Author: Anna Hecker
Publisher: Sky Pony Press/Thomas Allen & Son (Canada)
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Seventeen-year-old Mira has always danced to her own beat. A music prodigy in a family of athletes, she'd rather play trumpet than party -- and with her audition to a prestigious jazz conservatory just around the corner (and her two best friends at music camp without her), she plans to spend the summer focused on jazz and nothing else.
She only goes to the warehouse party in a last-ditch effort to bond with her older sister. Instead, she falls in love with dance music, DJing... and Derek, a gorgeous promoter who thinks he can make her a star. Suddenly trumpet practice and old friendships are taking a backseat to the packed dance floors, sun-soaked music festivals, outsized personalities, and endless beats of the EDM scene.
But when a devastating tragedy plunges her golden summer into darkness, Mira discovers just how little she knows about her new boyfriend, her old friends, and even her own sister. Music is what brought them together... but will it also tear them apart?
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Music is a topic that I always seem to enjoy in books, so I was not surprised that I enjoyed When the Beat Drops by Anna Hecker so much. This book is all about DJing, which I have never read before. The main character is clever and the writing is so descriptive, which added to my enjoyment. After reading this story, I would love to see more of its kind.
This book tells the story of a girl who goes from trumpeter to DJ and is swept up in a whole new world of music. It is definitely a more serious read, since it deals with topics like drugs and death, but there are some light moments. I really enjoyed the unique combination of jazz and EDM in the story, as I have never seen this before. DJing is also a topic that really interests me. As well, there is a prominent theme of family in the novel, which I always like to see. When the Beat Drops is a heartfelt story that is perfect for music lovers.
Mira is such an amazing main character. She is so talented and is able to catch on to DJing quickly. She struggles a lot throughout the story with not being able to go to camp and reconnecting with her sister, but she doesn’t complain. Mira must choose whether or not she wants to continue as a jazz player or launch a career as a DJ, and she handles this perfectly. What I especially enjoyed about her character is the fact that she stays true to herself and keeps her values despite peer pressure. Mira is smart, and she is the ideal voice for a story like this one.
I really enjoyed the writing in When the Beat Drops. There is a fair amount of suspense as the reader tries to guess what the tragedy is, among other aspects that I won’t spoil. The various descriptions of music and what Mira feels when she DJs are breathtaking, and they really immersed me in the story. As well, just enough is explained about DJing for the reader to understand what is going on, but not to the point where it becomes frustrating. This is something that is especially important for books about music, and Anna Hecker executes it perfectly.
When the Beat Drops is a heavy story about music and loss. I loved the DJing aspects and the talented main character. The way the story is written is beautiful, and I would definitely recommend this one for an older YA audience.