Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Jamieson Brothers Novels by Angie Stanton | Review

If you're old like me, and remember Hanson in high school?  No?  Oh c'mon.  Admit it.  The Jamieson brothers - Garrett, Peter, and Adam - make me think of the Hanson brothers - what were their names again? Oh, right.  Lost in the everspace.

Rock And A Hard Place

The first book in the series follows the middle brother, Peter, who is the songwriter and lead singer of the group.  The boys' mom tries to make touring and traveling a family affair to keep the boys grounded and to keep them bonded as a family (which is a delightful touch), so they all ride together in a bus.  Peter lucks into love, loses it, and spends the rest of the novel trying to find the girl he loves again.

What I liked about this story, and what drove me to want to pick up the next book in the series, was the innocence.  The teens were so innocent, even though they hadn't been sheltered from reality, they had such high expectations of humanity, even after hardship, and that kept the story grounded.  I loved that it wasn't a typical love story and that its heroine, Libby,  was someone you can be proud of, someone you can point out as a conqueror of her situation, and that made me happy.


The second book picks up with the youngest brother, Adam.  He's determined to spend his week-long break, unheard of in his world of successful music-making, at a photography arts camp as a regular teenager.  So, he heads off, shaving his head to try to fool his fans.  He, too, finds love, just not as easily as Peter did.

The thing I realized at the end of this one is that these books, unlike many summer-romance trilogies, aren't overtly formulaic.  While Peter & Libby's story was pretty squeaky clean, Adam & Marti's deals with heavier teen issues such as unprotected sex and the possibility of teen pregnancy, underage drinking, and rebelliousness you rarely see in the baby of the brood.

The difference in the two was so striking, it led me to the third, even though Garrett was probably my most hated character throughout the first two books and I knew he'd take the main stage on this one.

Under The Spotlight

Garrett is really a douche of an older brother.  This book picks up after the band hits some major issues, and Garrett loses his way a little.  It's the story of him trying out a new profession, and chasing a girl who wants more than anything to make her own way in the world, without her mother finding out, and teaching him some much needed life lessons along the way.

Character crossover between the three novels is very well-done.  And it seems more plausible than convenient.  Under the Spotlight sheds light on previously unexplained behavior and brings a great close to the three-book series.  Really, it does.

So, if you're looking for a trilogy that's already out, that you can binge at the beach, poolside, or under a massive forest canopy, put this one on the list.  It'll keep you guessing, keep you interested with its unique characters, and most of all, keep you entertained, page-flipping as fast as your little eyes can bear.

Angie Stanton also wrote the recently reviewed Royally Lost, so if you want another to add to your vacay queue, it's a safe bet.

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