by Cassie Shine
Publishing Date: November 4th 2013
Publisher: Cassie Shine
Received from: NetGalley
In just a few months Harp Evans will be officially coming of age and graduating from high school. She will be free from the mother that never wanted her, the house that never felt like home, and the disappointment of the last seventeen years. What she doesn’t know is that her mother has been holding onto a secret that has the potential to derail her dreams and destroy her already faulty sense of self.A self-proclaimed recluse, Harp spends most of her time practicing the cello, in the hopes of earning a full scholarship that will grant her freedom, but will also send her away from her best friend Connor Williams, who is becoming more than just a friend.
As revelations are made, will Harp still feel the same way about leaving everyone that cares about her behind? Or will she continue to pursue the life she’s been dreaming of, for as long as she can remember?
Harp's Song is the story of Harper Evens, a shy, cello playing girl with a cute best friend and a damaged family. The book follows Harp as she discovers the heartbreak behind her mother's violent out bursts and how she handles falling in love with her best friend - along with the usual high school drama's.
I think one of the biggest surprises with Harp's Song for me was Harp herself. I struggle with teenage girl point of views and at times - especially towards the end - Harp did fall into that category, but for the majority of the book she was strong and determined and didn't take any crap from anyone. Which I really liked. Her stories a tough one and I think that she did the best she could and I found myself rooting for her.
Although a character I did battled with was Harp's mum Anne. There were some real 'ass-hats' in this book, but you were meant to hate them. With Anne I wasn't sure how I was meant to feel. I didn't develop the appropriate sympathy towards her that I think I was meant to. I simply found her selfish and unreliable.
For a debut novel this isn't half bad, I've certainly read a lot worse but there were some holes in the plot created by overly used YA cliches and altogether randomness. There were a couple of times when the behaviour of a certain character would flip instantly and it would all seem ridiculously sudden. I mean it's not a very long book, so I guess it wasn't going to happen gradually but it almost felt like she had some sort of split personality disorder!
And then we come to Connor. He's protective without being dominate and possessive which is a hard balance to create and I give Cassie a massive round of applause for getting it right! It's not easy. Connor is sweet and popular, he's not afraid to cry and definitely doesn't have a problem throwing a punch or two. He's my favourite character from Harp's Song and I hope you like him as much as I did.
Overall, is was a good book. A little slow paced and sure, it was a tad cliché, but Harp is a strong-willed young lady with a story worth being told. Now that the character's have been introduced and the story laid out I'm looking forward to seeing where the second book goes and as long as it's a little lighter on the clichés I'm sure I'll love it.
I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.