Every Time You Hear That Song

Every Time You Hear That Song
Age Range
Release Date
April 02, 2024
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Perfect for fans of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six, this queer coming-of-age story celebrates country music, complicated women, and living authentically.

They say never meet your idols. But nothing about digging up their deepest secrets.

Seventeen-year-old aspiring journalist Darren Purchase has been a lifelong fan of country music legend Decklee Cassel, who’s as famous for her classic hits as she is for her partnership with songwriter Mickenlee Hooper. The same Mickenlee who mysteriously backed out of the limelight at the height of their careers, never to be heard from again. Now Decklee’s televised funeral marks the unveiling of her long-awaited time capsule. But when it’s revealed to be empty, a trail of scavenger-hunt clues unfolds, leading to a whopping cash prize for whoever finds the real capsule. Darren knows there’s a story there—and she’s going to be the one to break it. Even if it means a spontaneous road trip with her coworker Kendall.

Flashback to 1963, when a young runaway Decklee has her sights set on fame and glory. As she claws her way to the top over the years that follow, it’s Mickenlee’s lyrics that help rocket her to stardom. But as their relationship evolves beyond the professional, it threatens everything Decklee has worked for. What else will she sacrifice to hold on to her dreams?

Told in alternating perspectives, Every Time You Hear That Song is a beautiful tale told across lifetimes. There’s more to Decklee’s story that Darren ever could have guessed, but the real story she has to tell is her own.

Editor review

1 review
An Intriguing Dual-Timeline Story of Seeking Freedom
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
EVERY TIME YOU HEAR THAT SONG is a young adult book told in split timelines. One timeline follows 17-year-old Darren as she hunts down the time capsule of Decklee Cassel. The other timeline follows a young Decklee as she tries to rise to country music fame. During her search, Darren finds more in Decklee’s past than she could have expected.

What I Loved:
One of the strengths of this book is the emotions! The author does a great job of illustrating the desperation that both Decklee and Darren feel as they strive for something greater than themselves. As they go through their struggles, their emotions are laid bare to the reader in a way that makes you sympathize with the characters.

The characters in both timelines also felt realistic. Decklee is a very flawed individual, but even she acknowledges those flaws and the bad decisions that she makes. Darren is stubborn and desperate but has to confront reality as she makes her decisions. These are relatable traits to find in characters, especially for a young adult demographic. The side characters felt fleshed out. They all felt as though they had a backstory prior to existing in the book and like they had a story after the book ended as well.

There was a great parallel between Decklee and Darren’s timelines. The two characters have an obvious similarity in their feelings towards Mayberry. As the story continues, it was interesting to watch where their personalities merged and diverged. They are similar, but they are not the same.

The settings in this book are enthralling. The author did a solid job of enveloping the characters and readers in their settings. Whether it was a small town or a club or a truck, I could feel the vibes of each location.

What Left Me Wanting More:
I was a lot more drawn in to Decklee’s story than I was to Darren’s. That is not because Darren didn’t have a good story, but when it came down to it, I just found Decklee’s story more interesting. I would have preferred a more balanced approach, but I also think that Darren’s story could resonate with other readers.

The writing in this story is good and solid, but it didn’t have the ‘hooks’ that I was hoping for. I enjoyed reading the book, but it was a book that took me a while to get through. I do think other readers may find that to be different, it’s just a difference in preference of writing style.

Final Verdict:
EVERY TIME YOU HEAR THAT SONG was a solid, enjoyable book. Despite never being ultimately hooked into the story, I still really enjoyed the plot of the book. The characters are three-dimensional and likeable, and I was eager to see them both explore the world. The similarities between the two characters added an interesting touch to the story. Decklee’s story did at times feel less like a young adult novel and more like a new adult book, but the content still felt appropriate for the targeted audience.

A solid book about discovering yourself away from home, EVERY TIME YOU HEAR THAT SONG was full of heart and characters teenagers can relate to.
Good Points
-Amazing emotional descriptions
-Interesting characters
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