Review – A Song For Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles

January 5, 2013 Review 6

A Song For JuliaTITLE: A Song for Julia

AUTHOR: Charles Sheehan-Miles

GENRE: New Adult Contemporary/Romance

PUBLISHED: 4th December 2012

SOURCE: E-copy provided by author for review

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Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father’s career and dominating her family’s life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she’s haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy. 

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.

This is the second book I’ve read by Charles Sheehan-Miles and I can definitely say I will KEEP ON reading his books.

In A Song for Julia we have Julia, naturally, who is one messed up 22 year-old. Bad things happened to her when she was just a teenager and she’s not dealing with it all too well, even now eight years later. Add to that parents who are all about keeping up appearances within their very privileged social circles, and could care less about what their daughters (Julia’s one of 6) really want and you don’t have a very happy Julia.

Crank is a guy in a punk rock band who meets Julia at an anti-war demo. He couldn’t be more different from the guys at Harvard, where Julia goes to college. He doesn’t have any of the money, education or privilege that Julia and her family have. Just like Julia, though, Crank hasn’t had it easy. His mother has left, he clashes with his dad regularly and they’re all trying to deal with the fact that Crank’s 17 year-old brother, Sean, has Asperger’s syndrome. The way Crank chooses to deal with it is by drinking and sleeping around, the perks of being in a punk band and being surrounded by groupies.

That first meeting at the anti-war demo is Washington is one that neither of them will ever forgot. If only they weren’t both dealing with their own haunting past …

A Song for Julia is a beautiful story of betrayal, regret, guilt, forgiveness, finding yourself and ultimately learning how to move on. It deals with some heavy issues, which may give away plot spoilers if I were to mention them, but it deals with them well. Charles Sheehan-Miles has a great way of writing about these heavy issues with compassion and sensitivity.

I really liked the way this was written, in alternating POVs from Julia and Crank. We really got to feel the emotions that they went through – fear, guilt, anger, regret and loneliness, amongst others. I really felt for them both and cried a couple of times, especially as Julia’s history was revealed. My heart broke as I read about what she’d been through, and I felt such a real hatred for Mrs Thompson – what a complete BITCH!

I particularly liked reading about Julia’s friendship with Sean. That blossoming friendship was something they both needed and one that helped them both move on with things that were weighing them down.

There was a brilliant cast of supporting characters. I loved Carrie, Jack, Tony, Margot and Sean. I hated Harry, Julia’s parents (although Mr Thompson not so much by the end) and then Barrett.

I did think that just maybe the story could have been wrapped up a little sooner than it was, but in saying that both Julia and Crank had a lot of learning and healing to go through and I guess that couldn’t be rushed either.

A Song for Julia is definitely a book that I recommend that you read, and be sure to check out Just Remember to Breathe which is Julia’s sister Alexandra’s story. Just as good as, if not better than, A Song for Julia.

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6 Responses to “Review – A Song For Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles”

  1. Brandi Wa

    Great review! I’m reading this now – 31% through. I’m enjoying the book…just had to comment because I’m totally hating Mrs. Thompson right now, too!!! Even in the first book, ugh I just want to smack her lol! It’s breaking my heart as Julia’s past is being revealed bit by bit.

    • Kelly

      Hi Brandi 🙂

      Isn’t Mrs Thompson just a nasty piece of work?! I read Just Remember to Breathe first and although I didn’t like her in that book she didn’t seem as bad as she is in A Song for Julia. I’m hoping that since JRtB is set 7 years after ASfJ that means she’s mellowed out a little over the years!

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