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Love, Music, Madness

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Songwriting partners Lawson Harper and Jessa Warlow’s musical ambitions are derailed when their so-called relationship ends disastrously. However, neither Lawson nor Jessa are willing to give up on the album’s worth of soul-searing songs they wrote together—songs they’re sure are good enough to change both their lives. Will the chemistry that fuels their creativity drive Songwriting partners Lawson Harper and Jessa Warlow’s musical ambitions are derailed when their so-called relationship ends disastrously. However, neither Lawson nor Jessa are willing to give up on the album’s worth of soul-searing songs they wrote together—songs they’re sure are good enough to change both their lives. Will the chemistry that fuels their creativity drive them to make the record of a lifetime, or only to absolute madness?


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Songwriting partners Lawson Harper and Jessa Warlow’s musical ambitions are derailed when their so-called relationship ends disastrously. However, neither Lawson nor Jessa are willing to give up on the album’s worth of soul-searing songs they wrote together—songs they’re sure are good enough to change both their lives. Will the chemistry that fuels their creativity drive Songwriting partners Lawson Harper and Jessa Warlow’s musical ambitions are derailed when their so-called relationship ends disastrously. However, neither Lawson nor Jessa are willing to give up on the album’s worth of soul-searing songs they wrote together—songs they’re sure are good enough to change both their lives. Will the chemistry that fuels their creativity drive them to make the record of a lifetime, or only to absolute madness?

45 review for Love, Music, Madness

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I always find it really hard to rate a book when I think it was very well-written, but I just didn’t connect with it at all. This is one of those books. There’s things I absolutely loved, like the writing itself. Rhys’ prose is gorgeous, her imagery perfection, and the whole thing reads almost with a rhythm, much like the music most of the book is focused on. And I loved the music aspect of the book. It was nice to encounter a story about the music industry that really talks about the steps that I always find it really hard to rate a book when I think it was very well-written, but I just didn’t connect with it at all. This is one of those books. There’s things I absolutely loved, like the writing itself. Rhys’ prose is gorgeous, her imagery perfection, and the whole thing reads almost with a rhythm, much like the music most of the book is focused on. And I loved the music aspect of the book. It was nice to encounter a story about the music industry that really talks about the steps that go into creating a song and an album. I adored Rhys’ attention to detail and how we learned along with Lawson more and more about how music is made. On the other hand, the romance was not so great for me. Lawson dated two different women throughout the book and I honestly didn’t feel any sort of spark with either of them. Enough so that both times the relationships became more than just friends, I was actually shocked because I hadn’t gotten any sense of chemistry from them. I made a note as I was reading that two of the characters having sex just came out of nowhere, and it didn’t make me feel anything other than confused. I feel like taking a romantic path actually did the book a disservice- it was the least interesting thing about it and derailed the parts I did find incredibly compelling, like Lawson’s journey and his love of making music. I would have much preferred a book just about Lawson’s personal growth and journey from being a small town boy to dealing with life in Los Angeles. Instead, I felt like both Teresa and Jessa weren’t fully fleshed out characters, but instead were just there to react in the right way to force Lawson into the next step of his story. Lawson needed to run back to Jessa, so suddenly Teresa became the loathsome, jealous girlfriend character, flying off the handle for weak reasons and making the most frustrating decisions so it was easy to forgive Lawson for his poor treatment of her. And by the end of the book, I had no patience left for Lawson. He acted irresponsibly and was often times cruel towards the people who loved him most just because he could be. I think had the book stuck with just the storyline of his descent into loneliness and misery in the LA music industry and club scene, I would have found it a more compelling story. But with his mistreatment of the people who tried to give him the world, I didn’t want him to have the somewhat uplifting and happy ending he got. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, all opinions in this review are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Reading this novel was like listening to a favorite rock 'n' roll record. It's fast paced and thrilling with some unexpected dark twists and turns. I love the characters so much, especially Lawson, who reminds me of how I was at that age, when I was trying to find my place in life and the rock 'n' roll career path I chose for myself. If you love rock 'n' roll and music-themed fiction, you'll love his book. Reading this novel was like listening to a favorite rock 'n' roll record. It's fast paced and thrilling with some unexpected dark twists and turns. I love the characters so much, especially Lawson, who reminds me of how I was at that age, when I was trying to find my place in life and the rock 'n' roll career path I chose for myself. If you love rock 'n' roll and music-themed fiction, you'll love his book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Narrative Muse

    Read this if: An emotional coming-of-age story featuring creative characters can really grip you. The early twenties are a tumultuous time, and Love, Music, Madness by Tabitha Rhys captures that chaos perfectly. We loved living inside musician Lawson Harper’s head as he strives to make a record that matters with a songwriter who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend. Even when Lawson’s life spins out of control due to his own questionable decisions, we rooted hard for him to figure it all out. Th Read this if: An emotional coming-of-age story featuring creative characters can really grip you. The early twenties are a tumultuous time, and Love, Music, Madness by Tabitha Rhys captures that chaos perfectly. We loved living inside musician Lawson Harper’s head as he strives to make a record that matters with a songwriter who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend. Even when Lawson’s life spins out of control due to his own questionable decisions, we rooted hard for him to figure it all out. This Independent Book Award winner packs a poignant punch.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Josh Patrick-Riley

    I’m a sucker for this kind of book. Maybe it’s because music has had such a big impact on my own life, but the combination of a real love for music along with emotional honesty connects with me on a deep level. Books like Perks of Being a Wallflower, High Fidelity, and the one this reminded me of most, Hairstyles of the Damned. In all those books music plays a central role in the lives of the characters, who are in a lot of cases misfits, all while there is a frustration that their lives are not I’m a sucker for this kind of book. Maybe it’s because music has had such a big impact on my own life, but the combination of a real love for music along with emotional honesty connects with me on a deep level. Books like Perks of Being a Wallflower, High Fidelity, and the one this reminded me of most, Hairstyles of the Damned. In all those books music plays a central role in the lives of the characters, who are in a lot of cases misfits, all while there is a frustration that their lives are not the way they wish they would be. A frustration they are able to handle easier thanks to the power of music. A lot of what’s in this book feels like it could only be written by someone who has had that kind of connection themselves. On that note, maybe it’s the distinct voice of the first-person narrator, but in general Tabitha Rhys has created something incredibly realistic. Not only the details, the characters aren’t perfect but feel like flawed human beings. This makes the book interesting. While I won’t spoil what happens, the dynamic the main character Law has with Jessa and Teresa kept me reading since I wanted to know what would happen. When it comes to who I hoped Law would end up with, I have a feeling I’d be on the same page with other readers. This was a strong debut from Tabitha Rhys, and I’ll be looking forward to what she writes next.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book had a little bit of everything - "will love win out or not?" story, small town drama story, chase your dreams to the big city story, breaking down and building up story, making it in music story, frustrations with life story, and yet all seem to flow seamlessly together. The twists and turns keep the reader engaged and the writing is fantastic. I definitely hope to read more from this author! This book had a little bit of everything - "will love win out or not?" story, small town drama story, chase your dreams to the big city story, breaking down and building up story, making it in music story, frustrations with life story, and yet all seem to flow seamlessly together. The twists and turns keep the reader engaged and the writing is fantastic. I definitely hope to read more from this author!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ami Jordan

    I enjoyed this book. You can tell the author has musical experience. She describes several facets of the creative process, beautifully illustrates the sounds being made by the musicians, all while leaving the genre of the music mostly up to interpretation. The characters are believable as well, this book reminded me of friends I have that live and thrive in Los Angeles. I would read more from this author!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Trina Kraus

    Great Writing! This is a book that you’ll try telling your friends about, but you won’t be able to tell it as well as the author so you’ll just say, “you should just read it yourself!” The characters really come alive, have realistic flaws, and the reader easily slips in their shoes and feels their emotions along with them. I love how Lawson starts out seeming like a wallflower, but blossoms into something so incredibly multifaceted.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Demone

    Intriguing Book The first part of the book was good but a little slow, as it moved into the part where Law moved to LA I couldn’t put it down. I would never have imagined the ending and it was great, Law is a realistic character with real dilemmas, especially when he is betrayed by the one person he thought loved him.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Morris

    I was given a copy of this debut novel by the author in exchange for an honest review. The book was published by the independent Soul Mate Publishing. Love, Music Madness has a lot going on within its small, 200-page package. This is the story of Lawson “Law” Harper, a young, somewhat lost musician who seems to float from page to page; fortune and misfortune almost landing in his lap at random. He’s got a thing for the older Jessa Warlow, herself an ambitious musician, and a high school friend o I was given a copy of this debut novel by the author in exchange for an honest review. The book was published by the independent Soul Mate Publishing. Love, Music Madness has a lot going on within its small, 200-page package. This is the story of Lawson “Law” Harper, a young, somewhat lost musician who seems to float from page to page; fortune and misfortune almost landing in his lap at random. He’s got a thing for the older Jessa Warlow, herself an ambitious musician, and a high school friend of Lawson’s older brother. The two pair up for some song writing and a bit of fooling around, before things go sour and Lawson takes advantage of an opportunity to move out west to LA. Here, Lawson gets into another relationship, takes some work as a sound engineer, and explores LA’s music scene. All until Jessa moves out west too, and they decide to put the past behind them and take their music more seriously, recording an album with their old songs. Things get worse before they better, but through it all, the novel still does have some degree of hope within. The Cons: -Throughout the story, the characters seem to all be playing parts; as though the story demands certain moments, reactions, and scenes, which does take a bit of the realism out of it. Lawson’s new girlfriend needs to be jealous of Jessa, so she flies off the handle intermittently, and with flimsy reasons. -For a book all about music, I wish there was more detail on this collection of songs of Lawson and Jessa created. There are hints of some of the enigmatical tracks, with titles like Estrella, Ravens, Andromeda. And although Rhys does an incredible job with explaining the details of making music, sadly there’s a lacking of the songs’ actual descriptions, which I would have really enjoyed. I imagine there could be an accompanying soundtrack with the novel, but even an idea like having lyric excerpts in the book would add a lot. -It’s sometimes hard to get a handle on where the book is headed. With so many moments happening just to progess the characters’ journeys, the novel has that feeling of being a slice of life, rather than a definitive, linear story arc. The Pros: -Rhys’ descriptions of locations - whether its houses, apartments, clubs, restaurants, or beaches - is incredible. It really helps to put the reader exactly where the author is imagining, and it’s a tough skill to learn. -There are plenty of nice, literary moments too; Rhys’ use of language when dealing with mood and metaphors is great. There’s one scene where the MC takes note of the night sky, comparing the blinking stars and shining planets above as a “celestial cabaret”. Fantastic. Here are a few other excerpts that stood out to me: “Hopes can be dangerous things. One minute they’re bobbing on the horizon like hundreds of brightly-colored zeppelins. The next, the sky is full of Hindenburgs, burning down to their metal skeletons and falling to the earth in flames.” “Jessa drew her knees up and sat next to me in silence for a long time. The pipes gurgled and hissed above us. In the air, the sour tang of mildew mingled with the sweetness of fabric softener.” “Bright marquee lights chased each other atop Hollywood’s tourist traps. The restless breeze, murmuring with the sounds of distant hubbub, was like the zephyrs stirred by roller coasters.” “Charlie stepped out into the dim hallway, lit by the few fluorescent fixtures still in operation. The rest were merely mausoleums for Hollywood’s dearly departed moths." In all, Love, Music, Madness is an admirable debut by an author who’s got some wonderful tricks up her sleeve. Hoping there’s enough tricks left for future stories.

  10. 4 out of 5

    KarenJo Custodio

    Love, Music, Madness by Tabitha Rhys was a crazy twisty emotional ride. I can’t say I was completely in love with everything, but I thought Rhys penned an achingly well-written and riveting story. There was something magnetic and magical about this book that kept me captivated. The emotional honesty and realness in the writing style, storyline, and characters made this such a compelling and intriguing read. I liked the pacing, the imagery, the settings, and the overall feel of the story. I thoug Love, Music, Madness by Tabitha Rhys was a crazy twisty emotional ride. I can’t say I was completely in love with everything, but I thought Rhys penned an achingly well-written and riveting story. There was something magnetic and magical about this book that kept me captivated. The emotional honesty and realness in the writing style, storyline, and characters made this such a compelling and intriguing read. I liked the pacing, the imagery, the settings, and the overall feel of the story. I thought Rhys created interesting characters that were realistic and relatable. They weren’t always likable, but their personalities, actions, and flaws were amazingly believable that they felt like real people to me. I also liked exploring Los Angeles and Hollywood through Lawson’s experiences and the musical aspects of the story. Although it seemed a bit rushed, I thought Rhys wrote a fantastic conclusion... one I did not see coming and in the end, I was incredibly delighted to have read this book. I do have to say that I wasn’t completely sure about the romance for most of the story. Based on the cutesy cover and the synopsis, I was expecting this to be lovey dovey. Well, it surprisingly was not. I felt no chemistry, no swoons, nothing. It was frustrating and I honestly could care less about the love interests. I was into reading more about Lawson’s self-discovery and personal growth. But, after I finished the book and stopped to really think about everything that happened, I found myself appreciating the way Rhys portrayed love and romantic relationships. Sometimes love can be messy, confusing, complicated, unpredictable and even ugly. Life can be that way too. And that’s okay. You wouldn’t be really living life if you didn’t experience all the good and the bad that comes with it. This book was quite messy… a beautiful mess that had me turning the pages. Love, Music, Madness was a wonderfully affecting story about falling in and out of love, making mistakes and learning from them, chasing your dreams and doing what truly makes you happy, and ultimately finding yourself in the midst of every unexpected twists and turns and all the madness. It was an interestingly emotional read and a great debut novel that surprised me quite a few times. Would I recommned this book? Yes. Absolutely. I think there are so many amazing things about this story that many readers will enjoy. I received a copy of this book for the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings, and opinions are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cyrene Olson

    I am having a difficult time with this book, and categorizing it, as it’s marketed as a contemporary romance. Contemporary – yes, romance – no. It’s not a rock star book either. I’ve also struggled with the rating, the pros: the descriptions of everything is almost poetry. The author truly has an artistic talent in descriptions and some passages could be applied to poetry without too many adjustments and some of the passages truly linger. The cons: the characters. I never felt connected to any o I am having a difficult time with this book, and categorizing it, as it’s marketed as a contemporary romance. Contemporary – yes, romance – no. It’s not a rock star book either. I’ve also struggled with the rating, the pros: the descriptions of everything is almost poetry. The author truly has an artistic talent in descriptions and some passages could be applied to poetry without too many adjustments and some of the passages truly linger. The cons: the characters. I never felt connected to any of them. The romances? I have no idea how they even happened. One minute they are friends, and the next paragraph they are lovers, and that’s not an exaggeration. This story also just ended in a strange place and didn’t give satisfying closure, like the author didn’t have a clear vision on how she wanted to end the story. When I read a romance, I want a connection and in this book I didn’t have it. Between the two different women that Lawson was with in this story, I never felt he should be with one or the other. From Teresa’s angst and over the top jealousy, and Jessa not being able to make up her own mind, and to Lawson, who I just didn’t think was a strong enough lead. I think this author is very talented in her writing and I would actually look forward to something new from her.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Evie

    I received my copy trough the New Adult Book Club to review. At the moment I have read about 2/3 of the book. I find myself struggling with it. It seems to skip important parts so I'm always wondering "where did this come from"? It makes it hard to really get into the story. I don't really like any of the characters so far. But I will keep reading, I will finish this book and maybe I will change my review after... So, I read the entire book. And sorry to say...I did not like it. I didn't like Law I received my copy trough the New Adult Book Club to review. At the moment I have read about 2/3 of the book. I find myself struggling with it. It seems to skip important parts so I'm always wondering "where did this come from"? It makes it hard to really get into the story. I don't really like any of the characters so far. But I will keep reading, I will finish this book and maybe I will change my review after... So, I read the entire book. And sorry to say...I did not like it. I didn't like Lawson, he was selfish and dramatic. I didn't like Teresa and her moodswings. I didn't understand Dylan. Or Tim and his wife. Or Charlie. I had some sympathy for Jessa, but not much. The end seemed rushed, trown together to just finish the book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had high hopes for this book because it sounded really interesting. I think it needs some work though. I felt like a lot of the book didn't transition well into the next part of the story. I also feel like some of the story was skipped over, like we were missing important parts that were just added in later. Spoilers!!! For instance, I feel like both relationships were thrown together without much to build off of. I didn't realize his relationship with Teresa was that serious, but suddenly the I had high hopes for this book because it sounded really interesting. I think it needs some work though. I felt like a lot of the book didn't transition well into the next part of the story. I also feel like some of the story was skipped over, like we were missing important parts that were just added in later. Spoilers!!! For instance, I feel like both relationships were thrown together without much to build off of. I didn't realize his relationship with Teresa was that serious, but suddenly they moved in together...ok. All in all, I'm glad I read it as it was a good story, but I wont be rereading it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bec

    I received a free copy from NABC and the author in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed Love, Music, Madness. I was intrigued from the beginning and Tabitha's writing style drew me in instantly. I liked the depth in Lawson's character and how Jessa drew him into her web and he couldn't seem to break free until she practically destroyed him. I liked how he escaped his family and how he did everything for his younger sister and decided that he couldn't stay and live his life just for I received a free copy from NABC and the author in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed Love, Music, Madness. I was intrigued from the beginning and Tabitha's writing style drew me in instantly. I liked the depth in Lawson's character and how Jessa drew him into her web and he couldn't seem to break free until she practically destroyed him. I liked how he escaped his family and how he did everything for his younger sister and decided that he couldn't stay and live his life just for her and that he could do more in California when he got there. I did NOT like Teresa or Dylan and I honestly felt like she was manipulating Lawson and controlling him, but it was okay for her to go out and do whatever she wanted. I loved the openness of the ending and how the story started with love, propelled the story with the music and ended with Lawson's madness. The story was beautifully written and I had a lot of feelings while reading it, that makes me fall in love with books and characters.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Peyton Garver

    Love, Music, and Madness Wow…just finished it and can't stop thinking about it. It’s definitely a roller coaster ride from the perspective of the main character. It’s raw and emotional, filled with regrets, highs and lows. The talented MC, Lawson, actually hits rock bottom. The whole story I found myself pulling for him. What I liked most about Lawson is that he is innately good, and that ultimately that goodness comes through. Hard to write more without spoilers. ;) Love, Music, and Madness Wow…just finished it and can't stop thinking about it. It’s definitely a roller coaster ride from the perspective of the main character. It’s raw and emotional, filled with regrets, highs and lows. The talented MC, Lawson, actually hits rock bottom. The whole story I found myself pulling for him. What I liked most about Lawson is that he is innately good, and that ultimately that goodness comes through. Hard to write more without spoilers. ;)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vishwas K Singh

    The book keeps you hooked up until the end,if you are a little bit in late 20s it bring forth lot of emotions and memories. It has a little humor over how our lives are chaotic. Some parts feel like its been skipped abruptly. Its a good one time read though.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bianca ღ

    Nice one! Review to come!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Lawson Harper leaves a disastrous relationship and troubled childhood to pursue his dream of a musical career in Los Angeles. He quickly finds his niche in the music industry as well as what he considers love. But life doesn't flow smoothly, rather it becomes a dramatic emotional rollercoaster. It's hard to tell too much of this coming-of-age story of dreams and love without spoilers, but the title Love, Music, and Madness fits perfectly. Lawson Harper leaves a disastrous relationship and troubled childhood to pursue his dream of a musical career in Los Angeles. He quickly finds his niche in the music industry as well as what he considers love. But life doesn't flow smoothly, rather it becomes a dramatic emotional rollercoaster. It's hard to tell too much of this coming-of-age story of dreams and love without spoilers, but the title Love, Music, and Madness fits perfectly.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steph

  20. 4 out of 5

    Flanders Publicity

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Cook

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maiko Lenting-Lu

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Hooyenga

  25. 4 out of 5

    ML

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adi

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tami Adams

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Edna

  31. 5 out of 5

    WillowRaven

  32. 4 out of 5

    James Davenport

  33. 4 out of 5

    Edna Moore-burke

  34. 5 out of 5

    Leah Kaye

  35. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

  36. 4 out of 5

    Mary Shields

  37. 4 out of 5

    E. Edwards

  38. 5 out of 5

    Tieste Wiliams

  39. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  40. 5 out of 5

    T.H. Hernandez

  41. 4 out of 5

    Lena Gardner

  42. 4 out of 5

    Mick Loves Books

  43. 4 out of 5

    Holly

  44. 4 out of 5

    Bea LaRocca

  45. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

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