Thursday, 15 June 2017

Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett

One day. Sixteen songs. The soundtrack of a lifetime...
Alone in her studio, Cass Wheeler is taking a journey back into her past. After a silence of ten years, the singer-songwriter is picking the sixteen tracks that have defined her - sixteen key moments in her life - for a uniquely personal Greatest Hits album.
In the course of this one day, both ordinary and extraordinary, the story of Cass's life emerges - a story of highs and lows, of music, friendship and ambition, of great love and great loss. But what prompted her to retreat all those years ago, and is there a way for her to make peace with her past?
Daughter. Mother. Singer. Lover. What are the memories that mean the most?

Review: This book was long but enjoyable. It took me a while to get through but that it simply because there is so much detail to it. We are taken back through time as Cass relives moments from her past as far back as when she was a young child. This book is interspersed with songs that Cass has written in her career as a singer and we see her in present day and then we revisit a memory from her past. I read a paperback proof of this novel and found it very easy to keep track of what time of her life we are in, whether it is present day or a flashback. I think my favourite moments were moments from her childhood because we get to see what has made her what she is today. I really liked the structure of this novel, although I think it would work best read in physical form so that it is easy to see what era you are in and also easier to flick back and revisit something that links with what you are reading now. 
I didn't necessarily warm to Cass as a character in her present day persona, I think this may be why I enjoyed the childhood sections of the book more. This is possibly because she is a star and so naturally quite introverted and selfish. This didn't mean that I didn't find her fascinating though. I really enjoyed getting to know her as a character and seeing her interact with others over the years. She didn't really grow on me as the book went on but I didn't strongly dislike her either. I just found her difficult to warm to. 
There are other characters in this novel too but none of them have as high a profile as Cass. I found some of the friends/managers/band members slightly difficult to keep track off, I think this was possibly because they really didn't have as much character development as the main character in this instance because this is very much a book about Cass and about her life. I enjoyed the insight into the music industry that this gave me and loved the fact that the chapters are interwoven with her music. As I say this was a long read so make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get through this and I would recommend picking this up in hardback because you will want to revisit parts from Cass's past as you get to know her future. I enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend this if you are looking for something to get your teeth into. 
To get your copy now, click the link! UK or US

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