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Friday, September 25, 2009

Reading Rule: Don't Judge A Book by Its Cover

The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed
By Alex Austin
Mainstream Fiction
ISBN 978-1-60264-450-2
Publisher: Virtual Boookworm
Reviewer: Allison Vaughn
Review first published on
Reviewer's Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by Allison Vaughn

The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed is, by far, one of the best books
I have read recently.

On the surface, The Red Album of Asbury Park
doesn’t appear to be anything exciting – I wasn’t a fan of the
cover (although “Never judge a book by the cover” rings very true here)
and the synopsis did not pull me in. The cover just does not do this
magical and engaging story justice. I gave it a try, though, and – wow.
I am speechless. It’s going to be hard writing a review – because how
do you explain something so wonderful?

Sam has just returned from his stint in the military and on the way to
his mother’s new home, he meets a free (although heavily damaged) soul
named Jillian. Instantly drawn to her, and their mutual respect for
music -he finds himself torn between two women, one representing the
past and one who represents everything that could be. Meanwhile- Sam
wants nothing more than to make it big in the music industry, although
the town is small and the stakes are high. Sam is full of soul and
passion, qualities that are very admirable in a character. Sam is a
likable and truly realistic character that will you cheering for him
from start to finish.

Austin does a wonderful, amazing, absolutely phenomenal job at painting
a picture. Words are carefully chosen and sentences carefully
structured but flow easily as if writing is the most natural thing in
the world. Because I was born in the 80’s, I was not fortunate enough
to belong to the lifestyle of bell bottoms, hippies, and musicians
following the Beatles. After reading Austin’s novel, I feel like I
truly lived there. Like maybe – just maybe – I can now picture what
life was like back in the 60s. With real life situations (JFK’s &
Martin Luther King’s assassinations) mentioned in the time line of the
plot, the book felt real to me. It gave me that sense of wonder, as if
the book may possibly be based on true events. (I admit it, I looked up
the band name “Pan” without much luck.)

While I read The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed, I kept thinking what
a fabulous movie this would make and am hoping that someday Alex Austin receives such recognition that this would become an easy possibility.
For anyone who loves music and would love to read something new, I
definitely recommend The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed. Place it on
your “To-Read” list as it’s a worthy read.

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