*I was given an ARC of the book, Fever, from Mark My Words Book Publicity in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by any outside things or persons.*
Hello my lovelies!
I hope everyone’s week is going splendidly! Earlier this week was the Release Day of Fever by Melissa Pearl. As I stated in my post, Fever was burning a hole in my Kindle and I couldn’t wait to jump into it! Finally, I get a chance to let you all in on this wonderful NA!
I’ve mentioned before that the NA genre is still new to me. Personally, it’s becoming a huge favorite of mine. Anyways, Fever by Melissa Pearl is a NA contemporary and the first of Pearl’s Songbird series. Fever follows Ella, a lover of jazz who follows her high school boyfriend, David, to his college of choice. Self-conscious and anxious about the big move, Ella is torn between wanting to be with her boyfriend and facing the scariness of a new place that University of Chicago poses. Luckily one of her best friends is going to be her roommate and will have her back adjusting through this new phase in her life. Restlessly the first night there, Ella makes her way to the showers to ease her mind. With no one in sight, Ella belts out a jazz favorite and surprisingly hears a voice join in. This isn’t an ordinary voice. This is the voice of downright sexiness and it makes Ella feel more than she ever has or should. Now she’s stuck questioning her relationship and her life. Enter in her boyfriend’s best friend, Cole. Cole’s just trying to finish his final year at UChicago, so that he can finally move forward with his dreams to own his own pub. He’s never been the commitment type and isn’t looking for a relationship. So why is it that he can’t stop thinking about Ella and is jealous of what his roommate/best friend has with her? As Ella and Cole battle through new emotions, relationships and life dreams will tested. What will win out in the end?
I’ve always had a thing for music. It’s another passion of mine that I indulge in as much as I do reading. When I read the surmise for Fever, I was definitely hooked into wanting to reading this little gem. It might be the hopeless romantic in me or the music obsesser, but I always loved the idea of the power of music instigating love. How music can bring two people together (cue Music & Lyrics, Tonight You’re Mine). So naturally, this book would be an instant pick-up for me. I just had to read it 😉 and Pearl definitely delivers.
I loved the theme of Jazz throughout the novel. I’m not that familiar with the genre, but I did know some of the names and songs that were mentioned. I definitely felt the music/jazz vibe throughout the novel. This definitely lead to an awesome ending (the only semi-spoiler I’m going to give). I also loved how it felt like the novel had a soundtrack–like if I went back to read it again and listened to the songs mentioned, it would fit perfectly with the timing in the book. Pearl does give a soundtrack listing in the front of the book (or at least in the electronic copy I had) and I will definitely be going through it soon.
Aside from the music, let’s talk characters. I have to admit that Ella did get on my nerves. She was way self-conscious or unaware. She seemed to only play on the safe-side. And while I understand this characterization for the story; most of the times she was like this I just wanted to shake her and be like “come on, Ella! You’re soo much better than this!” So, sometimes it was a struggle moving forward in her mind. Luckily the novel was written in split perspectives and Cole was a much better character to read about. I loved his future planning and his ability to stay loyal to his friend. Mostly, I loved his interactions with Ella. These were the times I really enjoyed Ella because I got to see the person she could be/already was deep down. When Ella was with Cole or with her best friend, she was a great main character. I wasn’t annoyed with her actions and I loved seeing this other side of her.
Pearl did a great job of weaving the different relationships. Seeing Ella and David interact versus her and Cole or Ella and her friends interact or Cole and his foster family gave me a great perspective and understanding of the two main characters and the story as a whole. All these relationships were written well and made the novel more well-rounded. I particularly loved how Ella began to realize she wanted a love like her parents had and vice versa with Cole and his foster parents.
I think the biggest thing I loved about this book was that Cole and Ella both had to grow in this novel. It wasn’t just the female main character that had to make changes. Cole had plans for the future, but he also had to grow into that future. He had to learn that he can’t do everything alone and that love has a place in his life. On the other hand, Ella had to learn about herself. She had to figure out her own wants and dreams and come into her own.
Overall, Pearl did a wonderful job with her first contemporary romance. This was the first book I’ve read by her and I’ll definitely be looking into her other works, including the rest of the Songbird series. If you’re in the mood for a great romantic contemporary with a music flare then definitely pick up this gem!
Ella: (because I totally get how she feels!!)
:I looked young for my age. Aunt Fiona said I’d be grateful for that in the future but for now, it was kind of annoying, Twice this summer, when I commented that I was going to be a sophomore, people assumed I meant high school.
Cole: (because he was finally getting it!!)
Nina’s green eyes bored into me and I had to concede. You could dance on a bar, but it certainly wouldn’t be kissing you goodnight.
Have you read Fever? What are your thoughts on the themes and relationships? Who’d you love more: Cole or Ella? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you think!