Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1269
Review: Encore to an Empty Room
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
The sequel to Exile finds Dangerheart and Summer struggling with the band’s sudden rise to fame while still trying to solve the mystery of the lost songs from Caleb’s father. The fact that the band she’s managing is finding success should mean great things for Summer but she finds herself at a crossroads between the band and college and who she wants to be.

I ended up enjoying this sequel slightly more than the first book. I still had some of the same problems with it but there was more happening with the band, with Summer and Caleb’s relationship, with the mystery of the lost songs. The band was getting more attention so it was harder for them to fly under the radar as they hunted for the clues and there was of course a lot of attention now that the secret of Caleb’s father had been exposed.

Summer was a character I still find myself unsure about. One minute I love her fierce personality an her determination to do what she believes is best for the band. The next minutes I want to scream at her that there’s more to the band than Caleb and his father’s songs. If she truly wanted to be involved with managing bands as a career, this seemed like a good example of how not to manage your clients. I did enjoy her struggles between trying to manage the band and college applications and interviews.

I felt for all the guys in the bands in this book. They just wanted to play music and get a little recognition for themselves, not because one of who Caleb’s father was. Normally a character acting like Jon was in this book would have annoyed me but instead I just really felt for him the most. Nothing he did or said seemed to be right, he couldn’t get any attention from his supposed manager who was too busy being Caleb’s girlfriend or obsessed with finding the lost tapes, and I could see where this thing he loved, playing music, became less and less of a thing he loved to do as the book went on and that hurt. I felt for Matt too since the tension between Jon and Caleb was high and dealing with it wasn’t easy. And Caleb, he never asked for any of it but he never really helped matters by being so closed off and unwilling to talk to his bandmates. Val, she was a mess and I have a feeling there’s even more to her story that we’ll see in the next book.

The book had lots of fun elements that made it a fast read. There was the main mystery of the lost songs, there was the band’s performances and there was some road trips antics that made me laugh. There were times when things got a little too over the top but still fun to read. Like the first book, this one also a had a Bandslam type feel to it and set up the third book well.
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