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This Song Is (Not) For You Paperback – January 5, 2016

3.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Teen musicians Ramona and Sam seek out a third bandmate to complete their group, April and the Rain. Tom fits the bill, and the three become instant friends. In classic teen fashion, Sam is secretly in love with Ramona. Ramona has feelings for Sam, and now finds herself falling for Tom. Tom is dealing with the aftermath of an awkward breakup but ends up dating Ramona so as not to jeopardize their friendship. The book is told in each of their own voices, and the trio's friendship strengthens with time as they grapple with how their feelings may mean different things to one another. VERDICT A typical teen story dealing with atypical types of friendship, love, and acceptance.-Vivian Ho, Port Washington Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Nowlin perfectly captures the awkwardness of unspoken love (with a nod towards polyamorous love) in this quick, engaging tale of three musicians' senior year...Alternating chapters from all three protagonists offer complete and rich portraits of each character through their own thoughts and their best friends' impressions. Nowlin clearly communicates the visceral pleasures of performing music, as well as the giddiness of infatuation and first love. " - Booklist

"Nowlin (If He Had Been with Me) captures the antsy energy of senior year and the desire to stand out while still fitting in as she alternates among the three observant narrators...the story offers distinctive characters who show maturity as they seek to create satisfying creative and romantic relationships." - Publishers Weekly

"This book was a total joy to read...Nowlin really captured what to me is a distinctly teenage feeling of being instantly completely obsessed with someone, finding everything they do fascinating, and then being confused on what to do next. This book should be in all collections. It's not often we see an asexual character in YA or see romantic relationships handled the way they are here. A wonderful, quick, unique read. " - Teen Librarian Toolbox, School Library Journal

"A quick read that should attract teens who are drawn to the music scene, as well as those open to exploring the sexual expectations that accompany romance" - VOYA Magazine

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (January 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492602906
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492602903
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I LOVED If He Had Been with Me, and was pretty excited to see a new book from Laura Nowlin.

I really liked the lyrical quality of Nowlin's writing, and found it interesting, that most of the book is told from within each of the three MCs heads. There is not a lot of dialog, but rather more reflection and narration. I adored Romona. She was so quirky, full of life, and full of love. When she spoke about her mother, my heart ached, and when she tried to mend fences with Emmalyn, I just fell more in love with her huge heart.
I was always just trying o be myself. I'm sorry we didn't get along.

Sam was also very special. The way he pined away for Ramona, and would accept any love that she could give him. They really had a very special friendship.

"Sam, who I knew was my Sam as soon as I met him."

Tom was so intense and so complicated. I though the exploration of his sexuality was quite interesting. Asexuality is not something I am well versed in, and therefore, cannot comment on the success or failure, but I was intrigued to learn more. I really appreciated that Nowlin shared some of Tom's struggle with us. His trying to do more with girls, and going to a doctor to confirm that he was ok. Some of Tom's confessions were quite heartbreaking.

"I wanted to be with you more than I ever wanted to be with anyone before. And I loved holding you. And I even liked kissing you, because I loved you. But because my body isn't interested in doing more, you left me. It made my love less valuable to you."

I have read other reviews, and most people are commenting on the love triangle. It was odd for me, but more jarring was the resolution, because it was sort of abrupt and odd.
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Format: Kindle Edition
*Digital ARC was received from Sourcebooks Fire through Netgalley*

“Have you ever met someone, and you could feel that they were going to be important to you? It’s like you never knew it, but you’ve been waiting your whole life to meet this person…”

The gripping opening line narrated by Ramona above starts this unique story of how in love everything is possible in this latest YA contemporary by Laura Nowlin. Having read her heart-wrenchingly amazing book If He Had Been with Me before, I was beyond excited to pick this up as my closing read last year. Laura wrote a very, very good romance and I was giddy to devour another one from her in this book. She did give me what I expected, but in the most unexpected way.

When Ramona met Sam for the first time on the first day of school, she already knew that Sam would have the name Sam. And it would be the name that she’d etch in heart for years after. It was. But Sam was her best-friend, like her best-friend with capital best. Ramona knew better than taking the risk of ruining their friendship of years by admitting her feeling to him. They’d been best-friends for too long and been making awesome music together. What else could she want more than that? And it’s not like he felt the same way to her.
Yet he did.
Sam could not not look at Ramona whenever she’s on her element―the drum. And he knew that it’s more than just a casual admiration for her. It’s more. Way more. But Ramona was his best-friend. That kind of friend that you’d been way too comfortable with you could care less about keeping image around them. And though she’s the reason he played music, Sam realized that being in a band with Ramona was everything. Together they made a perfect band; but a perfect couple?
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Format: Kindle Edition
I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire.

This Song Is (Not) For You tells the story about a boy and a girl who are in a band together and they love each other but they haven't told each other how they feel. One day they meet another boy and invite him to join the band and Ramona (the girl) falls in love with Tom (the new guy).

There was so much I expected to happen in this novel that didn't happen. I expected the characters to struggle a lot more with their emotions which never happened. There were also certain things that happen near the end of the book and the author doesn't really give much of an explanation for those events. I felt like there wasn't any buildup at all, just things happen and that is that.

I did enjoy the fact that the author told the story from all three of the main characters points of view, however it fell kind of flat at times or there were times the story was being told from Sam's ( the first boy) perspective and I felt like I was in Ramona's head instead. There was almost no character development at all, at least in my opinion.

One other good thing about this book is that it is a quick read and could probably be read in a day or two.

I know my review has been kind of vague but there isn't really much I can say without giving away the whole entire novel. Honestly I didn't like it, I felt like there was so much more that could have happened or things that could have been explained better.

I am giving this book 2/5 Stars because even though it was a quick read, there were things that were left unexplained and none of the characters seemed to develop over the course of the novel.
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