Striking a Chord | SELF-esteem

While the musical experience is typically an aural one, there’s something to be said for reading about the appreciation for the medium. Here are a few odes to music available on LJ’s SELF-e platform.

playedtodeathLawson, B.V. Played to Death: A Scott Drayco Mystery. Crimetime. 2014. 312p. ebk. ISBN 9780990458234. Mys
Crime consultant and pianist Scott Drayco is the sudden owner of an opera house on Virginia’s Delmarva Peninsula, a present from a former client. Contracted for a job in the area and looking to sell the property quickly, Drayco reluctantly makes the trip to the small coastal town. His hope for a swift turnaround is ruined when the new client’s body is found in the opera house with a “G” carved into his chest. The murder unearths the town’s many secrets, and Drayco finds himself caught up in the drama. Still affected from his previous botched case—a detail that sheds compelling light on his character—he must put his hesitations aside and find a killer. VERDICT An engaging lead and atmospheric setting make for an ideal travel read.

boybandSmith, Jacqueline E. Boy Band. (Boy Band, Bk. 1). Wind Trail. 2015. 206p. ebk. ISBN N/A. YA
Having a crush on your best friend feels strange enough without the added factor of him being in the world’s most popular boy band. Part of the band’s trusted circle, Melissa is used to living on the periphery of the Kind of September’s fame and sharing Sam with his legion of devoted fans, but it certainly isn’t easy. The boys are about to release their third album, so it’s a frenzy of press, performances, and silly rumors, while Melissa desperately tries to keep her feelings under wraps. Providing angst and sweet moments in equal measure, Smith tackles celebrity culture and the power of social media while giving young readers a group of personable guys to wistfully enjoy. VERDICT A light and fun first installment in the “Boy Band” series that will appeal to those still hoping for that future One Direction reunion.

samanddlilaStockwell, Karen. The Ballad of Sam and D. Lila. CreateSpace: Amazon. Mar. 2016. 264p. ebk. ISBN 9781310965845. Romance
Ever since the loss of her sister four years ago, Dora has been stuck in a rut. Her work often creeps its way into her free time and she has long since abandoned her beloved guitar. A concerned nudge from her family forces her to attempt to course correct, sending her to the Old Town School of Folk Music. While browsing the academy’s website, she meets a kindred spirit in coworker Sam, who reignites her true passion and charms his way into her heart. They soon find the perfect harmony as musical duo Sam and D. Lila, writing songs and playing open mic nights, but a strict no-dating policy from their boss keeps their romance secret. VERDICT Sam and Dora make beautiful music together, and despite the occasional awkward phrasing, Stockwell offers up a feel-good look at following one’s dreams.

strumYoung, Nancy. Strum. First. 2013. 380p. ebk. ISBN N/A. Fic
Bernard, a deaf woodworker, is drawn to the woods when he hears a lulling melody in his dreams. The forest gives him an unexpected gift—an ancient cedar falls at his feet, and he almost loses his life salvaging part of the collapsed tree to build two guitars. From there, the story moves back and forth, tracing Bernard’s European and Iroquois bloodline through time with the magical allure of the instrument connecting his family. Young’s story spans two centuries, jumping from Canada to the French Alps to Southeast Asia and beyond, and introduces a gripping cast of characters who have moving tales to tell. Rich with beautiful imagery and thought-provoking symbolism, this debut novel will stay with readers long after they finish the final page. VERDICT Engrossing prose and an imaginative narrative define this gorgeous, highly recommended saga.

Kate DiGirolomo About Kate DiGirolomo

Kate DiGirolomo is the SELF-e Community Coordinator at Library Journal. She received her Master's degree in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. Follow her on Twitter @KateDiGirolomo.