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Book Review: Everything by Melissa Pearl

Everything (A Songbird novel, Book 3) by Melissa Pearl
Release Day Blitz
April 23, 2015

Hey everyone!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things here at PopCrunchBoom Books. I have a lot of exciting adventures ahead of me (including BEA 2015! Which I’m equally excited for and terrified of for some reason lol). I also have a stack of books I’m reading through, so look forward to some reviews popping up like crazy over here.

On that note, I was given the opportunity to participate in the Release Day Blitz for Melissa Pearl’s Songbird #3, Everything. *I was given a free eBook ARC of this novel by Mark My Words Book Publicity in exchange for an honesty review. This does not influence my thoughts or opinions on the story.* See my review below and learn more about this awesome series 🙂 If you’re quick on time, check out my Need to Know section below 🙂

Book Review: Everything by Melissa PearlEverything by Melissa Pearl
Series: Songbird #3
Published by Melissa Pearl on 24 April 2015
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 332
Format: ARC eBook
Source: Given for Review

Jody Pritchett had a dream...but life had other plans. Instead of singing and dancing on Broadway, Jody's a twenty-year-old single mom, living at home with her disapproving father and overbearing sister. The choice to keep her little Angelia came with a high price and although she adores her baby girl, it doesn't take away the sting of kissing goodbye her chance at a career on the stage.
Leo Sinclair had his own dream...but got lost along the way. After a failed marriage that left him hollow and downtrodden, the Australian songwriter wonders what joy his future could possibly hold. Encouraged by the one family member who doesn't think he's a failure, Leo decides to stop living the life everyone expects him to and start chasing his dreams again. When the perfect opportunity comes knocking, Leo leaves Australia behind and hops a flight to LA. With his sights set on selling a musical to a Broadway producer, Leo is determined to finally realize his life-long dream. But life gets in the way again, when he spots a young mother outside his apartment in tears. He never realized how one person, one voice, and one Angel could have him contemplating abandoning his dreams once again.
As these two burned hearts wrestle to overcome their past struggles, Leo and Jody must decide what dreams are worth clinging to...because, sometimes, everything you want is not everything you need.

Everything by Melissa Pearl is a New Adult (17+) novel that follows the story of Jody and Leo. Jody is a young 20-year-old mother struggling to find her way again after her unplanned pregnancy and dropping out of college. She had her eyes set on Broadway and becoming a star on stage, but along the way fell in love with her teacher who dropped her once she told him she was pregnant. Now Jody is living at home raising her young daughter Angel while struggling to deal with her heartbreak as well as the cold, judging vibes she now gets from her father. On the other hand, Leo is a 27-year-old Aussie who just ended his marriage. He had always been the golden child and willing to please his family. Now he is lost and searching for more on his own terms. When his older brother mentions starting over in American and reaching for his Broadway dreams, Leo boards a plane to LA to make it happen. Using his connection–his Uncle–Leo lands a job as a building manager while writing his musical for Broadway. Then life throws another curve-ball–Leo meets Jody and soon finds himself battling over what his real “everything dream” is…”because, sometimes, everything you want is not everything you need” (book synopsis).

I’ve really enjoyed Pearl’s Songbird series so far. Music is another passion of mine that I could not live without and I love seeing how much music plays a role in these stories. I took Pearl’s advice and listened to the playlist as I read the novel this time and it really added something to my experience reading Everything. The novel mentions A LOT of songs — some I was familiar with and others that I wasn’t. Having the Spotify playlist alongside the novel was super helpful! It allowed me to get a better handle on the character and also to not push me out of the story because I did not get the reference. Additionally, it allowed me to experience two of my favorite things at the same time: music and books/reading! I appreciate that Pearl took the time to put this together for her readers.

Moving onto the characters, I felt that something was missing from them both throughout the novel. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both Jody and Leo as well as their journey together, but something in the end just seemed like it was missing. I think for Jody, I wanted to see more of her determination. She is a young mother, so I understand that she would be more immature than most characters, but she also has an older sister and a great best friend that would amplify her maturity and strength. Both Ella and M organ are strong influences on Jody and strong characters in themselves. I just wanted to see more of that strength in Jody. With that being said, I did admire Jody’s decision to break out on her own and try to make it on her own. That decision does take strength, I just wanted to see more.

With Leo, I felt like he came off a little too perfect. There was a minor struggle within him between chasing Broadway and chasing Jody, but I felt as if we didn’t see more into him emotionally. He wasn’t very cautious in falling for Jody at all like I thought he might be after his last relationship. Otherwise I really enjoyed Leo. He was driven, but also extremely caring and always seemed to be in a positive mood. I also loved the way he stepped up for Jody and supported her and protected her when the situation called for it. He was such a great example of a good guy. I wish I could hear his voice in real life — I think the accent would having me swooning even more so!

Overall, this novel was such a cute read. Seeing both the characters come together over their shared love of music and Broadway was such a nice world to escape into. I only wished that the story didn’t seem to “perfect” at times. I feel like everything kind of fell into place with no real struggle on either’s part. In the end, though sometimes that just the kind of story you need–sweet and with a happy ending. Plus, the chemistry between the characters was great. It wasn’t an overdone-I want to rip your cloths off–style, which I found really fit this couple. It was more of a subtle chemistry that was sweet and seemed to come off as a “first love” vibe. However, there were sexy times in the book too–so no worries on that front 😉  If you’re looking for a quick read to fall in love with, then definitely pick up this novel!

My Rating:

  • Everything follows single, young mom Jody and Aussie-born Leo as they find their true dreams and love through music and each other.
  • Music plays a major role in this novel. Multiple songs are referenced throughout the novel and Pearl does a great job of making the playlist available to the readers–making the experience reading the novel more involved.
  • Both Jody and Leo are trying to overcome their past and find their own way. Both characters were enjoyable, but I had a nagging feeling throughout that something was missing from these character. I wanted to see more from them personality-wise.
  • Sometimes the story came off as too “perfect” in that things seem to fall in place too easily for the characters. However, sometimes you need this kind of sweet, happy-ending type of story.
  • Overall, I enjoyed this novel! It was heartwarming and made me smile at the end. I gave it 3.5 stars since I felt something was missing in the characters. In the end, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, happy read with fun music references and a great couple dynamic. (This is a New Adult novel for ages 17+).

Genre: New Adult Contemporary 
Melissa Pearl / Mark My Words Book Publicity  
Published: April 23, 2015
$2.99 (Kindle)
Amazon, B & N, iTunes, Smashwords,  GoodReads

About the Author
Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent
much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book is coming out in February 2014 – True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.
Thanks for stopping by! What are your thoughts on Jody and Leo? 
Happy Reading!!

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