****This review is for Playing Autumn only. ****
I don’t have to stress the obvious that I was desperate to get my hands on this book immediately. When I read the synopsis of Playing Autumn from Ms. Mina’s site, I know that I wouldn’t rest until it’s safely tucked in my e-reader. I am not big on music but the title and synopsis gave me an impression of something poignant and of better times. I was reminded of comfort even if “autumn” symbolizes melancholy. Yeah, I am crazy that way.
Set in the USA, Playing Autumn started with Haley meeting her all time music idol, Oliver Cabrera, at the airport. Though she constantly reminded herself that she had already moved on from her fangirling days, she can’t deny the weird feelings that Oliver is stirring in her. Eventually, everything just went crazy between the two of them when they spent a week mentoring the participants of the Breathe Music Festival.
Playing Autumn’s first impression on me certainly lasted. It’s heartwarming with a dash of humor and melodic feel. For a very short novella (89 pages), it gracefully managed to deliver what it’s meant to deliver. The characters immediately stood out to me. Oliver is not the typical rockstar book hero who has everything. On the contrary, his career has gone downhill and his landlord is already shooing him out of his apartment. What I love about him is that he remained cool despite the circumstances. He didn’t wallow in self-pity nor drowned himself in booze. He didn’t hide in his apartment like a cry baby nor pulled crazy stunts just to create publicity so his fame would be restored. He just tried to move on. Meanwhile, Haley is your average fangirl who preferred sharing her musical talent instead of harnessing it to become someone like Oliver. She’s contented staying on the sideline mentoring the youth. One of her traits that really made an impact on me is that she knows what she wants and she will not be ashamed in getting it like having a one week fling with Oliver.
The romance in this novella is sort of instalovey but it was beautifully crafted. And I don’t think I would be really critical about it since the story is very short. What I can assure you is that it was conceivable given that weeklong flings are actually happening in real life. And it’s not the only thing that drove the plot forward.
Ms. Mina’s talent to create stories that are interlaced with meaningful life lessons is simply admirable. Playing Autumn does not only revolve around the steamy romance between Oliver and Haley. It’s also about facing your failures and learning from them, and stepping up to brand new challenges.
Playing Autumn ended with a bang. I couldn’t believe that a book so short managed to merge lovable characters, a plot that draws you in, a swoon worthy romance while tying it all up with a few potent sentences. This book alone made buying Rock Gods of Romance worth it.
Note: Sorry for the typos. I am so sleepy right now. I had a very crazy week.