Review: Taryn Bashford – The Astrid Notes

The Astrid Notes
Taryn Bashford

Astrid secretly longs to be a popular song writer – but she’s an operatic soprano. Jacob is grieving for his friends and his band – but his parents won’t continue to bankroll his music career unless he starts singing again. Together, can Astrid and Jacob make compromises for their families and themselves? Or will they lose everything?

Ugh! I didn’t want them to be in love! What I wouldn’t give right now for a YA friendship novel. It sets up unrealistic expectations for young adults – they’re somehow supposed to have a love that makes them defy their parents and overcome their stage fright. It’s ok to be single, and it’s ok to just have friends.

Although this novel could be considered a sequel to The Harper Effect’, Harper doesn’t really play a role in it. She cameos maybe once? So there’s no need to have read Bashford’s other novel. But I feel like I’d consider borrowing it from the library to see if the same strong feelings raised in me by The Astrid Effect worked via sports stars too.

Once upon a time I thought that I wanted to go to music school – which in Melbourne would be the Victorian College of the Arts. I quickly realised that I wasn’t inherently talented enough to go! So here, where both Astrid and Jacob are good enough to go to music specialist schools I felt some envy of their talent. But also I felt deeply sad about the circumstances that brought them together. Their feelings of depression and suicidality (it should be a word!) brought me to tears.

I’ll give this four stars for the feels it gave me, but the story didn’t seem to be anything particularly new. I preferred another music-themed YA novel I read a couple of years ago. I’ll update the post if I remember it’s name! I can picture the cover, but not the title.

Pan Macmillan | 10th July 2019 | AU$16.99 | paperback

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