Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance,
Ages back I read the Groupie trilogy. I remember being so angry at Vanni much of the time. Its one of those reads that’s so OTT in parts, so non stop drama filled that you just have to keep reading, kind of like watching a car crash when you know what’s going to happen but can’t stop looking. I knew things were going to go badly for Andy, knew Vanni was going to be a lying rat and break her heart and yet…I just couldn’t stop reading, however improbable the actions of the characters. I never felt Vanni was really good enough for Andy til the very end, and even then he never really apologised to her IMO, not properly anyway for all the drama and stress he caused to her, all the heartbreak from his jerk behaviour. So this read, showing his early days and told in his words, I hoped might make me understand him more. I’ve re added the trilogy to my kindle from the cloud for re reading to see if what I know now changes how I feel about him…be interesting to see that.
So, we meet him age 26, just lost his much loved mum, and living with his aunt who he holds dear. She taught him about music, taught him to love it and encouraged him to go for his dream. When she dies he’s distraught, absolutely gutted. His girl friend Lori wants stability, says music should be a hobby and he should knuckle down to an ordinary job for “them”. I didn’t like Lori, she seemed to be shaping him into someone he wasn’t, and especially once his aunt died and left him the house and money I though she was an opportunist. He tries to change for her, but he finds it soul destroying and Vanni and the corporate world just don’t gel. At this point Vanni’s a nice guy, respects his family, adores his Lori and believes in Love. He can’t forget his dreams though and slowly things change and he gets closer. The things he has to do though change him, the things that happen shape the misogynistic guy we meet in the Groupie books, the one that sees ladies as sex toys mainly and just doesn’t trust them. ( I still think he’s a jerk to Andy in Groupie, she never gives him reason to mistrust her and yet he blames her the same as the ladies in his past)
I found it hard to believe that he’s got to 26 with this burning dream and yet really not done anything about it, not researched how to achieve it, not strived for success more than singing in local places. Usually someone with that kind of ambition has more drive, has done more by that age, and it was a bit hard to take his ambitions seriously. I did feel for him though when he was let down time and again by the ladies in his life, and I kind of understand why he became the man/jerk we saw later.
Its an interesting read, and showed so well how hard it is to reach the top, how much needs to be sacrificed, how sheer talent just isn’t enough, but so much is drudgery, hard work, marketing and playing up to the people who can help, taking advice but also knowing how much of the original self to keep. After all its their band, their lives and they needed to keep what they wanted to do at the forefront, otherwise they’d just be a generic band, shaped in someone else’s ideals. Things like the name change, and the clothing advice were good, and even though ultimately things didn’t go as promised the band still learned much from the experiences.
I’m glad it was told by Vanni, it gave an insight into his thoughts, into his struggles with the changes and how he felt about the things that happened. There’s always two sides to a story, and now we’ve seen a bit of the inside of him I can see some of the things I remember from Groupie in a different light. Its a book well worth reading for Groupie fans, but not one I’d reread.
Stars: Four, an interesting read which shed light on who the “real” Vanni was, and how he got there.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, in case I’ve inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.


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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

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