5 Hearts

First Kiss (Heavy Influence #1) by Ann Marie Frohoff

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Synopsis

​About an up and coming teenage rocker on the verge of stardom, when the girl next door becomes something more; they’re forced to face the harsh realities on his road to fame and the expectations of their friends and family. Sacrifices are made as everything changes as they know it.
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​Overview – More Detailed Synopsis 

It is the beginning of summer Jake  has a busy scheduled with his up coming tour for his band Rita’s Revolt. When he is home, he cannot help himself by looking next door at the gorgeous Alyssa. He knows she is young for him. He tries to keep this emotional pull he feels towards her at bay, but when an opportunity arrives, what is stopping him from seeing her more then just the girl next door. 

Alyssa, (a.k.a Aly) is having a kick-back summer. She is about to begin High School as a freshman. While her days consist of deciding whose house her and her friends will lay out by the pool during the day, she can’t help, but take hidden glances at Kyle’s old best friend. She remember Jake, but hasn’t had a real conversation with him in a while. When her friend Nadine, is determined to meet and win over ‘Rocker Jake,” Nadine becomes sadly disappointed; cause Jake only has eyes of Aly. 

As the summer continues Jake and Alyssa struggle with their emotional and physical connection with each other. Despite, parents, siblings, band members, friends, and fans, Jake and Alyssa sacrifice almost everything to be together. In the end will their love over come all the obstacles that everyone puts in their way? Or will they fall apart and never look back? 

Personal Thoughts with Spoilers 

I really wanted to like this book, but I had a difficult time with it. One thing I did like about the book was the fact Alyssa, our female protagonist, was an innocent freshman, who really didn’t act like she knew everything. It thought it was endearing when she asked “what does plead the 5th mean?” I thought that was true to the author for allowing a 14-year-old to still show signs that she needs to grow up. 

The constant unsupervised of parents in Alyssa’s home didn’t make a whole lot of since to me. They were supposedly extremely strict, but we never really heard or saw them until 3/4 of the book. I don’t get that. Jake’s mom, Kate, had a more prominent role because of her assisting with the band. The contention between, Jake and his mom, was bad. I actually felt bad for her. He was being a teenage punk, while she was trying to help him with his future. 

There was so much jealous, back-biting, manipulating, and lying, at one point I couldn’t tell who was a friend and who was a foe. 

There was a conversation between Jake and Aly that I felt was foreshadowing what was to come in their relationship.  
“Sometimes people stay in something, even when they know it’s not gonna end well, and…and some people don’t ever get into anything because they’re waiting on someone else, with the hopes that that someone will eventually come around.’ – Jake

With this sentence I felt it could have related to: the band members, i.e. Mike; Rachel and her involvement with the band; Notting and Kate; etc. There were many people who seemed one way and then did something else. 

I really liked this quote from Jake also, regarding how he felt when he was writing a song.
“All these words filled my head and burned themselves into my brain. All the things, the emotions and feelings we hid from each other for acceptance. That’s what it came down to, acceptance, by our friends, our parents and our peers.” 

Overall the book was decent. I don’t know if I am going to read the rest of the series, because there was SO MUCH whinnying on both Jake and Aly’s ends, but it maybe some of yours cup-of-tea. What I always say is try the first book in a series and then you can determined if you should keep reading it or not.  

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Parental Info

Active participation in: Drug addiction, under age drinking, active sex – nothing graphic. 
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