Header Image

YA Review: Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass

Title: Where the Rhythm Takes You
Author: Sarah Dass
Year published: 2021
Category: YA fiction
Pages: 352 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2021 Google Reading map)Tobago

SummaryInspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Where the Rhythm Takes You is a romantic, mesmerizing novel of first love and second chances.

Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at the Plumeria, her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden—her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything—left the island to pursue his music dreams.

Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running.

And that’s when Aiden comes roaring back into her life—as a VIP guest at the resort.

Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal—the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them…

Review: One last YA book before 2021 ends and it takes place in a new-to-me country: Tobago. And it's a Jane Austen re-write so it's got to be fun, right?

I enjoyed this novel and am torn about my rating for it. It captivated me and I was leaning toward a 4.5, but ended up giving it a 4. I liked the setting of Tobago, the accents which are woven into the writing, the music, the food, and the island feeling. It makes me realize that emotions, drama, friendship, and love are universal. I mean, I knew that, but having all that in YA literature is goof for teens to learn or be reminded of. 

I liked Reyna though I got frustrated that she self-sabotaged. We all do it though so perhaps I was frustrated with myself through her? Very possible. Her friendships with the group she is hanging out with are also good: fraught with tension, misunderstandings, and honesty. I like that the author played with longtime friendship and loyalty and how it gets mixed up in the characters' new lives. This is a big thing for students who leave high school and go off to college or jobs and try to navigate their old and new lives.

Music plays a huge role in this novel and it's really fun that the author included a playlist of soca music (a new term for me). I have added a few of the songs to my Spotify so that's really fun!

Challenges for which this counts:  
  • Diversity
  • Literary Escapes--Tobago

No comments