Series: Another Love Series, #1
Release Date: August 10th, 2022
CW: social anxiety, depression, character with bipolar disorder, workplace sexual harrassment (past)
Danielle Johnson loves nothing more than black old school R&B, Soul & Hip Hop, and cinema. She has a lot going on for herself. A job. Nice apartment and car. And, her LIFE-LONG DREAM: an internship at her favorite radio station since childhood…and that’s about it. She has found all the ways to seclude herself from not just others- but from herself. The only thing that she lets in is music.
When her radio role model, Lady Chanel, sees a glimpse of Danielle’s musical genius during the internship, she offers Danielle the opportunity of a lifetime: to audition to replace her as the next radio show host.
Lacey and Tony, Danielle’s ride-or-dies, do everything to make sure Danielle follows her dream, and she does so with their meddling at every turn, with Lacey as her life coach to bring her out of her shell and Tony as her co-host for the auditions to support her along the way.
Danielle is in for a wild ride when a slow brewing love, an online relationship, and past parental trauma comes into play. A ride she certainly tries to get off on every turn, as she is guided through learning to love herself and be confident in her beauty- inside and out.
But what happens when the ride takes an unexpected twist?
Meisha Gladney’s debut is a fun new adult story about going on the journey to finding yourself and letting music guide the way. While it is a romance, it’s important to know that the romance is secondary, this story is about Danielle’s discovery of herself. It’s a love story to the music of the past, to the music that sings to our souls even when we least expect it. It’s a story about friendship, about forgiveness and about allowing yourself the opportunity to be so much more than what you think you are.
Danielle works two jobs—at a bookstore during the day and as an intern at a radio station in the evenings—and she’s happy with the way her life is going. She’s got two friends who know and understand her, she’s got her music and her peace and she’s found that’s what works for her. But when the show she interns for is about to lose their hosts and one of them turns to Danielle to take over, things start to get real. Between finding the courage to use her voice for the radio and not hide behind her headphones and the life she’s built for herself, Danielle needs to get out there more and be more.
I loved the way her social anxiety was handled, because it felt real. There were times when it felt repetitive, but I could feel Danielle’s hesitation and her fear about getting out there and doing new things. While I did like her friends, I did not like the way they approached helping Danielle find comfort in the little things. Especially since Danielle’s friendships are so important to her. While also familiar, Danielle’s struggles with her body and appearance also felt a little repetitive and demeaning of herself. But I totally understand where she’s coming from. The mental health rep in this book is definitely relatable and I believe handled well.
If you’re looking for a book filled with music and wonderful young Black characters, then Meisha’s debut is one for you.
Thanks to Meisha Gladney for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.