Today’s Blog is a book review of Ingela Bohm’s Release, which I received through the Goodreads Don’t Buy My Love program. I love music, so I am always drawn to stories that are music centric, especially ones revolving around the interworking of bands. This one had all the makings of a classic struggle to stardom story, complete with addiction, outdoor music festivals, and stalkerish fans. There is so much angst and struggle within the band, especially with Michael and Jamie, though Cal begins to show some signs of it too in the later chapters.
What bogged the story down for me was how much time was spent in each of the characters heads with long, unbroken chunks of texts before action or dialogue took place. I never could quite emmerse myself in their story and get lost in it, which made it difficult to connect with the characters at times.
The co-dependence between Jamie and Michael rung through loud and clear, however, with Michael unable to truly be firm with Jamie or stand up to him when he was getting more and more out of control. It was clear that Michael’s own insecurities made him hesitate to take action, as if he was afraid that pushing Jamie would destroy a relationship he couldn’t fully function without. He came across as unable to fully live his own life. He was the singer, the front man, but Jamie was the one who truly seemed to shine, everyone else just came off as supporting cast.
I suppose that was because it was Jamie who’s issues were being focused on here, but so much time in Jamie’s head as he spiraled out of control made getting to know the others characters much more difficult.
I loved the idea of the story, I loved their struggle, and the things Jamie discovered about his mother. The bicycle tour was a totally new twist, I’d never read of anything like that before, in relation to a band and felt that was a really cool aspect to add. The people they met along the way, especially Adam and the part he ended up playing in their career, were interesting and unique.
There is so much sadness and pain in Jamie, I wanted to feel sorry for him and hope he’d pull it together, but I just couldn’t quite make that connection with him. In some ways, it lacked a bit of depth to it all, and there was nothing to set him apart from any other rocker character going through the same trials. In the end, I give this one three dancing hamsters.