Melody’s Key by Dallas Coryell Review

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Publication: June 24th 2016
Publisher:  Self-published
Pages:  338 pages
Source: Author (Thank you! :D)
Genre: Romance, Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult, New Adult
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤

I was given a copy of this book by the author for an honest review.

Let me start by saying, I am not a fan of romance. I find the plots to be predictable, the characters to be annoying, and the romantic relationship to be too fluffy. But when I was asked to read and review this book, I accepted because I hadn’t read a romance novel since high school (unless you count the old Classics from university) and I was curious about what my thoughts would be after not reading one for so long.

My opinion on Romance novels hasn’t changed. I still dislike the genre, but I didn’t dislike this book.

Melody’s Key follows the young and British Tegan Lockwood who is incredibly depressed after sacrificing her arts scholarship in the States to work with at the family business, Lockwood Manor, a type of vacation resort, so that she can help keep the failing business afloat for as long as possible. But when music superstar Mason Keane decides to stay at the Manor for the summer, Tegan’s world begins to change, and Mason’s just might as well.

I have a love-hate relationship with Tegan. At the beginning of the novel, I started liking her because I thought she was an interesting character, very funny and witty, and I admired her sacrifice for her family. But then she started to annoy me, and I couldn’t help but read her as a martyr. I know the book is from her perspective, but not everything is about you Tegan! Yes, you can’t go to the University you wanted to in the States, but your life isn’t over! Go to a local college or something, get another job, save up some extra money to help the family and save up for your dreams in the future! Just because you can’t achieve your dreams immediately doesn’t mean you won’t someday!

Also something about Tegan that annoyed me, and I’ll admit this may just be nitpicky, but she’s too talented! You’d think with a book that is so music based, where we are introduced to Tegan playing piano, singing, and composing a song that her University scholarship in the States would be for a Music program, right? Wrong! Tegan was accepted for her artwork, though she rarely draws/paints/sculpts for the majority of the novel. Yes, people can be talented in many different areas, but to focus a story on how the character is incredibly talented in Music and then to have her be accepted in University in an entirely different program just doesn’t fit with character.

I enjoyed Mason’s character, and I loved reading his and Tegan’s interactions. Mason’s character also went in a direction I didn’t see coming. He’s introduced as kind of an asshole, but almost immediately sheds that skins to reveal his true, sweet personality which I really enjoyed reading.

I also loved the strong bond between Tegan and her family. It reminded me of my family (though my family is not nearly as big), and I loved the theme of sacrifice between them. They each sacrificed to make the other person in the family happy, and it was such a beautiful relationship to see.

The descriptions in the book are absolutely beautiful, but too often the description goes on for much to long, and at times this leads to strange wordings for certain descriptions. One that popped out at me early on when reading was the description of “archaic oak tress,” which doesn’t make any sense. Other than a few flubs like that, the description really was enjoyable to read, but their does need to be a bit less of it.

Their is one major problem I had with Melody’s Key. About halfway through the book, it’s revealed that Tegan is a survivor of rape. From some side remarks from Tegan’s friends, I had gotten the impression that Tegan had been in an abusive or bad relationship, but never guessed she was a rape survivor, because the people who know and acknowledge what happened to Tegan treat it as something that she should get over, and which can be fixed by being in a new relationship.

Like this quote from Ryleigh, Tegan’s sister, who knows she was raped:

“So…why haven’t you dated anyone since you-know-who? It was a goddamn shitty thing that happened for sure, but that was years ago. Don’t you think it’s time to get back in the game?”

WHAT?! WHATWHATWHATWHATWHAT?! I can’t even begin to describe how angry this line made me or how inappropriate it is, especially said by some who KNOWS her sister was raped. Ryleigh is basically telling her sister “I know you were raped, and that sucked, but that was a while ago and you should be over it by now and date someone.” 

And after Ryleigh says this, Tegan is understandably upset:

“Tegan didn’t answer. She had stopped working and was now staring at the water, momentarily lost in the darkness of her memories.”

To which Ryleigh comes back and says this:

“Tegan, what he did to you was terrible and you can’t get back what he took, but not every guy is like that.”

Which is better than the first thing she said, but not by much. Because Ryleigh is still telling her sister that though it was terrible to be raped, not every guy is going to rape her and she should just date someone.

And then Mason says this, after telling Tegan he won’t sleep with her when they’re both drunk, and also knows she is a rape survivor, says this:

“You know, I’m probably the dumbest guy in the history of dumb guys for not taking you up on your offer last night. I hope you don’t think it was because I didn’t want you.” 

?????????????????????????????????? What the heck Mason? He’s basically saying “I’m so dumb for agreeing not to have sex with you when we were both drunk and neither of us could fully consent to what we were doing. That was dumb, sorry if you think I’m a wuss for not doing that.”

But Tegan isn’t offended by this at all? And this happens:

“Instead of answering she grabbed his hair and pulled him down into a slow and passionate kiss.”

So this was my biggest problem. I couldn’t believe how characters reacted to Tegan as a rape survivor, and it’s a point that annoyed and angered me for the majority of the book once it was revealed.

As Romance novels go, it was predictable. I figured out the plot almost from the first page, but just because it was predictable doesn’t mean it was bad. The novel follows the tropes expected in Romance novels, and any fan of Romance will LOVE Melody’s Key for giving them everything they want out of a Romance novel.

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