By Bridget Tyler, published by Templar Books.
Goodreads synopsis: It was supposed to be the summer of her life. Instead, 17-year-old Lucy finds her best friend Harper shot dead in an LA swimming pool. How did it come to this? Lucy Gosling is the drummer in Crush, a rock band formed by five London schoolgirls that has just won the UK semi-final of an international talent contest. But when the band lands in Hollywood for the big final, things are not quite as they seem. The band’s lead singer, Harper, has just one thing on her mind- to win back her bad-news ex-boyfriend. Lucy must decide whether she’s playing to Harper’s tune, or setting the rhythm for the rest of the band…
My review: Since I had found out about this read, at a bloggers lunch, I had been itching to read it. Thanks to the lovely people at Templar, I got the chance to! I already loved it from the synopsis, and was totally sucked into the story from the first page. I really loved how it began with the scene of Harper’s murder, because that added an element of suspense, before the first real chapter had even begun. I think the beginning was a bit too quick for me, though. The five girls formed a band, then about twenty pages later they were already on their way to L.A. I would’ve liked it if the pace could’ve slowed down a little then, because I was pretty interested in the reality show the band Crush were in, and wanted to know more about it. Apart from that, the plot was absolutely brilliant. Many characters were introduced when the girls arrived in L.A., which was a bit overwhelming at first, but then that really made me think. It got me guessing throughout at who the murder could possibly be- most people had reasons to dislike Harper, so the outcome was totally unpredictable!
The plot and story also dealt with some very serious, and common themes in teenage life- such as self-image issues and love. They were dealt with very well in the book, and there was definitely a clear message about one band member’s self-image problems, which was, I think, very important to the story and added some very realistic drama.
I really liked the protagonist, Lucy- the Drummer Girl of the band. You could tell she was trying to keep everything together in the band whose members were growing apart, and I adored her determination and the fact that she never gave up. I also really loved the sudden rebel growing inside her- as she ran off to L.A. without permission from her parents, to try to win Project Next– the band show. It was interesting to see how she developed and grew apart from her parents throughout the novel, and then to join back up with them at the end, after the murder.
Speaking of the murder, HARPER! She was such an intriguing character. I didn’t really like her at all. She had her good things, but the bad points about her covered up those. It really added a conflict between her and Lucy during the story, as certain reasons behind Harper’s sudden interest in going on Project Next came to light. I only really grew to like her a bit more just before her murder, unfortunately! It was very interesting to see her true emotions come through right before her death. It made her tragic death even sadder and much more tear-jerking.
Overall, Drummer Girl was a really thrilling read. It was dramatic, fast paced, and had an constant element of suspicion throughout which kept me guessing at the murderer. Although the murder did not actually take place until very near the end, unlike I had expected, the story was still very action-packed and unpredictable. I loved all of it- what an amazing debut! he author really has a great talent, and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future!
I received Drummer Girl from the publisher, in exchange for a review.