Down the Shore by T. Torrest
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: April 21, 2015
Format: eARC, 398 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Livia Chadwick is a photographer by day and a self-proclaimed rock slut by night.
Her dating life is a lackluster parade of evasive jerks and her boss is an unrelenting nightmare of a human being. What else can a girl do but rent a beach house with her girlfriends and blow off a little steam every weekend? But hey, she’s from Jersey. Barhopping down the shore all season is sort of mandatory. All is going according to plan… until she meets Jack.
Jack Tanner is a contractor-turned-musician in a small-town cover band suddenly thrust into the limelight. He’s already had enough of the rock-and-roll lifestyle, and groupies have never been his thing. Then again… there’s a gorgeous brunette in the audience tonight, checking him out with the most incredible green eyes he’s ever seen.
She's looking for a fling.
He's looking for forever.
It’s gonna be one helluva summer.
Set in the summer of 1995, Down the Shore takes the reader on a tour through some of the Jersey shore’s hottest hot spots over one, sleepless, flannel-clad summer. It’s a look back to a time when the music was groundbreaking, the rock clubs were king, and bar bands ruled the world. Read when you're in the mood for: something light, funny, romantic, beachy, and nostalgic. For ages 18+.
***Not recommended for anyone under the age of 18, and/or any readers who are slut-shamers, guido sympathizers, beach haters or anti-music. Other people who should walk away from this book immediately: Readers who have sticks up their butts regarding offensive language, those who don't like detailed sex in their stories, idiots who think "Jersey Shore" has anything to do with actual New Jerseyans, and anyone who can't appreciate pop-culture from the mother-effing nineties.***
After falling head over heels with Tina’s writing, characters and ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING about her Remember When series, I was over the moon when I first learned about this book last year. It’s been a long time in the making. (Fun fact: it was written BEFORE the Remember When series.) I had the pleasure of beta reading Down the Shore, but that didn’t influence my opinion at all. It was just a great, fun and sexy story that I thoroughly enjoyed. (I also have to admit that I haven’t read the “final version” of the story, but I know of several of the changes and can’t wait to find time to reread the final book. I know the late version I read was fantastic and with the changes that were made, I’m positive you read an *even better* book than I did!)
I’m definitely a child of the late 90s. (No admission of age here!) Anytime I read about the late 90s, I get incredibly nostalgic. Now, I definitely wasn’t having the same experiences Livia was – and I never spent time in New Jersey – but damned if I didn’t feel like I was right there with her. And, at the same time, I was remembering all the fun times with my girls from high school. Books set in the 90s just speak to me and Tina’s characters shout louder than all the rest. Her writing is amazing, and more than that, she writes how I think so I always find myself totally wrapped up in everything dealing with her books.
I started Down the Shore one night an hour or so before bed and had to force myself to go to sleep. I’m pretty sure I dreamed about being on the Jersey Shore in 1995 that year. I spent the morning in my office wishing I was able to forget about working and dive right back into this story. When I couldn’t take it any longer, I took an early lunch and didn’t stop reading until I’d finished the other half of the book. (Shhhhh. Don’t tell.)
Characters are so important to me when I’m reading. If I don’t connect with them or care about them in some way, I can’t enjoy a book. That was SO not the case here. I really liked Livia. She was easy to relate to and enjoyed reading from her POV. She was sassy and funny and I liked that she owned her sexuality. (Which, of course, leads to one of my FAVORITE things later in the book… the fact that SHE was looking for casual and Jack wanted something more serious. Role reversal FTW!) I loved reading as she interacted with the other characters.
Jack. Oh my god. Jack. Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of books about musicians. After awhile they all seem to run together. Believe me when I say Jack and Down the Shore will continue to stand out for me. He was smoking hot and really sweet underneath it all. I loved that he wasn’t like so many of the other rock stars I’ve read about. It was fun to watch him try to keep Livia away, while all he really wanted to do was pull her close. (Hooray for a relentless – and not creepy – pursuit by a woman!)
One of the ways I judge books is by just how much the characters make me FEEL. Good or bad, if I’m so wrapped up in the story that I’m laughing or crying, or even wanting to scream at and shake sense into the characters, chances are it’s going to wind up on my favorites shelf. Livia and Jack did ALL OF THIS to me. I was utterly captivated by their story. I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to hug and squish them. I wanted to scream at them. I went through it all. I mean, I knew what was best for them, after all. They, Livia specifically, just needed to see it. 😉 Without getting too spoilery, Jack had a couple moments where I was afraid I was going to have to banish him to the bad book boyfriend list, but I’m relieved to say that never actually happened.
Down the Shore had some emotional moments, but overall, it was lighthearted and fun as hell. I’m pretty sure I read at least 70% of this book with a big, goofy smile on my face. I loved the 90s references and the memories they brought, the banter between characters and the overall story. I was thrilled when Layla (of Remember When fame) made a brief appearance in the story. (God, I miss her and Trip!) I felt all the feels, but wasn’t overwhelmed by them. This isn’t a book that will leave you crying in the corner. It will leave you hugging your eReader of choice with a great big smile (and maybe a tear in your eye).
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.