Review By Kayleigh

Katie Wicks’ first book is a gossipy and passionate look at the reality music competition world and the drama and lies that brings contestants together.

Favourite Quote:

So, even though she hated it when singers did that, she closed her eyes, focused on the strings she was plucking, and the form her mouth had to take to get that first chord right.

And then she sang as if her life depended on it. 

Because it did.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

As Hazel Fine steps out of her crummy hotel room into the bright LA sunshine, she knows she’s got one, and only one, chance. Her audition for the massive talent show, The Sing Along, could change her life forever. She has the skills, what she needs now is a bit of luck.

Soon Hazel finds herself alongside fifteen other contestants who all have the same superstardom. There’s the beautiful Hollywood golden child, Bella. The bright, bubbly country singer, Zoey. The extraordinarily handsome surfer/influencer, Benji. And Hazel, who has more to hide than her past. She’s got the chops, but can she handle the pressure without self-combusting?

Add in an undeniable attraction to the show’s talented yet brooding musical director, Nick, and the lecherous tactics of one of the judges, Hazel soon finds herself in over her head. But with her guitar strapped to her shoulder, she’s going to sing her heart out―and maybe open herself up to love at the same time. Who says you can’t have it all . . .

Hazel Fine is a down-on-her-luck singer songwriter with a lot of talent and a lot of secrets. When she finds herself moving through a televised singing competition similar to American Idol, she’s desperate to prove herself because this may be her last chance before she has to go home with her tail between her legs and admit defeat. Hazel is bright and talented. She’s also secretive, competitive and at times hard to like or root for. So, you know, she’s very human. This isn’t a clear cut romance either – in fact there’s a bit of a fake relationship and love triangle that happens here for Hazel. Hazel is conflicted and unsure of her feelings for either man. I was honestly rooting for both Benji and Nick at different times in the book. 

Hazel is surrounded by a cast of characters – all who have their own agenda – which makes it hard to know who to trust and who to like. Everyone is in it to win it for themselves. Allegiances are made and lost throughout the book. However, Katie gives the characters a lot of depth – it would be easy for them to turn into two dimensional characters but they all have clearly thought out backstories and motivations. Zoe and Bella are two secondary characters that I’d love to see more from! 

The cast of this book feels very young – I feel like this is almost a new adult or very old young adult book in how the characters act and react. As many of the characters are in their early twenties (or supposed to be that age) then this makes sense. While there’s some pretty mature themes of parental abuse, sexual assault and cohereson, the story itself reads like a teenage reality tv show romp. In fact, this would make a really fun tv series a la Gossip Girl, Laguna Beach or The OC. If you like those tv shows then you will love this book (did I just age myself here with my favourite teen shows?). 

While this was a completely enjoyable romp for me filled with scandal and the highs and lows of fame in today’s world, there is one area that I feel needs to be mentioned. Hazel and her family don’t have a good relationship. I won’t give any spoilers as her history is a major part of the plot of the book and is one of the reasons she has so many secrets, but I have to say that I didn’t love how their relationship was resolved in the end. I can’t wait to talk with other readers about it too because I think people will have strong feelings about this aspect of the plot!

Hazel Fine Sings Along is a drama filled look into the reality tv singing competition world and the truths, secrets and risks we take to find fame, fortune and true love. 

Thank you to Wattpad for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.