Dana reviews Fever Pitch (Love Lessons series, book 2) by Heidi Cullinan (Published by Samhain Publishing, September 30, 2014, 339 pages. Audio published through Insatiable Press, March 18, 2015, 11 hrs 48 mins
An audio copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Sometimes you have to play love by ear.
Love Lessons, Book 2
Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away.
Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.
Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven.
As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.
Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella.
The narrator: Iggy Toma is an awesome narrator. This was the second book I listened to narrated by him. His voice sounds young enough to portray college aged students and he also varies his tone and accent to differentiate between characters. He also emotes very well, and I can feel even more what the characters are feeling.
The story: I loved the first book of this series, Love Lessons. This story takes place at a different college in a different state than the first book, with a whole new group of characters. I admit, I was concerned whether I would like this book as much as the first, but my worries were silly. I loved this book more than the first.
Aaron seems to be very popular in high school. He’s good looking and invited to all the parties but has no meaningful relationships. He has very little experience with girls or guys and his friendships are superficial. But he hides his insecurities and loneliness underneath a cool facade. Giles has been bullied and beat up all his life for being gay. He has one close friend and plenty of experience. He has confidence in some ways, though he has to be wary around just about everyone in high school.
While this story was set in a different location than book 1, I was presently surprised when Walter from Love Lessons showed up as an intern for Aaron’s dad’s law firm. He lives in Minnesota now with his fiance Kelly. Walter becomes a big supporter of Aaron when he goes to college and signs up for classes in music studies even though his father wants him to sign up for pre-law courses. Elijah, Aaron’s roommate is an interesting addition to the storyline. He appears to be very conservative and negative, but he has a complicated past that’s briefly talked about but begs for further exploration. The a capella group Aaron joins has so many other interesting characters that made this book so strong. It feels as if the series should have stared here because I want more of them all of them.
Giles goes to the same college as Aaron, though they met at the end of their senior year of high school. After an intimate encounter and communication breakdown, his opinion of Aaron isn’t positive when the semester starts. His involvement in the orchestra and the music department puts him in close proximity though. It’s a struggle for them to even talk to each other, and when they finally do, it takes them awhile to trust each other enough to allow friendship to even develop. Eventually they are able to find more with each other, but it’s not an easy road. Not with Aaron’s roommate and his religious group of gay-haters. Even more difficult is Aaron’s father who finds out his son hasn’t been toeing the line.
Though Aaron and Giles find happiness the tensions around them soar and a crazy parent shoots someone on campus. No one dies, but the students and the school are shook-up. I ended up loving this book so much. Relationships between characters in the past were brought to light but not explained fully. Two secondary characters in Fever Pitch had backstories that were only hinted about but even those hints were so interesting, I knew the author would have to write another book about them. I was so relieved when I found out she would. I definitely recommend this book. Though you don’t have to read Love Lessons to be able to get into Aaron and Giles story, I recommend it as well. Because Walter is so awesome and you don’t want to miss him.