Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.
Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.
The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.
WOW, you all, my 1980s loving-heart is fully in love with this book. Chasing Eveline may take place in our world of skyping and cellphones, but this book definitely has all the best elements of a 1980s movie: teen melodrama, an underdog theme, great music, and a feel-good ending. This coming-of-age story will definitely fill your soul with nostalgia, warm fuzzies, and the appreciation of great music.
As the main character, Ivy, is highly focused on her mother abandoning her family. And instead of accepting that her mom is truly gone, Ivy sulks, which then dominoes into other people in her life fading away. Luckily, Ivy finds a way to keep the memory of her mom anchored to her, which is rediscovering the 80s bands and music that her mom once shared with her. One of these beloved bands is Chasing Eveline.
As a band with strong and heartfelt lyrics, Chasing Eveline becomes the catalyst and glue to Ivy’s story. They influence Ivy in the most positive ways–leading to new friendships, crazy ways to raise money, and adventurous traveling plans. I love that this band fills Ivy’s grief-filled heart with hope, peace, and willingness to try new things. In Chasing Eveline, Ivy sometimes comes off as stubborn and naive. But even though she hates letting go of the past, I appreciated that Ivy also has the most heartwarming and hilarious ways of approaching life and moving forward.
Chasing Eveline is littered with 1980s movie references, which made me love Ivy and her story even more. When Ivy thinks she’s being innovative and creative, her love for Chasing Eveline often leads to the most awkward and funny scenes. I love that Ivy is passionate about music, but more importantly that she appreciates lyrics as the blood that keeps the song pumping. If you love a little teenage angst, 1980’s pop culture, and a beautifully executed ending, I highly recommend that you read Chasing Eveline ASAP!
I am a YA writer and middle school teacher. I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently reside in Los Angeles, California, with my dog Mr. Darcy.
When I’m not living in fictional worlds inside my head, I run all sorts of distances, torture my body at CrossFit, and DVR entirely too many television shows. I dream of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.
3 Winners will receive a finished copy of CHASING EVELINE, US Only.
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