August 15, 2019

#BookReview: A Song for the Road by Rayne Lacko @GoSparkPress

Synopsis: When a tornado destroys his Tulsa home, fifteen-year-old Carter Danforth is trapped in the pawnshop where his daddy hawked his custom, left-handed Martin guitar six years earlier―and then took off, leaving Carter with nothing but a hankering to pluck strings and enough heartache to sing the blues. Injured by the storm, Carter’s mother is laid up in the hospital. She wants Carter to fly out to Reno and stay with her sister. Too bad Carter already spent her hidden cash stash to buy his dad’s guitar. Rather than tell her the truth, he embarks on an epic road trip in search of his father in Santa Monica. But Carter isn’t a runaway. He reckons he’s a “running to.”

On his way west, Carter picks up licks, chord changes, and performance techniques from a quirky cast of Southwestern charmers: a rock star, a thief, a bluesman, a chanteuse-turned-chef, and the dream of a girl back home. A Song for the Road reads like a mash-up of The Wizard of Oz and Easy Rider―by the time he reaches the end of old US Route 66, Carter has learned how to deep-fry yucca blossoms and tell the truth of his life through music. (From the publisher)

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About the Author:  Rayne Lacko believes music, language, and art connect us, and she explores those themes in her novels, Listen To Me and A Song for the Road, and the guided journal Dream Up Now, an interactive exploration of emotions for teens. She now resides on a lush, forested island in the Pacific Northwest, where she sits on the board of trustees at a performing arts organization. She cohosts a library youth writing workshop and an annual filled-to-capacity writing camp, and she established Teen Story Slam, a twice-annual spoken word event for teens. Rayne is married with two children (a pianist and a drummer), and she and her family share their home with a noisy cat and their canine best friend.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This is one of those titles that the cover just did not mesh with me.  I wasn't sure what I was getting into but I was hoping for awesome musical things.  What I read was a pretty good travel story with music. I think this one would have been really amazing if the author would have done chapters with musical headings. Kind of like a soundtrack for the book.  You could listen to a song and read a chapter.  This one is character heavy as we meet a lot of people on the adventure that Carter takes and keep an eye on each of them because they make reappearances thought-out the story which was a great addition.  

Overall, if music is your jam and you really want to see someone taking an epic journey across the US of old Route 66!  This music heavy story will be one that you won't soon forget.  With musical details in every chapter and one amazing recipe at the back of the book this is one story that have you wanting to take a trip of your own! 

“A sweet, twangy tale about a boy finding his future on the way to his past.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A boy, a guitar, and the open road. In A Song for the Road, Rayne Lacko brings this timeless archetype to full, vivid life as fifteen-year-old Carter embarks on a journey that will define him as an artist, a son, and a man. Beautiful music abounds in these pages―in the story, the language, and the hearts of these well-defined characters. Tune up your six-string, grab a mic, and join Carter as he takes his memorable song on the road.”
―Mark Sarvas, award-winning author of Memento Park

“I really loved Carter’s gentle sweet soul and the magic of his journey. Really lyrical and exquisite moments; I felt really drawn in by its tenderness and charm. Very nicely done!”
―Noelle August, author of the Boomerang novels

“Rayne Lacko brings forth the power of music in her inspiring coming-of-age novel A Song for the Road. The protagonist, a teenaged boy, is ‘reawakening all the feelings he was trying every day to hold down.’ Torn between facing his suppressed feelings and pursuing his passion, Carter chooses making music on his own terms. His choice is rewarded with personal healing and new friendships. A wonderful read about the magic of music and creating your own path.” 
―Heidi Daniele, author of The House Children

“Full of heart and soul, A Song for the Road is a beautiful road trip through friendship, self-discovery, and the kindness of strangers. Carter’s story of searching for his father and finding his own musical identity will strum on your heartstrings and make you sing with joy.”
―Lisa Manterfield, author of The Smallest Thing and A Strange Companion

“His father’s old guitar leads fifteen-year-old ‘Cotton’ Danforth on an emotional journey to reconcile his past and find his future in this sweet story about the power of song to bridge what divides us. Musical teens will love this book. So will any adult who’s been moved to strum a few chords. I only wish it came with a soundtrack.”
―Pam McGaffin, author of The Leaving Year

“A lyrical, absorbing coming-of-age tale, A Song for the Road delights, surprises, and tugs at the heartstrings in equal measure. I fell in love with Carter Danforth on his epic cross-country journey to reunite with his estranged father―and so will you. An uplifting story of friendship, family, and the healing power of music.”
―Anjali Banerjee, author of Maya Running, Looking for Bapu, and Seaglass Summer

A Song for the Road is a brilliant metaphor for life. That Carter Danforth is one determined young man, and as memorable a hero as you’ll ever find. Bravo, Rayne Lacko!”
―Andre Hardy, former NFL running back

“Carter Danforth, a gifted teen musician, tugs guitar strings and heartstrings in Rayne Lacko’s entertaining new young adult novel, A Song for the Road. Readers will love this inspiring physical and metaphorical journey of growth and self-realization through the American Southwest.”
―Ron Bahar, author of The Frontman

“Fifteen-year-old Carter Danforth is loaded down with guilt, dreams, and his dad's old Martin guitar. Hitting the long highway between Tulsa and LA may be his best hope or worst decision ever. Author Rayne Lacko takes us on a powerful coming-of-age journey that gets under the skin, calluses the fingertips, and works its way into the heart. A Song for the Road is packed with gritty wisdom, succulent humor, and great music. I'll be rooting for Carter for a long time to come.”
―Conrad Wesselhoeft, author of Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly

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