Friday, October 20, 2023

Book Review and Giveaway: What You Do to Me

By Melissa Amster

Journalist Cecilia James is a sucker for a love song. So when she stumbles across a clue to the identity of the muse for one of rock’s greatest, she devotes herself to uncovering the truth, even as her own relationship is falling apart.

While writing an article for Rolling Stone, Cecilia works to reveal the mystery that has intrigued fans and discovers a classic tale of two soulmates separated by fate and circumstance. Rock star Eddie Vee once sang with his soul, dedicating love songs to Sara Friedman, his inspiration and first love. Now, Eddie takes refuge in anonymity, closed off to the past. Sara, too, has distanced herself from their love, moving thousands of miles away to live the life she once railed against. As Eddie and Sara tentatively open up to Cecilia about broken dreams, she struggles to give them a happy ending. In the process, she learns that broken hearts can be healed—even her own.

What You Do To Me is the story of a love song and of the triumph of the heart over the greatest of odds. Even for those who have written off love forever. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

What You Do to Me is the third book I have read by Rochelle B. Weinstein. While I enjoyed her previous two novels, this one is definitely a favorite for me! I will, however, admit that I am not a fan of the song "Hey There, Delilah." It's a huge earworm and it was so overplayed. I like how Rochelle made it into an eighties ballad by changing the title of the song and giving a different meaning behind it. I would love to have heard this reworked version. 

I just loved reading about Cecilia's quest to reunite lovers because of a song and also getting the backstory from the muse's perspective. There are some Jewish elements to this story, which I definitely appreciated. And having visited Surfside a few years ago, it was easy to visualize that area. Sara and Eddie's story made me think of She's Up to No Good by Sara Goodman Confino. So fans of that novel (which also had a dual timeline), will definitely appreciate this one.

The only thing that didn't work for me was not knowing why the pivotal incident happened at the Miami concert. It just seems like it came out of nowhere, for no particular reason. It would have been interesting to learn why situations like that happen in the first place and how to prevent or avoid them. 

Overall, the story was just so amazing and well-told. It was actually haunting in some ways. I also love that it took place during the nineties, as that's my favorite decade for music. And Cecilia's job sounded really cool. I highly recommend it and I know you won't be able to put it down either!

(Trigger warning at the bottom of this post.)

Movie casting suggestions:
Cecilia: Victoria Pedretti
Pete: Dacre Montgomery
Don: Michael Raymond-James
Tori: Lyndsy Fonseca
Eddie (1979): Enrique Arrizon
Sara (1979): Iris Apatow

Thanks to Get Red PR for the book in exchange for an honest review. They have one copy to give away!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

Giveaway ends October 25th at midnight EST.

More by Rochelle B. Weinstein:

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TW: alcoholism, drug abuse, parental alienation 


traveler said...

Diana. A classic from the 50's by Paul Anka. My era.

Toni Laliberte said...

A song I like with a name in it is Melissa by The Allman Brothers. My sister loved them and that song, and when my niece was born, she named her Melissa after the song. 💜

Lisa D said...

My favorite song with a name in the title is Jolene by Dolly Parton. It's such a catchy song and once I've heard it, I just can't stop singing it to myself!

dstoutholcomb said...

I second Jolene

diannekc said...

I have to go with Jolene also.

Rachel217 said...

Sheena Is A Punk Rocker. Yes, I am a huge Ramones fan.

bn100 said...


Robyn said...

This book looks amazing. Heard so many good things about it. Thank you for the giveaway.

Rita Wray said...

Lovely Rita Meter maid.

Susan Roberts said...

Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond

Xia Lee said...

Jolene by Dolly Parton

Jess R said...

"Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's