Annie Malthas craves performing, but she doesn’t want everything else that comes with it—especially after the everything else killed her country music star parents.
However, Clay Coolidge needs Annie to come on tour with him per the request of his label after he messes up one too many times. Annie reluctantly agrees to open his tour, and sparks fly between Annie and Clay as the summer heats up.
But both have their own demons to deal with and a romance added to that might just be the thing to break both of them.
CW (contains spoilers): mentions of suicide (of parents, not suicidal thoughts), somewhat graphic description of parental suicide scene (start of Chapter 11), mentions of drug abuse, character who is under the influence of an abused drug (Chapter 22, not to the point of hospitalization & does not depict the person taking the drug), alcohol abuse (very present throughout the story)
I’ve been eyeing my ARC of You’d Be Mine for months, and I’m really happy to say that this book pulled through. I might even stretch that to say that this book pulled me out of an impending reading slump, which is always wonderful.
You’d Be Mine was much more than just a sweet romance—it took a look at the darker side of the country music scene as two different country sensations came together for a tour over the summer.
It was just entertaining and filled with tension and made for a really enjoyable read, and I honestly don’t have a lot of criticism for it. It’s definitely on the older side of YA and has a bunch of crossover appeal, and I found it to be a great book to lose myself in.
One of my favorite parts was how the characters knew they weren’t ready for a romance.
Yes, Hahn already brings so much delicious tension with the characters themselves and their interactions and lingering gazes, but she also loads on the romantic tension with the way that the characters both waited to start something.
You’d Be Mine is almost a waiting game of sorts—you’re waiting for the characters themselves to heal enough to be ready for each other, which makes it different from 2010-era YA romance where characters would just jump into a romance when they obviously weren’t ready and didn’t have their own personal issues sorted out. I like how Hahn shows that the characters know they need to sort out their own issues before committing to someone—and the added benefit is how it makes the book all the more tense (and satisfying when the end comes).
It’s not only a good message for readers (don’t do things when you’re not ready emotionally), but also hopefully indicative of a budding theme in YA romance fiction. I liked this a lot, and I think this was a really fresh and different thing Hahn is adding to the genre.
The country music setting is so charming.
You can probably tell that I’m very much not a country music follower, but Hahn not only makes it interesting and understandable to any reader—country music lover or not—but also lets it add charm to the story and the romance.
Most people know that I’m a huge sucker for a famous person trope (*cough cough this book*) and You’d Be Mine fulfilled that and made me swoon with the song lyrics that Hahn wrote and the distinct regional quirks of the characters and setting.
So much fun.
It tackles more than just romance.
I mean, I talked about how the characters had their own issues to work through, and this was a huge part of the book. While the romance was mixed in, each main character, Annie and Clay, had their own demons to battle.
This is also the part where you might want to check out the content warnings about how intense these get, because Clay developed an alcohol problem after his brother died and Annie was the one to find her parents dead. They each have their own demons they’re struggling with, and I liked how Hahn both gave the characters arcs outside of just the romance, and also touched on some darker topics associated with the country music scene.
It’s not all just Southern charm, and there’s some darkness hidden inside too.
Honestly, I don’t have anything bad to say. This book was fun and entertaining and refreshing.
Although You’d Be Mine touched on some darker topics, it ultimately was a really enjoyable story that let me get out of my head and just enjoy the characters and country music scene.
I’d definitely recommend to contemporary romance lovers who like a bit of a backstory to their characters and more angst less fluff, as well as anyone who might have a slump coming who thinks this book sounds awesome!
I look forward to what Erin Hahn writes next.
Thank you so much to Wednesday Books, Netgalley, and Erin Hahn for providing me with an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!