Songs About Us (Songs About A Girl, #2)
A modern love story for the Zoella generation - for anyone who has ever dreamed of being 'with the band'.Two months on from the explosive finale to book one, Charlie's life is almost back to normal again: rebuilding her relationship with her father, hanging out with best mate Melissa, and worrying about GCSEs. All the while, Gabe's revelations about her mother are never far from her mind. And neither is Gabe.It's not long before Charlie is pulled back into the world of Fire&Lights - but the band seem different this time. But then again, so is she...Meanwhile, tensions between Gabe and Olly continue to run high, leading to more turmoil between the band members and press than ever before. But when Gabriel and Charlie stumble upon yet another startling truth that links them together - everything they have stands to implode in front of them.Biographical Notes At the age of thirteen, Chris Russell formed pop/rock band The Lightyears with his best friends from school. Since then, The Lightyears have toured all over the world, performing everywhere from Wembley Stadium to Glastonbury, and trashing a grand total of zero hotel rooms. In 2013, after a three-month stint ghostwriting for a One Direction fan club, Chris developed an obsession with boy bands and came up with the idea for Songs About a Girl. He is currently busy writing the next book in the series, gigging with The Lightyears and fanboying in the general direction of Harry Styles.

Songs About Us (Songs About A Girl, #2) Details

TitleSongs About Us (Songs About A Girl, #2)
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJul 13th, 2017
PublisherHodder Children's Books
Number of pages445 pages
Rating
GenreMusic, Young Adult, Young Adult Contemporary

Songs About Us (Songs About A Girl, #2) Review

  • Katie
    July 15, 2017
    Chris Russell is a monster. A devious, wonderful, sublime, monster. Immediately following the explosive ending of this book I had to pace around my house, text my friends in ALL CAPS about the current state of my emotions, and generally flail about uselessly while wishing it was this time next year so I could see how this saga will end. Now, I will try to be calm (no promises). Set just a few months after the ending of Songs About a Girl, Charlie Bloom is finally getting her life back on track. Chris Russell is a monster. A devious, wonderful, sublime, monster. Immediately following the explosive ending of this book I had to pace around my house, text my friends in ALL CAPS about the current state of my emotions, and generally flail about uselessly while wishing it was this time next year so I could see how this saga will end. Now, I will try to be calm (no promises). Set just a few months after the ending of Songs About a Girl, Charlie Bloom is finally getting her life back on track. She's rebuilding a better, kinder, warmer relationship with her dad. She and her best friend Melissa have moved past the events that nearly cost their friendship in Songs About a Girl, and people have mostly gotten over her association with the world's biggest boyband. Meanwhile, Fire&Lights are back from a world tour and back in her life, making everything infinitely more complicated all over again. Gabe is cold and distant, while Olly is doing his best to win Charlie's heart. Yuki and Aidan are both having their own problems to boot, and it looks like the band is on the precipice of implosion at any second. Oh, and Charlie and Gabe are still trying to figure out the secrets of their joint past while the media is waiting in the wings to capture every second of the band's downfall. Stressed? Who? Me? You bet I was stressed reading this. And that's the biggest compliment I could give it. It's sucked me in that much. Look, the Songs About a Girl series is complete and total YA wish fulfilment. It's about a teenage girl who doesn't realise how special she is, whose life is thrown into chaos when she becomes involved in the world's biggest boyband and forms 1/3 of a love triangle with two of the band members. It's the kind of story that I used to daydream about as a young girl, and now I'm getting to experience it through Charlie Blooms eyes. But silly wish fulfilment isn't all that this is. Chris Russell has a way of writing characters that just lift off the page. There's not a person in the pages of this book that doesn't sparkle in their own way. This series has witty, quick, fun dialogue. It has a protagonist that is brimming with personality. It has strong female friendships where girls lift each other up rather than tear each other down. It has a complicated, enthralling mystery and it has everything you'd expect from a story about a boyband. It's got creepy paps. Limos with hot tubs. Ego, tensions, and the very real, not at all shiny realities of superstardom when the cameras are switched off. In-fighting. Too much drinking. Hangers on. Closeted sexualities and publicity relationships and a soundtrack you wish you could listen to. This is the middle part of a trilogy which means two things: It's the real heart of the plot. This is where the heavy lifting is done, and boy does it deliver. It's also the second book in a 3 book series involving a love triangle, and a love triangle requires that both would-be suitors are given their shot at being the one. Gabe had his shot in Songs About a Girl. Olly gets his shot in Songs About Us. I know as an emotionally intelligent, mature woman (who happens to love YA) that Charlie should choose Olly. The good one. The steady one. The safe one. The feminist in me says Charlie doesn't need a man. She needs her best friend and her camera and that's it. The girl that loves passion, uncontrollable, unpredictable, crazy tumultuous love wants her to choose Gabriel. Only Chris Russell knows the answer, and he's making us wait a year. Like I said: He's a monster. I love everything about this, I really do. Yes, it's light. Yes, it's incredibly fun. Yes, Gabriel West is Harry Styles in a very thin disguise. But there is a real darkness underneath the glossy sheen of this story. There's hidden histories. There's secrets and fears. Charlie gets to say "I'm with the band" but at what cost?
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  • Lucinda Tomlinson
    July 13, 2017
    Charlie Bloom is trying to get her life back on track without Fire & Lights, and worry about normal teenage things. The band soon find their way back into her life, but things aren't as they appear to the outside world. The band are coming apart at the seams, and the mystery that links her and Gabriel seems destined to stay that way. For Charlie, it's a balancing act once again, and the plates are almost certain to come crashing down. What a Feeling, I'm so sure that only three books is goin Charlie Bloom is trying to get her life back on track without Fire & Lights, and worry about normal teenage things. The band soon find their way back into her life, but things aren't as they appear to the outside world. The band are coming apart at the seams, and the mystery that links her and Gabriel seems destined to stay that way. For Charlie, it's a balancing act once again, and the plates are almost certain to come crashing down. What a Feeling, I'm so sure that only three books is going to be Never Enough, but then I've got No Control over that. I was going to pace myself with this book, I really truly was, and then I didn't, which is a surprise to nobody. Once again, I am Melissa, and once again I love my boyband sons. I am so desperate to get the next book and this one has barely been out a few days! There was so much more tension and things brewing beneath the surface of this book, and I loved there being more involvement of plotlines for the other boys this time around. I wanted this book to be four times the length it is to devote more time to each of these subplots, because I really need More Than This. This book has that One Thing, and it kept me Up All Night. In no way does it suffer the dreaded second book syndrome, Songs About Us will capture your teenage fangirl boyband loving heart all over again.
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  • Kirsty (overflowing library)
    July 14, 2017
    I enjoyed this as much as the previous book in the series. I loved getting to know Charlie and the boys again. It drew me in as much as the previous book and made my inner boyband fan very happy indeed.I loved seeing ho the story developed further a Charlie got dragged back into the world of fire and lights and didn't want it to end.This book, like the first, has another killer cliff hanger. I do not know how I am going to be able to wait for book 3.
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  • Jessie Thomas
    July 21, 2017
    When I finished Songs About a Girl last year, I couldn’t wait to see where Charlie’s story would go, so I was unbelievably happy to get my hands on Songs About Us and delve back into the world of Fire&Lights and Caversham High. It’s no secret that I’m a big Chris Russell fan and, having just finished his second novel, that fact is just getting more and more true. As I’ve said before, Chris has an uncanny understanding of teenage girls and writes so perfectly for YA that it’s hard to believe When I finished Songs About a Girl last year, I couldn’t wait to see where Charlie’s story would go, so I was unbelievably happy to get my hands on Songs About Us and delve back into the world of Fire&Lights and Caversham High. It’s no secret that I’m a big Chris Russell fan and, having just finished his second novel, that fact is just getting more and more true. As I’ve said before, Chris has an uncanny understanding of teenage girls and writes so perfectly for YA that it’s hard to believe he’s still so new to the scene. Songs About Us kicks off a few months after the events of the first book, with the blogosphere having moved on to new dramas and Charlie trying to keep her head down, get through her GCSEs, and be an “ordinary girl”. Predictably, that doesn’t last long and when she reunites with the boys she is pulled back into the glamour, drama, romance and tension of life with the band. People like to be scornful about the passions of teenage girls, particularly when it comes to boybands, and it would have been easy for this trilogy to be dismissed as “a bit of fluff”, but this book shows just how wrong that judgement is. There is so much going on in the story that it is never boring or predictable, but rather than it being the shallow, sensationalised, materialistic experience of reading about bands in gossip magazines, Russell goes beyond the surface of all that and uses real issues to bring depth and emotion, painting these teen music sensations as real, normal people who the reader feels on a level with.One example of this, which I was so happy to see included in the book, was when he addressed the manufactured relationship between one of the Fire&Lights boys and a fellow female pop star. I’m going to be very vague about this so as not to spoil anything, but when Charlie asked said boy about the relationship, he shared with her how he was struggling with his identity in terms of romantic relationships. And not only was it brilliant to see some LGBTQ+ rep in there, but I absolutely loved how it was handled. I think the thing that impressed me most was the fact that neither the character in question, the character he was speaking to, or the author felt the need to put a label on him; no word was ever given to his sexuality, just an explanation of how he felt. This was so refreshing, and when Charlie responded with:“You shouldn’t put so much pressure on yourself… You are who you are. Maybe that’ll change, maybe it won’t. As long as you’re happy, none of it matters.”I felt the need to stop and praise it to everyone around me. It was portrayed as something that Charlie literally couldn’t give a tiny rat’s ass about, because it didn’t change her friend whatsoever and had no impact on Charlie’s life, so why should she care just because it’s different to her own experience? This, along with other passing comments from background characters about their own sexualities, really helps to normalise LGBTQ+ identities and is exactly what we need in mainstream media.I mentioned in my review of Songs About a Girl how Russell created such brilliant characters, with such an effective, visual style of writing about them that Fire&Lights very much felt like a real boyband. In Songs About Us, this was still true, but as we’ve now spent a bit more time with the boys, their personalities have started to be further developed away from the confines of what relates to the band. Obviously, Gabriel was the main feature of the previous book, so it was really nice to see the focus shift away from him a little and allow the other band mates to shine. The friendship between Charlie and Melissa also remains a strong element, and I was happy to see that even with things getting more complex, new characters being introduced, and more page-time being given to characters who’d previously been more in the background, that relationship wasn’t lost. Melissa is such a great character, who provides a lot of the comic relief in the more intense parts of the books, but more than that, it’s so important to see healthy female friendships in YA, and the fact that Mel didn’t take a back seat to any of the Fire&Lights drama or Charlie’s romantic relationships was such a positive thing.The pacing is excellent as well. Here is an author who understands perfectly when to pick up the excitement, when to drop, and how to do so with admirable subtlety so the story neither feels like an exhausting rollercoaster ride nor plateaus to a point where you feel like you could put the book down. Usually when I need to stop reading, I’ll do so at the end of a chapter because that’s a natural place to pause, but with Russell’s writing style it never feels like you can. His chapters often end so well on these enticing mini-cliffhangers, that you simply have to carry on reading, even when you have other things to do. Case in point: my friends and I had a Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon over the last couple of days, and after I picked up my book between films, I elected to keep reading even when Captain America: The Winter Soldier came on. Now, I know there’s a whole debate over the best Chris, and I’m not gonna say Russell is better than Evans, but… ;PAll in all, Songs About Us is an extremely strong follow up to Chris Russell’s debut, with plenty to satisfy the pickiest of teen readers; gripping plot twists to shock you, gorgeous boys to fall in love with, wonderfully nasty characters to be angry at, emotional moments to melt your heart, hilarious lines to make you pee your pants… Reading this book was honestly such an enjoyable experience, that left me with a huge smile for days, and I will be foisting it into the hands of everyone I can convince to listen to me.
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  • Chloe
    July 20, 2017
    I went through so many emotions reading this book. I read it within a few hours because I just couldn't stop and I really need book three already.This series has made me so happy. My friend introduced me to Songs About A Girl and I have never been so thankful for a book recommendation. At a point where I've felt alone and just generally been feeling awful about myself, Songs About A Girl and now Songs About Us have been a huge comfort for me and I absolutely love them.I found myself yelling at C I went through so many emotions reading this book. I read it within a few hours because I just couldn't stop and I really need book three already.This series has made me so happy. My friend introduced me to Songs About A Girl and I have never been so thankful for a book recommendation. At a point where I've felt alone and just generally been feeling awful about myself, Songs About A Girl and now Songs About Us have been a huge comfort for me and I absolutely love them.I found myself yelling at Charlie so much during this book. I was like GET WITH OLLY and then she did and I was like YES but obviously things just don't work out. Also Gabe, Gabe isn't my favourite character by a long stretch. I find him very irritating which I think you're meant to but when the journalist made him upset I just wanted to hug him and tell him it was okay and he was loved😂 and YUKI MY FAVE I went through so many emotions. And I hope that Chris continues to follow Aiden's journey of who he is because that will be really important representation and for Aiden's sake because he needs to be happy. Honesty, Fire & Lights have made me feel like I've got a place in the world and they're a fictional band.
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  • Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
    July 24, 2017
    This series is so fun I think I liked Songs About Us even more than the first book!
  • Sophie
    July 31, 2017
    *4.5 stars*What the f. WHAT THE ACTUAL F. There are cruel cliffhangers, and then there's that...
  • Off The Page Book Reviews
    July 23, 2017
    Having read and loved the first book, “Songs About a Girl”, I was needless to say rather excited when this book came in the post.It starts with an immediately gripping first chapter as Charlie, the main character, reminisces on her time with the band “Fire & Lights” from book 1. She then receives a text from one of the band members and the action of the book begins.This book is extremely well written. I was hooked from the start. After being on holiday for the past month and reading 5 differ Having read and loved the first book, “Songs About a Girl”, I was needless to say rather excited when this book came in the post.It starts with an immediately gripping first chapter as Charlie, the main character, reminisces on her time with the band “Fire & Lights” from book 1. She then receives a text from one of the band members and the action of the book begins.This book is extremely well written. I was hooked from the start. After being on holiday for the past month and reading 5 different books I was finding it difficult to find something new that would grab my attention, and this was it. It’s much more interesting than your generic teen romance due to the fact that the author used to be in a band so you get almost a backstage pass to what it’s like to be a famous band on tour.Overall I thought this book was pretty good. There was a good amount of drama and tension. I wasn’t so keen on the overused love triangle, as it seems every YA book has a love triangle somewhere, but it wasn’t the only focus of the book.The cliffhanger ending leaves me waiting excitedly for book 3. Overall I give this book 6.5/10.Read more on my book blog Off The Page Books.
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  • Toni Harness
    July 30, 2017
    Maybe I'm too old for this book and that's why it just didn't click for me the way it clearly did for other people on here. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad book. I'm quite a harsh rater with the stars so even though I've only given it two that in no way means it's a bad book. I just think it was stretched out because the plot could have been condensed down but to make the book longer I think the author went a bit all over the place with it. It's a shame because the potential is there. The char Maybe I'm too old for this book and that's why it just didn't click for me the way it clearly did for other people on here. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad book. I'm quite a harsh rater with the stars so even though I've only given it two that in no way means it's a bad book. I just think it was stretched out because the plot could have been condensed down but to make the book longer I think the author went a bit all over the place with it. It's a shame because the potential is there. The characters have something that makes you care about them. And the backstory of finding out what happened to Charlie's mum and such is interesting and keeps you guessing but as an overall read I just felt it could have been so much better.
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  • Eve
    July 13, 2017
    Ollie is in his band Fire&Light on tour whilst Charlie is back home and worrying as well as studying for her exams.She hangs out with her best friend Melissa who she talks to and trusts with her worries as well as Gabe and Ollie issues too. From finding out about her mum and Gabe's parents, to repairing her relationship with her dad whilst getting close to Ollie, sparks fly from all sorts of drama's sparking reactions amongst the teens.A story with passion and life on stage in main focus of Ollie is in his band Fire&Light on tour whilst Charlie is back home and worrying as well as studying for her exams.She hangs out with her best friend Melissa who she talks to and trusts with her worries as well as Gabe and Ollie issues too. From finding out about her mum and Gabe's parents, to repairing her relationship with her dad whilst getting close to Ollie, sparks fly from all sorts of drama's sparking reactions amongst the teens.A story with passion and life on stage in main focus of a lens or witnessing it from behind the lens like Charlie, a book which will keep you engrossed to the end.Many thanks to the publishers for allowing me to review this book for them!
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  • Caron
    July 11, 2017
    I absolutely loved it. I devoured this one in one afternoon and now have the long wait for book 3. My feelings towards certain characters haven't changed (still don't like Gabe, I still think Olly is all kinds of adorable and I think Aiden should be protected at all costs), if anything, 'Songs About Us' has just heightened my feelings towards these characters.
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  • Mia
    July 25, 2017
    Another sweet, fun, cutesy read that keeps you happy and content from beginning to end! It was lovely to read about these characters again and to find out at the end that there is another book in this series that I thought was 2 books turns out to be 3, yeahy!!! I recommend this series and I can't wait for the next one 🤗
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  • Daniela
    July 5, 2017
    Wow! Absolutely loved it! I can't believe I will have to wait so long to find out what's going to happen next!
  • Eve
    July 26, 2017
    I couldn't put the book down at all ! I need the next one!!
  • Ku
    July 30, 2017
    i like this book more than the first one. gosh, i just can't articulate my feelings right now.
  • Debbie at Snuggling on the Sofa
    July 26, 2017
    Oh Charlie <3 bring on the 3rd book!!
  • Nicole
    July 28, 2017
    wow I liked this book, but not as much as I liked the first book. Charlie sure did take us on one hell of an adventure. I think the main reason I was disappointed with this book was because of the consistent change from Olly to Gabe. Reading about Charlie and Olly's relationship wasn't the reason to why I had bought this book, but it's what I got and I think that it was necessary for the both of them to try it out and see what happened. For Charlie to really now if she is over Gabe or not, and I wow I liked this book, but not as much as I liked the first book. Charlie sure did take us on one hell of an adventure. I think the main reason I was disappointed with this book was because of the consistent change from Olly to Gabe. Reading about Charlie and Olly's relationship wasn't the reason to why I had bought this book, but it's what I got and I think that it was necessary for the both of them to try it out and see what happened. For Charlie to really now if she is over Gabe or not, and I think we all got the answer at the end of the book. I really do ship Charlie and Gabe mainly because of their past connection of their parents, I think it's some sort of fate. I think that it made the story that much more interesting to read, I wanted to know more about Charlie's mother and Gabe's dad and how both of them are tied together. I did get kind of annoyed at how much time Charlie spent with Olly, when deep down inside she knew that she likes Gabe, sure she was trying to save herself, but it all made it much more complicated and for her to blame herself for the band splitting is a little far fetched. The band was doomed in the first place, they didn't talk. Gabe and Olly always fought, because of the "special treatment" Gabe was getting from Barry. It was all gonna happen sometime soon. In the last book of the trilogy I obviously do hope Gabe and Charlie fix things and end up together, instead of being afraid to have a relationship. I am also excited to see where Charlie's photography career goes since she heard from her idol. I'm still getting the whole "One direction" vibe, since one of the members all of a sudden left, and then soon after the group decided on taking a hiatus. This seemed similar to the One Direction situation. I did enjoy this book and I recommend reading it.
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