Mel’s Review: Exile by Kevin Emerson


After reading this author’s first two ‘The Atlanteans’ series books, my anticipation and excitement was high for this upcoming contemporary, Exile by Kevin Emerson.

Exile KCEmersonCatherine Summer Carlson knows how to manage bands like a professional—she’s a student at the PopArts Academy at Mount Hope High, where rock legends Allegiance to North got their start. Summer knows that falling for the lead singer of her latest band is the least professional thing a manager can do. But Caleb Daniels isn’t an ordinary band boy—he’s a hot, dreamy, sweet-singing, exiled-from-his-old-band, possibly-with-a-deep-dark-side band boy. And he can do that thing. That thing when someone sings a song and it inhabits you, possesses you, and moves you like a marionette to its will.

Summer also finds herself at the center of a mystery she never saw coming. When Caleb reveals a secret about his long-lost father, one band’s past becomes another’s present, and Summer finds it harder and harder to be both band manager and girlfriend. She knows what the well-mannered Catherine side of her would do, but she also knows what her heart is telling her. Maybe it’s time to accept who she really is, even if it means becoming an exile herself. . . .

I admit I totally gave Kevin crap about not getting to read his new upcoming contemporary when I found out it had been read by another author and it had turned up on Edelweiss as an e-ARC.  Happily I was able to wrangle a copy and read it four times.   Yes…I am addicted to Exile. I have already shared the joy of this book with several friends who were all able to wrangle their own copies of this book pre-release.  This is definitely one of those books you will not be able to shut up about.  I  know this from experience.

It’s hard to begin this review but I want to start by telling you that Exile TOTALLY BLEW MY MIND.  In fact I feel you should go to your local Indie bookstores website and order it right now if you haven’t already bought a copy.  I’ll wait.









Okay did you order?  Great.  Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads To-Reads list of course!

So here is the easy link for that:


When I started reading this book I was reading it in Pages (Mac’s version of Word) on my iPad and decided to do something I’ve never done before, namely leave comments to myself as I went.  Pages allows you to tap on the place you’d like to add a comment and do so.  Then the comment disappears and there is a small area of highlight that shows up for you to go back and tap on later to read the comment.

And so it went that I left comments here and there as I read.  One of my favorite quotes from the book is this one, “When a song inhabits you, possesses you, and moves you like a marionette to its will?”

My other favorite quote is eye opening for those girls who like guys in bands…ready?

“…it’s no big secret what bands talk about when they are clustered together: thirty percent is have-you-heard-this-band, thirty percent concerns the deeply technical features of music gear, and the other forty percent is girls.”

Since this book is about a band, there are song lyrics and even chords included in the story.

I am looking forward to seeing what music will be recorded for the next Exile book.  Will we get to hear two of the songs that we are searching for?  That mystery remains.  I do hope so though.  I am a huge fan of the music for Exile.  In fact I have a post coming up that is ALL about the music!

Lately there has been a lot of talk of parental units in books being completely absent which is not the case in this book.  In fact, Summer our main character lives at home with her parents, yes NOT DIVORCED PARENTS.  Not only were they involved in her life, but she also has an Aunt who helps Summer out by being her alibi.  Spoiler?  I even made a note at one point about how happy I was that her parents were around and active in her life.

I admit normally when reading a book I do not always stop and take in the chapter headings.  Am I the only one who skips them?  However, in Exile I couldn’t skip them.  I HAD to read them as they were part of the storyline.  In fact, they were tweets of Summer who is the main character.  The use of twitter chapter headings was well thought out throughout the entire book.  See below for one of the tweets that grabbed my attention:

Formerly Orchid @catherinefornevr 1hr

Senior Year existential sandwich. Me=the tofurkey between slices of whole grain Optimism and Oblivion. Pass the baconnaise! #Iworkedhardforthatmetaphor #stilllame

I don’t know about you but by the time I finished this it took me a good ten minutes to decompress and come to a realization.  This book is a Love Song.  And that is the perfect way to think of it!

If you can’t tell I’m in love with this book and I look forward to the encore in book two!


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