Review: Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin

February 20, 2014 / 7 Comments / Review, Uncategorized

Another Little Piece of My Heart
Author: Tracey Martin (website | twitter)

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source/Format: eBook provided by publisher on Netgalley
Publication date: December 1, 2013 
My rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

What if your devastating break-up became this summer’s hit single? In this rock-and-roll retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, music can either bring you together or tear you apart.

At her dying mother’s request, Claire dumps Jared, the only boy she’s ever loved. Left with a broken family and a broken heart, Claire is furious when she discovers that her biggest regret became Jared’s big break. While Jared is catapulted into rock-star status, another piece of Claire’s heart crumbles every time his song plays on the radio.

The summer after her senior year, it’s been months since the big break-up, and Claire is just trying to keep her head down and make it through a tense trip to the beach with her family. But when Jared shows up, and old feelings reignite, can Claire and Jared let go of the past? Or will they be stuck singing the same old refrain?


I was totally pulled in by the idea that this was a rock retelling of Persuasion. And in retellings, especially ones where I actually know the original story quite well, I spend a lot of time comparing to the original. I’m really happy to say that it delivers on the retelling without feeling like it needed to rely on the original – you can totally read this as a Persuasion novice, but if you’ve read Austen’s story, you’ll definitely notice and love the similarities. 
For me, a few things really stood out: firstly, Claire and Jared are completely believable as a couple. Martin manages, in only a few chapters, to make you really believe that Claire and Jared should be together. It’s definitely not insta-love, and it makes the rest of the story so much more poignant that they have this foundation that you believe in. 
Secondly, unlike in the original story where pretty much everyone around the MC is a horrible person, Claire’s dad and sister end up being a little more three-dimensional. Claire’s sister, in particular, becomes a surprising source of strength for Claire, and Claire’s dad, while just as snobby and aloof as the character he’s based on, has motive for acting the way he does. 
I also appreciated that this updated version kept true to the fact that Claire and Jared equally to blame for the original break-up. Yes, Claire started the break-up because of her mother, but Jared was so down on himself and the fact that he couldn’t provide the right things or be the right kind of guy to her parents that he really just blew up and ran away. 
If I have a complaint, it’s that Claire is a bit angsty. It can be a bit hard to get into a book when you know that everything could be solved in one honest conversation. It works in Austen, where even having a conversation with a guy is a difficult goal. But in this book, I really felt like it was the characters’ own stubbornness and short-sightedness holding them back…which is, I think, what the author was going for, but it felt a bit too simplistic.

That said, I liked the fact that Claire wasn’t perfect – she’s sarcastic, tough, and unapologetic to a fault. She made mistakes, but she was brave enough to keep trying despite everything changing around her. 

Overall, my reading experience of this was fun, and almost unputdownable. You want Claire and Jared to be together, but at the same time, you want Claire to grow as a person and own up to her dreams. I felt a real tug on the heartstrings at the end of the book, and I think you will, too. 


Photo: phanlop88

Music Speaks: Maybe it’s because I’m in a band myself, but I really felt like Martin nailed that feeling of striking out on your own, working out songs, and just that love of music that drives Claire. This isn’t just a book where the author describes the characters as musical – you really struggle with the characters to get that perfect chord and perfect lyric. 

New Adult (Sorta): This is the type of NA book I like – where the characters are dealing with the fall-out just out of high school, and it’s sexy and sweet, but it’s not all just love scenes. There’s a lot going on with Claire because she’s been forced to defer college, she’s still working through her mother’s death, and she has to figure out, right now, what exactly she’s going to pursue. It really reminded me of the weirdness of the summer before college, watching your friends slowly leave, and realizing how much you need to rely on yourself. 

Words, Words, Words: This one surprised me a lot – not by the emotion or by the way the retelling fit together – though both those things were good. It was the writing that really got me in this one – sometimes the descriptions of the ocean or of Claire’s emotional state were so pitch-perfect that I felt like I was falling into them. 

The Final Word: 

Another Little Piece of My Heart was a really quick, but emotional read for me. It’s a good choice if you’re going through a book slump and need something fun but with some depth – there’s angst, but there’s also kind of the knowledge that things will turn out right, and sometimes, you need that in your life. 

Are you interested in reading ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART? How do you feel about retellings, especially Austen retellings? Are you obsessed with music books like I am? Let me know in the comments!

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7 responses to “Review: Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin

  1. As a Janis Joplin lover from old, I'd probably have a hard time reading this without that song running through my mind, Darn it- now it's going to be running through my mind all night but that is so much more preferable to the theme song from Disney's Sheriff Callie

  2. I'm on the fence about this one. It sounds good, but it's a pet peeve of mine when characters refuse to communicate when it would solve all their problems!

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