Saturday, July 12, 2014

An ABC Review of MORE THAN MUSIC & RRR Interview with Elizabeth Briggs

I recently purchased and read the e-book for MORE THAN MUSIC by Elizabeth Briggs. I really liked it and thought it'd be fun to do another ABC review and RRR interview. (If you missed my first ABC/RRR post, it's here.) So here we go!

Here's the book blurb for MORE THAN MUSIC:

Music major Maddie Taylor just finished her junior year of college and has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, yet every night she practices guitar and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.
Once on the show, Maddie discovers there's more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation - and that he's just as big a geek as she is. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single they're forced to keep their relationship secret.
As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

MORE THAN MUSIC is now available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

The cover is great, and I loved the cool guitar graphics inside the book. This was super-fun to read--I probably finished it in only a couple sittings. I really loved all the references to super heroes, movies, and real-life bands. Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorite books/movies, so I especially got a kick out of the Jurassic Park/John Williams reference. 

This was actually the first New Adult book I'd ever read, and I think it was a good one for a first-time NA reader. If you like romance, music, reality shows, or super heroes (or villains!), I really think you'll enjoy this book.



The story moves quickly, which I liked. There's some drama involved with the reality show that I didn't expect, and there's lots of sexual tension that keeps the reader interested. It was easy to get sucked into the story and Elizabeth's writing. Elizabeth's knowledge of and love for music really showed during the performance scenes.


MORE THAN MUSIC mostly takes place on the set of The Sound--a reality TV show. It's easy to picture the setting as you read, especially if you've watched American Idol or The Voice. A good portion of the story takes place behind the scenes of the show, and I thought it was interesting to see what reality show contestants do when they're not in front of the camera.


The four main characters--the members of the band--are Maddie, Hector, Jared, and Kyle. Maddie is a sweet, very relatable character. She starts off a bit insecure, not feeling like she fits in, but she soon gains confidence on (and off) stage. Hector is the curly-haired drummer, who probably gives Maddie the hardest time when she first joins the band. Jared and Kyle are brothers. Kyle, the younger brother, is the keyboardist and Maddie's friend at the beginning of the book. Jared is the swoon-worthy singer with a reputation for sleeping around.

I liked all the characters, and I found it easy to imagine what they were like. Even if I hadn't heard beforehand that Elizabeth pictured Jared Leto as Jared, I still probably would have imagined him as the singer!

And now a little bit about Elizabeth Briggs:

Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.

Some MORE THAN MUSIC questions:

I heard you pictured Jared Leto as Jared Cross while writing MORE THAN MUSIC. Did you cast any of the other characters with celebrities?

Yep, I picture Jared Cross as a younger Jared Leto, back when he had short hair. I imagine Hector looks like the drummer for Incubus, Jose Pasillas, while Kyle looks like The Neighbourhood's singer, Jesse Rutherford. 

If Villain Complex could tour with any real-life band(s), who would they choose?

It would probably be cheating to say Thirty Seconds To Mars, so I’ll go with Linkin Park or Muse – they both put on amazing shows and would probably have a lot of the same fans as Villain Complex.

If Maddie, Jared, Kyle, and Hector were villains, who would they be?

This will actually come up in one of the novellas, MORE THAN COMICS, when they go to Comic-Con! Jared and Maddie would be the Joker and Harley Quinn, of course. Though I could see them as Magneto and Mystique if we went for X-men villains instead. Jared would also make a pretty hot Loki. But if we stick with a Batman theme (with Maddie’s friends Carla and Julie as Catwoman and Poison Ivy), Hector would be Bane and Kyle would be the Riddler. 


What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading FORTUNE’S RISK by Jamie Grey, which is a novella set after her New Adult sci-fi THE STAR THIEF. I love this series!

Do you bring a book with you every place you go, or do you mainly read in one place?

I mainly read in bed or on my couch, with one of my dogs curled up at my side. I will bring a book (or my kindle) with me if I know I’ll be sitting around somewhere.

What is your favorite book to recommend to other people?

A lot of people ask me for other New Adult books that are light and geeky like mine, so I always point them to MAKE IT COUNT by Megan Erickson. It’s tons of fun and has a nerdy-cute guy in it, too.


What time of day do you prefer to write?

I prefer to write in the afternoon and early evening. I tend to do most of the business side of writing in the morning – answering emails, writing blog posts, and so forth – but as soon as that’s done I can start writing.

Do you need to eat or drink something while writing?

I write fastest when I chug Coke, but this isn’t particularly good for me, so I’m trying to break this habit.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so, do you listen to different types of music while drafting and revising?

I listen to music both when drafting and revising, but the type of music depends on the book. For MORE THAN MUSIC I listened to all the songs the band plays throughout the book on repeat to try to capture the feel of them. But for my YA novels I listened to movie scores, such as Inception and Tron Legacy. This partly inspired Maddie’s love of movie scores!


When you’re not writing (or thinking about writing), what do you do to unwind?

I watch TV shows on Netflix for hours until it asks me “are you still watching?” Right now I’m rewatching Scrubs.

What’s your not-so-guilty pleasure?

I read a lot of sexy romance novels and drink a lot of wine. I don’t feel particularly guilty about either of those though!

Do you have any other creative outlets besides writing?

I also play the guitar, though I don’t have time to practice as much as I’d like. I learned how to play all the songs that Maddie plays in MORE THAN MUSIC though!

If you'd like a taste of the songs referenced in the book, here's the playlist for MORE THAN MUSIC:  

Thanks so much Elizabeth for doing the interview!


  1. Thank you both for this GREAT interview. I've seen Liz's book everything and have added it to my Goodreads list; I can't wait to read it! I'm a huge music fan so of course any book that features musicians (and showcases the author's love of music) is definitely going on my to-read pile. Plus, I haven't read any New Adult so this is a good excuse :)