Trevor Wolff is the vision behind ShapeShifter, the hottest new band. What he lacks in musical talent, he makes up for in attitude. He's a love 'em and leave 'em kind of guy, and he plays life according to his own rules. When his best friend and talented band member, Mitchell, finds the girl of his dreams (Kerri, aka "Rusty"), Trevor is forced to reevaluate his own idea of what it means to be Trevor Wolff. His friendship with Mitchell must change, and he begins to wonder if he's ready for a real relationship himself. With a few potentially life-changing decisions in front of him, Trevor has to dig deep and truly question who he is and what's important to him in order to move forward.
The author, Susan Helene Gottfried, has a background in the music industry, and she's given us an inside look at a band on the edge of stardom. The characters of Trevor, Mitchell, and Kerri are well-defined, with Trevor truly as the star of this story. There are several layers of complexity to Trevor in his feelings and his relationships; he doesn't even really understand himself. Conflicted by memories of a hinted past and uncertainty about his future, Trevor's story is an engaging study of emotional growth. It's Trevor's song that reverberates throughout this story, and the background music of other characters is there only to support and reinforce Trevor's own refrain.
In addition to Trevor's other relationships, a special relationship is implied with Kerri; animosity on the outside, but an unexplainable internal connection. I felt this relationship lacked something to help define it. Perhaps it would have been clearer with more backstory on Kerri that could help explain why they had that special connection. Trevor felt Kerri truly understood him, but I wanted to know more about Kerri to find out why that was. There was also a thread of abuse between Trevor and Mitchell that would benefit from some fleshing out, or it could have been left out entirely. It came up enough to make it seem like a stray thread, but not enough to have it be another facet that helped support and round out what we learn of Trevor's past.
The storyline is complex, and a lot of growth can be seen in Trevor's character. The story is really about Trevor and his need to change and adapt in order to continue, and it's an intriguing tale. I felt the beginning of the book dragged, perhaps offering too much of a foundation for the rest of the story. It really picked up in the latter half of the book as Trevor's character become more defined and I was more clear on the direction we were headed. I read the first half of the story with some detached interest, but in the second half, I was engaged. There is some ambiguity at the end that is very fitting for the story, and is satisfying in its own way. Even without knowing the outcome of the final action, the reader still understands that it will all work out.
3.5 /5 stars
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