Rock N Soul, Lauren Sattersby
Genre: Romance, LGBTQIA
I can’t find any other books by Lauren so this looks like it may be a debut book – well, she’s started her writing career with a bang IMO if that’s so – I adored this book.
Tyler, I felt for him. He wanted more out of life but seemed to be stuck, stagnated in his job that pays the bills. That happens to so many people, they’ve ambitions, ideas about the direction they want life to take and then as with Tyler something happens, its all change and there seems no way out. Or maybe its just safer to stay in the comfortable routine…His girlfriend is a real Bi tch to him at times and yet, she’s there and familiar and its all part of the way he’s stagnating. When she’s harassing him to sneak her into Chris room, or at least get her an autograph,and then blaming him for Chris’ death because he wasn’t quicker, well it just made me want to shout “dump her”.
He gets shaken out of his rut in a huge way by Chris, who appears to him when Tyler has to go to the room Chris died in a couple of weeks later. He finds a ring on the floor in a corner and puts it on – then Chris suddenly appears….nightmare or what! They soon work out that Chris can only appear to Tyler and can’t move more than about 20 ft away from him so they’re kind of stuck together. Chris comes over as a rich, entitled git TBH and of course Tyler dislikes him from the start. Its a challenge then for Lauren to not only sort out the Ghost conundrum, but work up a romance between two people that dislike each other so much. To begin they really do grate on each other, Chris criticises Tyler’s life and job, Tyler reminds him that he’s dead, he isn’t in a place to be making judgements about other peoples lifestyles given how his ended. At first they just want to find a way for Chris to move on so they aren’t stuck with each other any longer. That takes them time to work out – its not something that Google has the answers for after all, so they try many different things until it seems that they’re finally on the right track. By then though they’ve changed so much in how they feel about each other.
Its a great read, full of humour and pathos, one countermanding the other so it never gets too irritating or too schmaltzy. Some of the things they do are very emotional, some of them just made me smile and then others – the scene with Eric, was so, so sad I really felt for them, got the prickling eyes and lump in throat feeling that comes when a scene feels so very real. We see how both of them have things in their pasts that have affected them in the way they act and behave, and that they are more than the surface nerd and jerk faces they present to each other. Its a journey that could be true for so many of us, its easy to judge someone’s lifestyle choices without knowing what’s behind them. The Indians have this saying about Walking a mile in a man’s shoes that I always things is very apt. Try someone’s life for real before you judge them.
Tyler’s cousin Chad – I really grieved for him, doped up by a well meaning mother who just didn’t believe in what he said he saw, Ghosts, so he spent his life in a daze, no job, stuck living with family. I really was pleased at the plans Tyler made for him, he needed that. It made me thin too at how many people are caught in that trap, medicated when really what the need is support of a far different kind. There could be far more in the world than we understand yet. Just because science can’t explain it doesn’t mean it isn’t real – think of electricity, something everyday now but a few hundred years back would have been regarded as impossible.
Stars: Five, a story I really enjoyed
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
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