Better Than This

Featured
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
427   0
Write Review
BetterThanThis_500.jpg
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
February 13, 2018
ISBN
B078WW6L5X

What can keep a dream alive? Before the car accident that changed everything, Samantha Becker was a happy and loved little girl. Ten years later, Sam, now 18, lives under a dark cloud—largely ignored by an alcoholic mother who never recovered from her loss and ruled by an overbearing father who blames Samantha for the family tragedy. And yet, the troubled teenager has a dream that keeps her going, and an extraordinary musical talent that could take her all the way to Julliard…and far beyond. Following her heart, however, means defying her father, who has his own plans for his daughter’s future. Then, in the wake of another devastating personal catastrophe, her dream is irreparably shattered, and in her pain and anger, Samantha acts out recklessly. But her salvation could come from a most unlikely trio: a handsome college student, a hopeful little boy…and an older neighbor woman whose caring and secrets will change Sam’s world forever.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0  (1)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Brilliant, heartbreaking story about triumph over adversity

The story:

Samantha “Sam” Becker wants only one thing – to go to Juilliard. She’s a veritable prodigy with the guitar, a fact that everyone who’s ever heard her play is entranced by her ability. But she is trapped in a house with an alcoholic mother and a domineering father who has her life completely planned out … a life that doesn’t include any ‘pipe dreams’ such as music.


What I loved:

Let’s start with the beginning, where Sam’s father ‘accidentally’ chops off her fretting finger. Right away, I felt her pain, and the ensuing struggle for her to relearn her instrument of choice. Just when all seems lost, she meets Tad, the twelve-year-old boy who lives next door. He was easily my favorite supporting character, though college student Laird ran a close second. Both of these guys were exactly what Sam needed to keep going.


What I didn’t love:

I realize conflict is what drives drama, and drama is what drives fiction, but my gosh, this book had a lot of it. Seriously, the lengths her father went to in order to crush his own daughter’s dreams was beyond despicable, to say nothing of Sam’s bandmates attempts to use her ‘disability’ to further their own goals. I understand that this book was released several years ago under a different title, and yet, I found numerous typos that should probably have been caught.


My Final Verdict:

Better Than This is a great story about crashing through ever wall that life throws in your way. It goes from heartbreaking to heart-warming numerous times over the course of the book, and I’m happy to say, it pained me to set it down before I reached the end.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

You/Poet: Learn the Art. Speak Your Truth. Share Your Voice.
Offering a variety of advice for tapping into your creative...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
Darth Vader isn't scared! Nothing can scare Lord Vader. ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Star-Touched Stories
From New York Times bestselling author, Roshani Chokshi, comes Star-Touched...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
91HIpyhaW9L.jpg
The third book in the New York Times bestselling series...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
One Week of You
For Lizzy Winston, one week will change everything. Fifteen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles #1)
She is from the past, locked inside a world...
 
4.0
 
4.6 (3)
Grenade
It's 1945, and the world is in the grip...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Lines We Cross
Michael likes to hang out with his friends and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Uncharted
Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dark Divide
Secrets have a way of coming out. Divided by...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Orphaned (Ape Quartet #4)
Before humans, and before human history, there were the...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heirs of the Round Table: Reclaiming Camelot
Imagine discovering that your ancestors were part of King Arthur's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wicked Nix
A visually stunning, middle-grade classic in the making about Wicked...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journey of the Pale Bear
A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Camp Valor (Camp Valor #1)
When Wyatt gets framed for a friend’s crime, he thinks...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Attack of the Plants: A Branches Book (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
Next stop...The Magic School Bus heads to the Galapagos to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
 
5.0
" This is a fun, cute, beautifully illustrated childrens book. What scares Darth Vader? Not wolfman, vampires, ghosts or kids!..."
Clementine for Christmas
 
5.0
"Josie loves Christmas, especially making memories with her dog Clementine volunteering at the children's hospital. Oscar's parents are always fighting..."
Wicked Nix
 
5.0
"Wicked Nix is the foulest of the fairies. He's also the protector of the forest and will keep people out..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"JOURNEY OF THE PALE BEAR is an inspiring and heartwarming story about a bear and a boy who develop a..."
The Attack of the Plants: A Branches Book (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
 
4.0
"When Ms. Frizzle gets a job as a professor, her sister takes over her class as the new teacher. Arnold..."
Robot Farm (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
 
4.0
"Wanda is putting together the Fall Fun Feast, but she forgot about the food! When she starts looking into ideas,..."
Knock Knock
 
4.5
"'Knock Knock' by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Guy Francis, is a cute picture book about a bear getting prepared for..."
Apex Predator (Horizon, Book 4)
 
4.0
" Both the members of the robotics team whose plane went down and the members of the Cub-Tones from the..."
Seeing Red (Whatever After #12)
 
4.0
"Abby is excited that her nana is coming to stay with her and Jonah while her parents are away, but..."
The Phantom Bandit (Geronimo Stilton #70)
 
4.0
"As fall approaches, Geronimo is busy working in his newspaper office when he starts to see strange things-- his co..."
The Bad Guys in Do-You-Think-He-Saurus?!: Special Edition (The Bad Guys #7)
 
4.0
"To recap the adventures of the Bad Guys so far: they were saving Earth from an alien invasion when their..."
Timmy Failure: It's the End When I Say It's the End (Timmy Failure #7)
 
4.5
"As Christmas approaches, Timmy is ready to give up his detective business, but he has one last mission: to help..."
Genius Ideas [Mostly] (Tom Gates #4)
 
4.0
"There are few things in Tom's life that are NOT made better by caramel wafer biscuits, and after he sees..."
G.I. Dogs: Sergeant Stubby, Hero Pup of World War I (G.I. Dogs #2)
 
4.0
"Stubby was adopted from the streets of Boston by Bob Conroy, who managed to sneak him on the ship his..."
All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah
 
4.0
"It's Hanukkah on New York's Lower East Side in 1912. Young Gertie, who is four, is very excited about all..."
Merci Suárez Changes Gears
 
4.0
"Merci lives next door to her grandparents, Abuela and Lolo, and her aunt and younger twin cousins. Her father has..."
Let Sleeping Dragons Lie (Have Sword, Will Travel #2)
 
4.0
"Sir Eleanor and Sir Odo are back with their respective talking swords. After the death of Sir Halfdan and the..."
So Done
 
4.0
"Bean and Tai are neighbors in a low-income housing project and have been friends for a very long time, but..."
The Mac Undercover (Mac B., Kid Spy #1)
 
5.0
"In this notebook novel, author Barnett explains to his readers what he did before he became a children's author. Because..."
The Darkdeep
 
4.0
"When bully Logan and his cronies send Nico's expensive, handmade drone into the bottomless waters of Still Cove, Nico tries..."