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Music and Lies (George and Finn #1) by Gill-Marie Stewart - Review

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Where did I get it? From YALC. I started reading it on the way home! I picked it up because my own work is about a band, and this is about a music festival.

What's it about? Georgina is fifteen and tells her parents a couple of lies each so that she can go and stay at her dad's empty house to get some revision in. When she gets there, her stepsister Becky and her boyfriend Dex are there. They decide to take George to a music festival so they can look after her.

George is really excited about this, but soon gets involved in dodgy things going on at the festival. She meets the mysterious Finn and his cousins Marcus and Cami. She starts to investigate what Dex and Marcus are really up to.

Stewart self-published this book and I think it may have struggled to find a publisher; I would cut it down somewhat. There seemed to be quite a few pages where nothing happened, or where the 2nd narrator (Finn) repeated what the first (George) had just put across.

This is the first in a series, but I didn't like it enough to go seeking the rest, even though I liked Finn a lot.

What age range is it for? Due to subject matter I'd recommend it for 16+

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No.

Are any main characters non-white? Not explicitly, and this may be just me, but I was completely imagining Finn as mixed race; white and South Asian. You could believe that his cousins were, too. I don't know if this was deliberate by the author, but for me they were read ambiguously.

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No.

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, and it needs a trigger warning for sexual assault.

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes - a few characters smoke weed and one at least has a harder habit, and there are drug dealers as main characters.

Is there any talk of death? Some, but not much.

Are there swear words? Yes, lots. It's another thing that I feel wouldn't have got past a mainstream publisher.

Would I recommend the book? Yes, if the reader was discerning enough for the language and subject matter.

How many stars? A solid 6 out of 10.

Where is the book going now? I'll probably swap it somewhere before long.

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