Monday, August 17, 2015

Abby Road by Ophelia London

Title: Abby Road
Author: Ophelia London
Format I Read: Kindle
Pages: 400
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Release Date: March 2013
Stars: 3
Goodreads Link

Let me start this off with a warning: Abby Road is not what you expect. It’s a whirlwind of topics, a hurricane of emotions, and a tornado of character development. It’s a wild rollercoaster, from start to finish. It offered a fantastic sense of catharsis that pulls you in.

For those who aren’t familiar with Abby Road:

Fame can't buy her love...

It’s been exactly one day since rock star Abigail Kelly fled her chaotic life in L.A. to her sister’s home in Florida. One day without her demanding manager, paparazzi, ridiculous tour schedules, and recording sessions. For the first time in five years, she has the summer off. To be anonymous. A summer to not think about losing her brother...or that her once-normal life has turned into a mess of panic and heartbreak.

But all it takes is one twist of fate—to enter a stranger's surf shop while trying to dodge some fans—for everything to change.

Because the shop owner happens to be a really cute guy with an amazing laugh. With Todd, an ex-Marine sniper turned surfer, she feels things she hasn’t felt for a long time. Possibly never. But when the real world comes crashing back in, Abby is caught between the superstar she’s become...and the painfully real human being she longs to be.

Honestly, I’m still a little confused about what I just read. Don’t get me wrong: Abby Road was a great read that sucked me in and trapped me in London’s world from start to finish. However, it was a mish-mash of just about a million different stories. When I first read the synopsis, I thought it would be a breezy summer romance. Abby would fall for Todd in this small beachside town and it’ll be a refreshing reprieve from her crazy celebrity life. Surprise! That was just the tip of the iceberg.

London weaves a tale that includes a handful of major plotlines and ideas. First, there’s the summer romance mentioned about. Second, there’s Abby’s struggle to accept her brother’s death and free herself from the haunting guilt of that night. Third, there’s the difficulty of Abby and Todd’s relationship surviving her L.A. rock star life. Fourth, there’s the battle for Abby to finally stand up to her manager and take control of her own life, to be a happy and healthy person.

Surprisingly, I didn’t hate this wild mix of plotlines. At first, if I’m completely honest, I didn’t like it. By the end of the book, it grew on me. This book was a really refreshing story of redemption and personal development. It explored a young woman’s ability to be her own savior. I found that to be an astoundingly redeeming quality.

I really enjoyed the characters. Todd was definitely swoon-worthy and I liked his backstory. His romance with Abby was lovely. It felt very real and heart-warming. They had so much chemistry. I wish we could’ve seen more of the development of their relationship! Unfortunately, London skipped the three months that they got together and skipped right to the move back to L.A. I also loved the minor characters: Hal, Molly, Lindsey, etc. They were fantastic additions and I loved the scenes with them. In particular, I ended up really loving Lindsey. She was such a fantastic sister and she really grew on me! Abby herself was a little frustrating. She wasn’t the most likable main character, though I didn’t hate her either. Fortunately, her character development made up for any complaints I had about her throughout the novel!

One complaint I did have was the chapter transitions. London would skip entire weeks and months without any real indication. Within the first few pages of the chapter, she would clarify, of course. But it was definitely disorienting and threw me off. I would’ve liked to see some smoother transitions.

The writing was also a mix of good and bad. Though I liked the tone and style that London used, the dialogue and transitions could fall a little flat. Sometimes I had to reread paragraphs to find out what just happened or if I missed something. The characters were often very obscure in how they spoke; I sometimes felt like London cut scenes out but didn’t compensate in later scenes. It was a little disorienting. Fortunately, it didn’t detract too much from the story; it was just a little off-putting.

Overall, I’d give Abby Road 3.5 stars. It was a cathartic story that really had me invested. For those who like summer beach romances (the first third), glitzy celebrity romances (the second third), and/or personal discovery and redemption stories (the last third), definitely try out Abby Road!