Monday, September 8, 2014

Review: Montana in A Minor by Elaine Russell

Montana in A Minor
Publication Date: April 27, 2014
Paperback, 170 pages, CreateSpace
Genres: YA, Contemporary

Cellist Emily Lopez, almost seventeen, feels like a discordant piece of music, full of mismatched notes that make her cringe. First her boyfriend breaks up with her then her dad, a famous symphony conductor, cancels their summer together touring Europe. To top it off, she’s forced to go with her mom and stepdad to a dusty, old cattle ranch in Montana. How will she master an incredibly difficult Saint-Saëns concerto without her dad or cello teacher? She only has seven weeks to prepare for the competition that will determine her future. To a San Francisco girl, Montana feels like the end of the earth. But she soon discovers it is full of surprises after meeting Breck, the summer ranch hand.

My Review

You know those cute, summer contemporaries? The ones that are short and sweet? That’s pretty much the entire essence of this book.

Montana in A Minor starts out introducing the character Emily and all of her problems. From her no-show dad, to her scum ex-boyfriend, to her music class with the kids she teaches. Then, it picks up and moves to Montana. And that’s where things really get going.

I loved the plot of the story. I’m honestly a sucker for those romance books and movies that have the (typically) female protagonist out trying to rough it in the countryside. They’re always clichéd, but they never get old. While usually these stories focus on just the romance aspect of the story, this one didn’t. Emily had other problems she had to conquer, not just the ones involving her love life.

I really enjoyed getting to know Emily. She was a lot stronger than I would have been had I learned some of the stuff that she did about her family, friends, etcetera. She managed to stand up for herself, without giving in to the people around her, and I admire that. I just wish that I knew more about what she looked like. There wasn’t ever a really good physical description of her, even though almost everyone else in the book got one.

That brings me to Breck, the love interest. (Random side note, I love his weird name.) He’s given a very nice description indeed. Tall, good-looking cowboy? Sign me up, ASAP. He’s also pretty sweet and charming to boot. I just wish his and Emily’s relationship had been a little more apparent throughout the book. It seemed like just when there was some sort of hint at feelings, the scene would change and skip to the next day, or week, or something. And with that skip came times where Emily and Breck had become more emotionally involved with each other. There just needed to be more written interaction between the two.

Emily’s family was predominant throughout the story. And you know me, I love having YA characters who actually talk to their parents. Emily’s mom, while not constantly around, did support her daughter and talk to her. And her step-dad and step-grandpa even held pretty large roles in the story.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. It was a light contemporary, but it still had more than just fluffy romance to hold it together.

*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from the author. This in no way altered my opinion/review.


  1. I think this may be a book I'd love to read...which I've been finding a lot of lately. Your review is great and I can't' wait to check out more of your site when I have a bit more time.

    Rebecca @ Vicariously!

    1. Aww... You're so nice! Thanks! And I'm glad you want to check the book out. It's pretty good. :)


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