parents could be oblivious to such a profound change in their child. Not just internal, but external. That was a little too much to swallow, for me.

      Liked by 1 person

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