You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn

You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn
Young adult, contemporary, romance
May 2015; HarperCollins
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Tim’s a young singer-songwriter with a guitar case full of songs and dreams of finding an audience to embrace his tunes. Mandy’s obsessed with music and a compulsive dreamer. She’s longing for something more fulfilling than daytime TV and cups of tea with best friend Alice, something like the excitement and passion of rock ’n’ roll. 

When their eyes meet at a gig, sparks fly across a crowded room and hope burns in their hearts. But in a city of millions and a scene overrun with wannabes, can they ever get it together? Will Mandy’s nerves doom their romance before it even starts? And where does the darkness in Tim's songs come from? 

This is a story of Sydney's Inner West, of first love, crush bands and mix tapes; of the thrill of the night and what happens when the music stops. 

Set in the cafes, pubs and dives of Sydney's Inner West You're the Kind of Girls I Write Songs About is a ballad to that time of your life when you are trying to work out who you are, what it is you want and what will it take to get you there.

You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About was a pleasure to read. This contemporary romance inhabits the vague space between young adult and the burgeoning new adult category. Directionless school leaver Mandy meets aspiring musician Tim in a moment of serendipity charged with the delicious possibility of their mutual attraction developing into something more.

Surpassing my expectations of an Inner West answer to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Daniel Herborn has refreshed boy-meets-girl with the unapologetic imperfection of Mandy and Tim’s relationship. Mandy’s reaction to the revelations about Tim’s past were remarkably genuine and realistic, even if it wasn’t her finest or most selfless hour. The ultra short chapters of alternating narration may throw some readers out of the rhythm of the story, or prevent them from getting properly invested in Mandy and Tim's narrative voices, though I didn't have the experience myself. I found Tim genuinely adorable, his dynamic with Mandy immensely satisfying and the progression of their relationship well paced and realistic.

If I have a criticism, it’s that the book would not suffer from more: more pages, more of Mandy’s darling best friend Alice, a closer focus on the history between Mandy’s dad and Tim, and some of the trauma of Tim's family life. I flew through You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About because it was so entertaining, but once invested, I wanted to spend more time with it.

Trigger warning: mentions of alcoholic parents and domestic violence
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  1. I personally love alternating viewpoints, I don't know why, I just love different perspectives and the hidden story conflicts throughout. :) I would LOVE to read this, especially since I got so invested with the promotion as to write the music to the song on the front cover! I love music, so this definitely sounds like the sort of book for me! Thanks for sharing Sophie!

    1. Wait, wait - you wrote the music on the cover?! That's so awesome! I'm a bit of a sucker for alternating perspectives too. Definitely give this one a try, it sounds like a great one for you! :) Plus, Daniel Herborn is doing OzYAChat this week I think!