Punk was created for the malcontents, something that loner and aspiring drummer Hallie understands all too well. Trapped in a boring suburban life – dysfunctional parents included! – Hallie drowns her angst in the angry songs of Haze, a masked musician who has not been heard from in five years. So naturally she’s surprised – and more than a little skeptical – when someone who seems to be Haze starts flirting with her via her favorite photo-sharing app. Is he who he says he is? What does he want from her? The questions only multiply when Hallie — along with bandmate Sarah and aspiring music journalist Steve — roadtrip to Haze’s comeback gig to unmask the reclusive musician once and for all.
I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to All Ages Press for letting me read this!
I first heard about this book from Kacie (Kacie’s Bookshelf) when I read her review and I knew I had to read Placid Girl ASAP. The premise sounded so cool and different from everything I’ve ever read, and since it’s quite short, I knew I’d fly through it. I was very curious to see how Brenna Ehrlich made this whole romance between a famous singer and his huge fan, but this book ended up being so much more than I expected it to be. Very pleasant surprise.
This book was a bit slow at the beginning, because we had to meet all the characters, in order to understand their actions later (especially Hallie), but I didn’t really mind. However, as the book goes on, plot really picks up and eventually it comes to the point when I realized how messed up and weird this book actually is. And this is a compliment, if you were wondering. Crazy stuff start to happen near the end of the book and there are some pretty intense scenes. I was completely mind-blown when I finished it.
I love the ending so much, though it’s nothing like I imagined it. Throughout the entire book I was trying to guess who Haze is nd my theories changed with pretty much every chapter, but I was always more or less wrong. I did guess one part of the mystery, but that twist at the end… I really did not see it coming.
I liked how every character in this book had it’s own backstory and relationships between all the chaaracters are so complex and beautifully done. However, I wish we got to know them even better.
Hallie was not the best protagonist ever, but I didn’t hate her. I actually kind of liked her. She always lived in a shadow of her best friend and she was not confident enough, so when someone finally started noticing her, instead of her best friend, of course she stops thinking and makes some stupid decisions. I don’t really blame her for that.
I hated Sarah. I could not like her, no matter how much I tried. Even at the end, I couldn’t. She’s selfish and a terrible best friend. There are no excuses for that.
Steve is bae. I did not really like him at the very beginning, but quickly I grew to love him. He’s cool and interesting, though he has his own problems. His story is just so sad, but also very well done. Great new layer to the whole story. Also, I ship him and Hallie so hard.
Parents in this book were all portrayed as more or less terrible people. Hallies parents are the ones less terrible, since they just ignored her (though I kind of like Hallie’s dad), but Steve’s dad was the worst. I completely hate the guy.
I almost forgot to mention Haze. I’m not going to tell you my opinion on him since that would probably ruin the whole book for you, but I will tell you that I was very surprised with his character. I think he’s a very interesting character, very complex and different, but I’m not telling you whether I liked him or not. If you read the book, you can probably guess.
The best aspect of this book is definitely the writing style. It’s so beautiful and captivating. At the beginning, we had all those amazing descriptions of how Hallie feels when she listenes to music, it made me want to stop reading and just go enjoy the music, but I stopped myself from doing that. I also really liked parts when Hallie remembered how she spent a lot of time with her dad in the past. So beautiful! Brenna Ehrlich‘s style is very lyrical and she’s very good at making different atmospheres in the book. She uses a lot of fancy words, but there is a lot of cursing as well. I think it’s all balanced out at the end, so it doesn’t seem unrealistic. Brenna Ehrlich really knows how to write, I was very surprised when I found out that this is her debut novel. I want more of her books!
I am very happy that I had a chance to read this book, but I have no idea who would I recommend it to. There definitely are some weird and sometimes even creepy parts, so if you’re not comfortable with that, maybe you should skip this one, but I you enjoy weird and unexpected, this book is definitely for you. This book doesn’t come out until August 25th, but maybe you can try and get it from NetGalley like I did.