Book Review | All the Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso

All the Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso

YA, Romance, Contemporary

Flux | December 12, 2017

4/5 Stars


Scarlett Stiles is desperate for a change of scenery after her older brother, Liam dies of a drug overdose. But spending the summer with her grandfather wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Luckily, Scarlett finds something to keep her busy–a local rock band looking for a guitarist. Even though playing guitar has been hard since Liam died, Scarlett can’t pass on an opportunity like this, and she can’t take her eyes off the band’s hot lead singer either. Is real happiness just around the corner? Or will she always be haunted by her brother’s death?

My Review

Scarlett is living with her grandfather over the summer before she starts college and after the death of her older brother, Liam. While staying with her grandpa, Scarlett gets asked to join a band after almost running over one of its members. Music is the thing her and her brother shared most and she can’t seem to shake her emotions all while drooling over the band’s lead singer. She also learns some interesting things about her brother that she did not know.

All the Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso is a wonderfully written novel about a young girl’s loss and gain. While there is the sadness of loss, there is also the happiness of new friends, romance, and families full of love. Scarlett is not the only one in this story with a lot going on in her life. It was easy to picture everything taking place throughout the story making it somewhat relatable. The characters were simple and easy to imagine as everyday people. It felt as though you were at each band practice they had, tuning and plugging guitars into amps, listening to the drummer count off a song, following along with the lyrics.

While music played a huge role in this story, there were other aspects of the story that really appealed to me. The relationship between Scarlett and her brother was much more than a sibling relationship, he was her best friend, and she feels like she could have saved him if only she had paid more attention. Scarlett’s grandpa also took Liam’s death pretty hard and with Scarlett being there during the summer, it’s almost as though they were healing each other without even knowing it. Scarlett’s sister, Sara comes to visit a few times during the summer adding more to the familial love. Scarlett also consults her best friend Varum throughout the story on her obsession with the lead singer of the band she has been invited to join.


I’m not really sure what I thought this book was going to be about, I mean I figured it involved guitars and music but I got much more than that. This is a great story about a girl, her loss, and how she handles that loss. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good story.

Thank you NetGalley and North Star Editions for an advanced copy of this book in return for an honest review.

teal thanks for reading


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