Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review of "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" by Thompson Square with Travis Thrasher

Rating: 3.5 Stars
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Review: As a country music fan, I was immediately intrigued by a novel based off of the hit song "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?"  Thompson Square and Travis Thrasher collaborate to bring the catchy hit song to life.  The song "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" is catchy and uptempo, but the novel offers more depth and drama with the classic elements of a country song: love and heartbreak.

Daniel and Casey's love story takes a long and winding road to fruition.  After their initial high school and college relationship, Daniel and Casey's path diverge but continue to intersect through music.  Their bond is undeniable, but their choices pull them apart for years and lead them to heartache.  Daniel's dependence on Casey becomes heartbreaking midway the novel.  Present day finds him in his mid-thirties with mostly unfulfilled dreams; dreams that he doesn't believe he can achieve without Casey.  It is sad to watch Daniel stall his life while Casey moves on, even though satisfaction remains elusive for her as well.  At times, I had difficulty connecting to either character. The last few chapters switched to first-person perspective, which I enjoyed more than the third person.  The plot relies heavily on the emotional journeys of Daniel and Casey.  As a reader, emotions resonate with me more when told in first-person.

Thompson Square lends an authentic country and creative flair to the novel, with unique chapter titles and verses of original songs to begin certain chapters. I enjoyed the beginning and ending portions of "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" The novel comes full circle in a sweet closing scene, and wraps up nicely in the epilogue clearly inspired by verses of the song.  The next time I hear "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" on the radio, I will listen to it with a backstory that makes it more than just a catchy tune. 

I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from NetGalley, courtesy of Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Summary: A novel about the long, winding journey to love for a pair of struggling songwriters, based on the hit song “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?”, from platinum-selling country music duo Thompson Square.

Daniel and Casey were an unlikely couple back in high school, when they came together to write the music for a school function. Struggling against their differences, they dated during college, but their relationship never seemed quite right. Yet despite their personal conflict, as songwriters they had undeniable chemistry—and two hit songs. Eventually they went their own ways, both trying to make it in the music world and find true love.
Years later, both Daniel and Casey are at rock bottom, dealing with divorce and still trying to find success. But when they connect again as old friends, they realize that what they needed was right in front of them all along: each other.
From Thompson Square, a married twosome who know a little something about what it’s like to overcome the years of struggle in the music business while finding love and happiness, Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not? is a charming and humorous love story about coming of age, knowing where you belong, and finding the perfect person to share life with.

Watch the Video Here.

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