I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Songs of Our Breakup by Jay E. TriaSongs of Our Breakup by Jay E. Tria
Series: Playlist #1
on August 22, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
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four-stars
Every breakup has its playlist.

How do you get over a seven-year relationship? 21-year-old Jill is trying to find out. But moving on is a harder job when Kim, her ex-boyfriend, is the lead guitarist of the band, and Jill is the vocalist. Every song they play together feels like slicing open a barely healed tattoo.

Jill’s best friend Miki says she will be out of this gloom soon. Breakups have a probation period, he says. Jill is on the last month of hers and Miki is patiently keeping her company.
But the real silver lining is Shinta. Having a hot Japanese actor friend in times like these is a welcome distraction. This gorgeous celebrity has been defying time zones and distance through the years to be there for Jill. Now he is here, physically present, and together he and Jill go through old lyrics, vivid memories, walks in the rain, and bottles of beer. Together they try to answer the question: what do you do when forever ends?

There’s something magical that happens when you chance upon a new author and the quality of their work just leaves you in awe—that pretty much sums up my feels after reading Jay Tria’s Songs of Our Breakup. And of course, with that title, there’s not much room for second guessing what the story’s all about.

I’ve read books with breakups as the subplot, but not so much with it being front and center as with this one. To be honest, I approached this story with much trepidation as I’ve been burned by one too many books about characters dealing with breakups in romantic relationship that it’s all about the angst and nothing else. Thankfully, Songs of Our Breakup had the right kind of balance between post-relationship hangups and let-go-move-on feels.

It’s a fact of life that breakups suck. It’s the risk people take when they fall in love and commit to a relationship. But how do you pick up the pieces after a bad fall when you happen to work with the same person who broke your heart? This intro for Jill, the main character, sets the tone of the story—which was a brilliant opening to establish her motivations and personality. There’s something about Jill’s personality that gave the impression of a spirited, poetic, and sassy woman.

The events in the story weren’t presented in chronological order, and this may be something that could be off-putting and confusing to other readers. But once you get the hang of it, there’s a wealth of back stories that give context to supporting characters such as Shinta, Miki, and Son, as well as the events that led to Jill and Kim’s breakup. While my sympathies were with Shinta, there were times when I couldn’t help but feel iffy with Jill with no less than three guys presented as love interests. Things would have been more evened out had there been additional scenes with Kim to give more depth to his character and motivations. Yes, Kim and Jill have known each other a long time, and he was a douche for breaking up with her in the most callous way possible, but I wanted a few more scenes to give context to his decisions that led to his douchebaggery.

And Shinta…well, I’ve always been #TeamShinta from start to finish. I think the author did a splendid job of making him endearing without being that much of a tool. Shinta and Jill have an interesting dynamic in terms of playful banter and chemistry, and those were golden moments for me.

One thing I loved most about this story was the poetic quality to the author’s prose. The accompanying lyrics/songs to specific scenes amped up the feels for that given moment. I felt I was reading about an honest-to-goodness band that made poetry with music. That kind of quality bled through the character’s realizations that were perfect quotable quotes. Case in point:

Why don’t they teach that in school? Emotional Safety 101. How to love without losing your sanity. Instead of people running around claiming they feel it, while not knowing what to do with it, how to handle it, how not to break it, how to keep it whole. It’s a terribly dangerous thing in the wrong hands.

All in all, Jay Tria’s writing is the stuff of magic. I highly recommend reading Songs of Our Breakup and indulge on the feels. Because how can you not?

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About Jay E. Tria

Jay E. Tria writes contemporary Young Adult and New Adult stories about characters that live inside her head, about people she meets and people she wishes to meet. She is a daydreamer, a reader, and a lover of skinny jeans, sneakers, and live gigs. Oh, and adopted cats. She is not a cool kid.