Review: Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington

love songs and other lies

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 288
Pacing: Average/Normal
Publisher: Tor Teen
Published: April 24th, 2018





It’s summer romance and second chances, the songs that stay in your head, and the boy you’ll never forget.  Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam.
Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.
 -Synopsis from Goodreads



“I want you to say yes. To everything. To anything.” 

Love Songs and Other Lies was one of our group reads in TBR and Beyond for July 2018. I’m always a bit weary of picking up a YA contemporary just because I find it sometimes difficult to connect with teenagers at my old venerable age! Fortunately for me this one wasn’t one of those cases, I absolutely adored this book.

Love Songs and Other Lies is the story of Virginia and Cameron’s relationship, how they met as teenagers, parted and were forced to reconnect a couple years later. The chapters go back and forth in time to show their then and now. I enjoyed discovering the past story intertwined with the current, it kept me intrigued throughout the book. I kept trying to guess what might have happened for them to that they are now so resentful towards the other.

Virginia and Cameron first bond over their love of music, it’s what brings them together but when we start to know them better you get a sense that these two really needed each other. I’m a musician so the whole writing songs was just a bonus. I really liked seeing them work on songs and getting to see the lyrics. Kinda makes you wish someone would put music to them.

Virginia is a very relatable character, she’s fun and full of life. Her home situation; however,  is not the simplest but she tries to make the best of it and appears as if everything is alright. A lot of the time, Virginia seems to do things not necessarily because she wants to but because her friends and family want her to. This was so relatable to me, because doing things for others rather than for yourself was me a couple of years ago. I think being more assertive is something you learn as you get older and the Virginia is still trying to figure it out.

When we first meet Cameron you see that he is broken. He’s haunted by a past that won’t let him be. I’ve seen some people say that he was creepy and stalkery, I don’t think that’s true. Once we learn Cameron’s back story and that he blames himself for it, I think you get a sense that Cameron is searching for something to hold on to, to anchor him.  I personally don’t feel that he stalks her, he’s curious about this mystery girl he heard sing and wonders if she’ll be at his new school. It seemed like the kind of thing an infatuated teen would do.

I really enjoyed Jessica Pennington’s writing, it was fun and really had a nice flow to it. I would think it is very hard to have a book not only with two POVs but to also flip back between the current and the past.  It could have gone sideways pretty fast but Jessica keeps it on point from beginning to end. She might be one of the very few insta-buy contemporary author for me. Overall this was a very enjoyable read, gave it a 5 out of 5.