You know the story: she's an incredibly talented songwriter and singer, mega-famous, taking the entire world by storm, and that same world reduces her to the men she's dated and the subsequent breakups. "She's a serial dater." "Is there anyone she hasn't dated?!" "Love 'em and leave 'em, that's what she does."
THE BREAKUP TOUR by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka is a breath of fresh air, a story that reminds us that IT'S ABOUT HER, not the men! It follows Riley Wynn, songstress, who has just released a highly anticipated album that includes songs about 13 of her exes. Riley is newly divorced after a whirlwind relationship with an asshole actor, and he's publicly taking credit for being the man behind the album's most popular song, "Until You." Unfortunately for Riley, the song is actually about her college boyfriend, Max, who is Riley's one-that-got-away. You see, Max is an incredibly talented pianist, and he and Riley made beautiful music together, until it was time for them to leave for Nashville to pursue Riley's dream--one that Max didn't exactly share. At the last moment, Max backed out, because his own dreams lay in maintaining his family's retirement home, Harcourt Homes.
They didn't speak for ten years.
But, when the ex-husband once again makes Riley's hard work and talent about himself, Riley has had enough. She approaches Max with a "simple" request: she wants to tell the world who the song is actually about. Max initially declines, not wanting the level of fame that Riley has, but through a series of circumstances, Max counteroffers: he wants to come on tour with Riley, play "Until You" on stage with her, and let people draw their own conclusions.
What could go wrong?
This book has everything you want in a cartoon cover romance. You'll laugh. You'll cry. Emily and Austin have this incredible gift for making what seems like a lighthearted story into something with so many layers. The depth of the prose, of the characters' inner thoughts, was a pleasure to read.
This is absolutely a second chance romance, but at points it'll have you wanting to throw it across the room. The miscommunication that the characters go through repeatedly definitely leads you to want to shake them. Why can't you just SEE what's in front of you?!? It's not that deep! Only it is...it is that deep! Riley and Max struggle with forced proximity (tour bus life amirite?) and not only the longing they feel from the song of their love being left unfinished, but also their own insecurities and the mistrust that they have for each other. How could you have been so willing to leave? How did you give up on us so easily then?
THE BREAKUP TOUR was a very, very enjoyable read. Both Emily and Austin's individual talents shine through, and this is another book that proves just how well they work together. Emily's storytelling and Austin's prose always flow so well that it's impossible to tell who wrote what words--they just fit incredibly well. Max and Riley's internal monologues do get a bit lengthy at times, but isn't that the point? We're all over-thinkers, if you think about it. (See what I did there?) Once I reminded myself about that, their "wordiness" made so much more sense, and made both Riley and Max that much more lovable.
If you've ever considered yourself a Swiftie, you need to read this book!
THE BREAKUP TOUR by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka releases on January 23, 2024! You can pre-order a copy here or here ahead of time. (Oh, and I have it on good authority that the first run of this book will have a special exclusive sneak peek of a future work of Emily and Austin's...)
Love and Harcourt Homes' key lime pie,
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher, as well as an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley, and have voluntarily written this review with my honest feedback. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop.org affiliate link above, I will receive a small commission and you'll support local indies! If you purchase a copy using my Amazon affiliate link above, I will receive a small commission which I will use to justify my literary addictions and to spoil my dogs (probably).