Review: Melody’s Key by Dallas Coryell

About a month ago, debut author Dallas Coryell reached out to me to review his book Melody’s Key! I was really excited about this because this was my first time being contacted by an author for a review.

*Please note: This blog post was written a while ago. My thoughts, opinions, and writing skills have changed since then. Any posts written before 2020 should be assumed to not fully reflect my current thoughts, opinions, and writing capabilities unless otherwise stated. If you would like clarification on my thoughts/opinions about any specific points mentioned in this post, feel free to reach out to me.*

About a month ago, debut author Dallas Coryell reached out to me to review his book Melody’s Key! I was really excited about this because this was my first time being contacted by an author for a review. The process was really easy because I didn’t have to give away my address which I was apprehensive about–Mr. Coryell sent me a copy of the book over email, and while I normally don’t prefer eBooks I was super happy about this. So many thanks, Dallas! I finally finished the book yesterday so here’s the review.

Goodreads summary:

“’His eyes settled on her…piercing green embers of flame that revealed the ferocity of his pain and passion, yet still shrouded him under veils of ever deepening mystery that made every ounce of her ache to unravel him.’

Tegan Lockwood’s dreams were dead, sacrificed on the noble altar of duty before they ever had a chance to live. Her entire existence was disappearing into the abyss of apathy as she labored her days away keeping her family’s struggling business alive. There would be no emotion, no color, no beauty in her life. That is, until a mysterious visitor begins to draw her out of the darkness of her past towards something that will challenge the boundaries of her world, and unlock the most deeply held secrets of her heart.”

[SPOILERS Ahead]

Rating/Review:

3/5

I went into this book apprehensive, but it was waaay better than I expected. I really enjoyed reading this. The book centers on an English girl, Tegan, whose family owns a summer manor business. Mason Keane is an American pop star (a tattooed, fit, and tight-shirt-wearing sort of guy) that everyone fawns over except, of course, Tegan. Mason comes to visit over the summer and at first Tegan is cold towards him but he eventually is able to get past her barriers and into her heart, aaaaand…they fall in love (you guessed it). If this storyline sounds familiar, it is. Just the premise itself has been written many times (just off the top of my head is This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith, which, might I add, was an amazing book just like this one). And inside the story are a hundred more clichés (a concert, a gay best friend, college problems, etc.) but honestly? I found myself not caring a single ounce because I thoroughly enjoyed reading the predictable plot. It was nice to know what was going to happen and yet be engrossed in the characters’ story. To me, that shows some extremely talented writing skill. I really hope the stereotypes found in the story don’t put you off because this is a worthy read and it would be a shame to skip out on it. The second big thing about this book is the descriptions. Dallas Coryell has such an immense reserve of vocabulary, and I commend him for it. He uses his words to really set this book apart from other cheesy romance novels. I think this will appeal to many readers. I personally don’t prefer such detailed descriptions (one of the reasons I didn’t like Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans) because they drag out the story too much for me; however, in Melody’s Key, the author incorporates it in a way that it doesn’t get too much in the way of enjoying the story and I wasn’t very bothered by it. Another personal thing is that I wish the letters played more of a part in the middle section of the story. I liked the parallels drawn between the love story in the letters and Tegan’s own romantic life, and how in the ending it’s used as a symbol when Tegan rips them up. However, since they were talked about so much in the beginning of a story I’d hoped that they would be more crucial to the storyline. Other than these few things, which I wouldn’t even consider faults, this book was amazing. Tegan was really relatable with her being clumsy and having a wide range of emotions. I also play piano so that added another dimension of similarities for me. I also really loved her relationship with the whole rest of her family, especially her and her sister Ryleigh! Another thing that was really interesting to me was reading about all the trips around different places in England, which was so fun. Plus, the author was able to mix in some more serious themes such as abusive relationships. Something that has nothing to do with the book itself is that I love the updated cover! You guys can check it out on Goodreads. The original cover didn’t hold too much appeal to me so I’m really happy that it has been raised a few notches (it was still great to begin with though). I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance novels. Please don’t let the clichés get in the way of you picking it up because it would be such a shame to not read this. I promise it is definitely worth the read and there are so many great things about it! Thank you, thank you, thank you to Dallas Coryell again, for being so kind to send me this book! I loved it so much. I’d also like to mention that all the songs in the book are up on Dallas’ YouTube channel, dallascoryell1. I listened to them and they are really good and original! I’ve never seen an author do something this unique before and that definitely earned brownie points. A great debut novel! This author is sure to go places.

**I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review**

Thanks for reading this review, and thanks again to Dallas for the opportunity. See you in my next post!

Merry Readings,

April

Author: april | lostinthebookstacks

hello! i'm april (she/her), an asian american reader who’s passionate about words and scallion pancakes.

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