07 August, 2015

#BookReview :: Placid Girl by Brenna Ehrlich



Punk was created for the malcontents, something that loner and aspiring drummer Hallie understands all too well. Trapped in a boring suburban life – dysfunctional parents included! – Hallie drowns her angst in the angry songs of Haze, a masked musician who has not been heard from in five years. So naturally she’s surprised – and more than a little skeptical – when someone who seems to be Haze starts flirting with her via her favorite photo-sharing app. Is he who he says he is? What does he want from her? The questions only multiply when Hallie — along with bandmate Sarah and aspiring music journalist Steve — roadtrip to Haze's comeback gig to unmask the reclusive musician once and for all. 


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Hallie loves music and she feels a strong connection with it. She is even in a band with her best friend Sarah. But she feels overshadowed by her best friend and ignored by family for most of the time. It is through the songs of a mysterious musician Haze, that she finds an outlet to her angst. Then things start to change when someone notices Hallie over Sarah at one of their performances. And then there is somebody who starts messaging Hallie and though he is a stranger, Hallie somehow feels that the person on the other end of the messages is Haze. On a quest to find and meet Haze, Hallie sets on an adventure that would probably end up changing her life.

There is something about the way the blurb has been penned that attracted me to the book. I just can’t put my finger on it but, but whatever it is, it is the reason I picked up the book even though the things covered in the blurb doesn’t really make the book very appealing. Anyway, I am glad that I did end up picking it.

The characters in this book are really something. Each are well developed with a supporting back story. Hallie stands out the most with her complex characters. Shuffling mostly between angst and stupidity, she has some moments in the book when her character really shines through and I could empathize with her yearning to be recognized for her talent and her character. Sarah was sometimes downright mean and I couldn’t fathom why these two were best friends for most of the book, except when these two were squabbling – that’s when their friendship gleamed and reflected their connection. Steve is another interesting character who added a lot to the story. As for Haze and his secret identity – it was something that really pulled the book through. I wavered and changed my opinion about who the real Haze was a number of times through the book. Hallie, Sarah and Steve’s over the top road trip experience was something that entertained me. 

That’s all the good this book had to offer. I was at times disgusted with the mere number of characters that were not involved in something wrong. Domestic violence, sexual assault and prejudice seem to be a thing that every household partakes in. It is almost an acceptable phenomenon in the book. To top that, the set of parents portrayed in the book doesn’t inspire much faith either. And while the mystery of Haze’s identity is of central attraction, when his identity and story is revealed, I was kind of disgusted.

Yes the plot had a great potential. But the fact that most of the characters felt like they are on the dark side and the ending doesn’t really bring any hope, the book felt like a bit of a downer. It can be used as a warning to what our society may soon become, if we do not change.


Review Copy received through NetGalley




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