Review: Concerto by Sandra Miller


Concerto / Sandra Miller

Published October 6th 2010 by CreateSpace.

* In compliance with FTC guidelines, it should be noted that I received the book for free through LibraryThing Member Giveaways.

Synopsis from the website:

“I see you.”

Three simple words from her telephone in the dead of night send violinist Chrispen Marnett’s life spiraling in directions she never imagined. The chance to work with the greatest violinist alive drew her to Newton, but nothing could have prepared her for what she found there. Terror lurks in unexpected places–a ringing phone, a late-night rehearsal, unexpected flowers.

And what could have prepared her for Alexis Brooks: symphony concertmaster, international superstar, and accused murderer? Withdrawn and moody, Alexis is cut off from everyone around him; his colleagues in the symphony, his fans, even his own father. Everyone from her mother to the Newton Police has warned Chrispen against Alexis, but as her own danger increases, he may be her only ally.

Join Chrispen on the journey of a lifetime as she fights for her sanity, her happiness, and her life. To survive, she must unravel the layers of the past and learn the secrets the Newton Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra hides.

The premise was really interesting.  The whole stalker part was scary and I thought it was very effective.  I am a bit familiar with classical music so I liked those parts too.  The book started out well – clear explanations of what an orchestra is all about, good character introduction and development, and the stalker issue was creepy.  It reminded me of a Criminal Minds episode.  But unlike Criminal Minds and similar crime drama shows where they preserve evidence, Chrispen Marnett chose to get rid of it.  Yes.

I wanted to like it, I really do.  But the story was all over the place. Chrispen, orchestra, Alexis, stalker, murder, Kolbi, crushes, reunions, Mendelssohn, family issues, Dwight, jobs.  It had so many goings on.  Eventually, it got confusing and tiring.  The plot, albeit had promise, was inconsistent.  It had good moments here and there.  The author could have used the orchestra more as a device to further the story rather than just a setting where often irrelevant and tedious stuff happened.  It was kind of hard to read; I found myself re-reading some paragraphs over and over because I would get totally lost.  And oh, I never thought I would see the word “fangirl” in a novel.

This is also the first time where the author gave away who the suspect was somewhere in the middle of the story.  I mean, I knew who it was from the start anyway.  It was not enough that it was obvious, the author had to point him out.  I was so close to giving up after that but I soldiered on.  I think the author tried to put doubt on who it really was when it was mentioned that Chrispen’s best friend’s hobby was lock-picking.  REALLY NOW?  How convenient.  Come to think of it, it would’ve made for a better ending if it really was her best friend who threatened her.

The characters were poorly written, in my opinion.  Like the story, they were all over the place.  Chrispen was so frustrating.  As the heroine of the story, she was so naive and it became irritating.  Why would you destroy evidence of creepy, stalkerish behavior?  To forget about it?  Maybe it’s just me but I would preserve that and submit it to the police.  Why would I keep the police out of it?  I didn’t get it at all.  The whole romance with Alexis Brooks started out nice but I… okay, would you get engaged to someone you barely know personally?  Everything came out of nowhere and I thought it was nothing but filler.  Also, was Chrispen psychic?  Eh, whatever.

The other characters were confusing too.  Except Kolbi Edwards.  I liked her.  The others were just so impossible and shallow.  The ending tried to redeem the whole piece but fell short.  It all came together in a nice red bow as all happily ever afters do.  Eh.

I dislike giving low marks to books.  I appreciate the effort the author put in to it.  But I just could not wait for this book to be over.  I probably won’t read it again.

Rating: 2/5.

Recommendation: If you are familiar with orchestras and classical music, you’ll find a couple of familiar names in this book.

Get your copy here.  Use the code SSW50 at checkout for 50% off (Offer good thru July 31, 2011).



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