Happy Book Birthday to It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland! This heartfelt, second chance queer pop band story and its characters have completely captured my heart! I wish there was a playlist for this book, I’m such a fan of a band that doesn’t even exist... It Goes Like This is a wholesome, tender and emotional story about love and friendship, heartbreak and life changing crises, music and creativity, and big dreams versus the small things in life that truly matters.
The story follows the four former members of a queer girl band - Eva, Celeste, Gina and Steph – one and a half year after ‘Moonlight Overthrow’ was disbanded. But it was not just the band that ended, also the secret relationship between Eva and Celeste was ruined by the messy breakup. All four of them went their separate ways – Celeste as a Grammy-awarded solo artis, Gina as a superstar actress, Eva as a songwriter and college student and Steph returning to her hometown to become their true nonbinary self away from the spotlights and the boundaries set by being in a ‘girl’ band – and haven’t spoken since their last band performance. But when a huge storm hits their old hometown, they decide to reunite the band for a charity concert for the victims and awkwardly meet up again.
The story is told from the four members alternating POVs and in two parallel tracks, jumping between present and past to reveal how the band was formed, how Eva and Celeste fell in love and how everything eventually fell apart. I really loved this way of slowly revealing the backstory, the developments of the different relationships and the problems and misunderstandings leading to the break-up. I especially appreciated how the story showed Steph’s transition in such a nuanced and authentic way.
Miel Moreland’s writing style was incredible and with a wonderful flow and pacing. It pulled me in from the very first moment, making me root for the characters and intrigued me to find out why the band broke up and the backstory of each character. I really enjoyed the way Miel Moreland used Twitter and Tumblr posts to show the intersection between real life and fandom and how things get misinterpreted and can spin out of control in the blink of an eye.
The story was so inclusive and empowering with its amazing queer diversity. Eva and Celeste were lesbians, Gina bi and Steph was pan and non-binary, and they were all open and proud about who they were. They were all such three dimensional and authentic characters and there was so much chemistry between them as a band. I rooted so for all four of them, and hoped with all my heart that they would get back to being friends again and for Eva and Celeste to be even more than that…
All in all, this was a wonderful, inclusive, heartfelt and addictive story about finding your path in life and about second chances, friendship that survives anything and found families. I absolutely adored the amazing array of queer characters who all felt authentic and real, the unique story and the music references (is it possible to be in fandom for a fictional band that doesn’t exist?) and know that I will remember this book ‘til the moon crashes into the sea’. I recommend this queer masterpiece with all my heart!
Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and NetGalley for the ARC and blog tour invitation for this fabulous book! All opinions are my own and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
5 brilliant stars
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson T.J. Klune Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez