Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton Review

Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton
Series: The Jamieson Collection #1
Published by HarperTeen
Publish Date: September 24, 2013
224 Pages
Source: Author for Review - Thank you!
Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

In an instant, Libby's life went from picture-perfect to a nightmare. After surviving a terrible car accident, Libby is abandoned by her father and left with her controlling aunt. A new town, a new school, no friends--Libby is utterly alone. But then she meets Peter.

The lead singer in a rock band with his brothers, Peter hates that his parents overly manage his life. Constantly surrounded by family, Peter just wants to get away. And when he meets Libby, he's finally found the one person who just wants to be with him, not the rock star.

But while Peter battles his family's growing interference in both his music and personal life, Libby struggles with her aunt, who turns nastier each day. And even though Libby and Peter desperately want to be together, their drastically different lives threaten to keep them apart forever.

Rock and A Hard Place by Angie Stanton

My Thoughts:  Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton was one of those perfect in-between books - those that go well between heavier books or longer books. It has a nice romance, not too heavy, but the story was kind of captivating and I found that I didn't want to put the book down to do much of anything at all until I finished it. When I did finish it, I sighed because I was happy. 

The first thing you need to know is this:
By many of our standards, Libby's life kind of stinks. 
Libby's mother and sister died in a car accident a while back, and her father never could get over that loss. So what did he do? He bailed, leaving Libby with her aunt. The problem with this is that Libby's aunt never really wanted her and she's a druggie, a lazy-good-for-nothing waste of space that spends her time drinking and talking down to Libby, telling her how worthless she is. Libby goes to school, where she doesn't really fit in, and she comes home to her filthy aunt's house to find her aunt either in an awful mood or drunk. Libby's only escape is just across the field to a place called Parfrey's Glen.

Parfrey's Glen is like a nature reserve, a beautiful place where Libby can just sit and draw and relax. No one seems to know about it because no one is ever there. No one bothers her while she is there. Libby can sit and remember her mother and sister, and she can dream of the day when her father will return for her. It's the perfect place for her...

...until the day a giant tour bus pulls into the parking lot and a group of boys gets out. They're loud and they act like they've been there before! To her place! It looks like three boys and a set of parents - and she hasn't seen a real family interact in a while - since she's sitting off to the side, she just watches them. It isn't long before on of the boys spots her and runs over, sitting down by her as if he's been invited. 

The second thing you need to know is this:
Jamieson is a very popular band. Everyone knows them. 
Everyone, of course, except for Libby. 
When Peter sits down beside Libby at Parfrey's Glen, they begin to talk a little bit. There is some bantering back and forth, but Libby shares very little about herself, except that she would like to get out of Rockville (the town in which she lives). Peter shares with her that he's on tour with his band to support his new album - she has no idea what he's talking about - and he can't believe she's never heard of the band before. 

It isn't that he's snobby. It isn't that he is presumptuous or cocky. It's just that he is intrigued that he has finally found a person in the world that can see the person called 'Peter' instead of the lead singer from Jamieson. Literally, when he introduced himself, Libby only knew him as Peter, and he found that really refreshing. Libby has no idea about any of this other than that they are a loud family and apparently he sings in some band or something. 

Peter shares that his family loves Parfrey's Glen because it is off of the interstate, so they try to plan to stop there whenever they are traveling through the area. They've been there before on several occasions - how has she never seen them? They feel some privacy there, even if it is only for a short while. Libby kind of shrugs her shoulders and is like "okay" and they keep talking, until Peter has to leave. BUT! by this time, Libby is crushing on Peter, and Peter is crushing on Libby - only Libby doesn't have a phone so they cannot communicate after he leaves. 

Peter's solution? He tells her when they'll be back through the area. When that day comes, Libby goes back and waits there for him, even though it is raining. She stands there all day and when the tour bus finally pulls up, they're both elated to spend just a few minutes together. 

Awwww. (They are really cute together. Really.)

The third thing you need to know is this:
Libby eventually tells Peter how her life is. 
Peter wants to help. 
Before he can help, something awful happens.
Ok so Peter ends up getting Libby a phone, and the two are able to sneak in conversation and texting without Libby's aunt finding out. It's great and wonderful and swoonworthy and Libby just can't believe that this guy is interested in her! Oh what planet does that even happen?! One day she decides to google his band name and WHOA, they really are famous. She feels so very lucky. They make plans for Peter to escort her to her school's dance, and she is nearly floating from happiness. 

But then something happens and things fall through - sometimes life throws unexpected curveballs, you know? And it's okay. But then another thing happens, and Libby is crushed. Devastated. And then something else happens that threatens the long-distance relationship that Peter and Libby has worked so hard to maintain. It's like all of a sudden, these two absolutely cannot catch a break. 

SO WHAT DOES PETER DO? Something pretty amazing. 


I'm just going to go on the record before anything else and say that Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton is an HEA. And thank goodness, because the last half to one-third of the book was like a roller coaster of emotions. This book isn't the heaviest of books - I called it a romance-lite to a friend - but I kind of liked it that way. It was a breath of fresh air, something nice and clean and almost sort-of fluffy, and I think I read it at the perfect time. 

Libby's life just stunk, you guys. She is that one person that we've all known that has it bad. No parents, lives with the scum of the earth, and she just can't catch a break. The people at school either ignore her, they don't know she exists, or they don't look directly at her because they don't know what to say or do about her. So she floats by in life, cruising on hopes and dreams. Libby is happiest when she is sketching out at Parfrey's Glen, away from her aunt's house, when she can be thinking of happier times. And she's hopeful that her father is going to come and get her, take her away from her aunt's place even though as a reader, I was just doubtful of that the entire time. 

Peter is exactly the opposite. He has everything he needs and most of the things he wants. He has more than enough. Someone like Libby just has no concept of a life like Peter's. He spends his time touring and doing press for his band. His days are scheduled to the max, and to be honest - Peter's a little bit over it. He loves his band, he loves the music, but he needs some space of his own. He's feeling a bit crowded by his family and how they make decisions for him. He's old enough to be able to make some decisions on his own. He's the lead singer of the group - basically the face of the group - so he is expected to maintain a certain persona all of the time, and his father and the rest of the family become agitated when he wants to do something his own way. Traveling around on that bus together - things can get really tight, really quickly. Since meeting Libby, Peter lives for the stops at Parfrey's Glen because she is the only person that treats him like a regular person and not a rock star and because, of course, he has fallen for her. 

Then when Libby tells him her story, he wants to help her. He knows that he can help her. His family has the resources and it's painfully difficult for him to drive away from her knowing the conditions she is living in. Peter has a plan in the works, but before anything can happen, little things begin to fall through. A little disappointment here, a big disappointment there, and then something huge and almost unreal basically separates the two. Without that phone (she no longer has it and wait til you see why!), Peter can't find her. But the lengths that he would go to so he can get this girl back are so great to read about. Very swoonworthy. Very romantic and sweet. It takes a while for things to work out, but I was kind of cheering as I was reading. 

This whole book was a perfect movie in my head. 
I seriously want to watch it. 

I will admit that this lighter romance was a little predictable a time or two and that the romance felt like it came a little bit quickly between Peter and Libby. BUT! I don't think that it is insta-love as much as it is 1) they didn't see each other often so there were some gaps in between their visits 2) their long-distance relationship developed once there was a phone involved and 3) Peter and Libby were able to find in each other someone that saw the other one for who they both were instead of what the rest of the world saw, and I would probably latch onto a person like that too. Insta-love or not, who cares. It was really sweet and I kind of liked it. 

I recommend Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton for fans of YA Contemporary with Romance, books with rock stars, and light, easy romances. The next book in the series, Snapshot, features one of Peter's brothers and I am eager to see what he's up to and what his story entails - I'll be reading it super soon. These books, these easy and light books, are so wonderful to have on our shelves and in our back pockets sometimes, you guys, because sometimes a nice easy love story is just so wonderful, particularly one that plays out like this one does. I liked this one a lot and I was ready for a happy ending when I read this one so I wasn't disappointed at all. 


Rock and a Hard Place will appeal to fans of:

YA Contemporary Romance 
Romance: Develops quickly. No triangle. Clean.
Great Setting: Parfrey's Glen, Wisconsin
Some Issues: Drug Abuse (Libby's Aunt)
Rock Stars!

Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton
is currently available for purchase.


Have you read this book? 
Or anything else by this author?

I liked this one, how it cleansed my palate. 
I'm ready to read the next book, Snapshot. 

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  1. Umm . . . yeah, I need to read this ASAP. I think I'm going to download it tonight, and read it tomorrow. It looks like exactly what I need. Yay for HEA, right?


    I've had this book on my TBR for awhile but just could not muster energy to read it, but once I get through my 3 pre-picked out ARCs, I am going for it and reading this because ahhhhhh I love romance and an HEA and ahhh. It just sounds AMAZING.

    Good job, Asheley. you are the best.

  3. I love books where celebrities meet and fall in love with regular people, especially when they're musicians. SWOON. Thanks for saying this has a HEA, I need to know that before reading. It's also refreshing to find something clean to read. This reminds me a tiny bit of Abbi Glines BREATHE, which has a cinderella feel to it as well. Have you read that book? In any case, I'd like to read this one sometime. It looks adorbs. I'm always in for some swoon.


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