Seventeen-year-old Mira has always danced to her own beat. A music prodigy in a family of athletes, she’d rather play trumpet than party—and with her audition to a prestigious jazz conservatory just around the corner (and her two best friends at music camp without her), she plans to spend the summer focused on jazz and nothing else.
She only goes to the warehouse party in a last-ditch effort to bond with her older sister. Instead, she falls in love with dance music, DJing…and Derek, a gorgeous promoter who thinks he can make her a star. Suddenly trumpet practice and old friendships are taking a backseat to packed dance floors, sun-soaked music festivals, outsized personalities, and endless beats.
But when a devastating tragedy plunges her golden summer into darkness, Mira discovers just how little she knows about her new boyfriend, her old friends, and even her own sister. Music is what brought them together…but will it also tear them apart?
This book is so much more than the cover and synopsis make it seem. The way it is advertised makes it seem like a light fast read about a girl who likes music… but it is so much more than that. When the Beat Drops is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about finding yourself.
What I Liked:
I honestly loved Mira. Her whole world is music. She hears it in movement and emotion and nature. That’s why it was so easy to believe that she picked up DJing so fast and was so good at it. She lives and breathes music. It was that fact that made this whole book so believable and enjoyable.
All of the characters were actually pretty great. They all had so many dimensions to them. They had their own flawed and complicated lives. They also were all so unique and interesting.
I also liked how this book handled some pretty serious topics, like drugs, death, mourning, denial, and family problems. It was able to tackle these topics in what felt like an honest way… making them simple enough to understand without making light of them.
I also really loved how this book ended. I’m not gonna say too much about it (cause #nospoilers), but let’s just say life isn’t perfect and I love how this book showed it.
What I didn’t Like:
There really wasn’t much I didn’t like about When the Beat Drops. I was a little lost in the beginning, just because I had no idea what I was going to get out of this book, but that feeling went away pretty quickly.
I also didn’t really love Yelena’s character, but the more she was around the more I liked her.
Also, I felt like Mira’s introduction to the warehouse party scene was a bit abrupt and odd, but I got over that pretty quickly, and it didn’t bother me that much.
I was completely surprised by this book. It was so much better than I expected it to be, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a YA contemporary that feels a little more solid that some others.
I am going to give When the Beat Drops 5 out of 5 hearts.