Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to read Erin Hahn’s new book, More Than Maybe, as an advanced copy – and it ended up being a music filled, sweet YA contemporary. You can’t imagine how excited I was to read her first book, You’d Be Mine – I was thrown right back to my country music phase when I found out that the book was about two young rising country stars.
Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.
But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.
Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.
This book is truly an ode to country music and the entire community built around it. Annie is a legacy country singer – her parents were an infamous power couple in the country music scene – she was born and bred to thrive in the country music scene. Clay on the other hand was practically a walking country song – which I found to be poetic and impressive on the author’s part.
The characters are where this book faltered – I’ll start with Annie. Annie was an up and coming country music star, daughter of one of the most popular (and tragic) country music couples in the business. She experienced trauma at a young age and bore the mental burden of it – something I think was portrayed well. However, when she started getting entangled with Clay, she lost a lot of her fire. Instead of being the headstrong woman she started as, she became a lovelorn girl too dependent on Clay for happiness. I also found her to be far too forgiving of his behavior – he routinely disregarded her mental health but she kept crawling back to him.
Clay was not my favorite character – mostly because I think that’s what the author intended. He behaved more like a mid-20s character than a teenager – mostly because he had experienced heartbreak and hurt well beyond his years. He was a beer swilling, haunted character that was being sucked into the dark underbelly of the country scene. The one part I didn’t love about him was the fact her didn’t really grow organically as a character – his growth felt forced and unnatural.
Annie and Clay were both deeply flawed people who honestly didn’t work very well together as a couple. I wish the book had ended in their own independent happy endings, instead of one together. It would have made more sense with the general theme of the book.
It’s hard not to compare an authors books with each other – and in the case of Erin Hahn, my favorite is definitely More Than Maybe. Where You’d Be Mine was an ok story with its share of flaws, More Than Maybe hit all the right notes for me. If you’re a fan of country music and the country music scene in general, you will likely love You’d Be Mine – if country music isn’t your jam, give More Than Maybe a shot. If you’re looking for other YA contemporary books, check out Tweet Cute by Emma Lord or Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. 3/5