ARC Review: Rhythm & Muse by India Hill Brown

*I was sent a copy of Rhythm & Muse in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to HarperCollins and India Hill Brown*


Cinderella meets Cyrano in this pitch-perfect YA rom-com that is a celebration of Black joy, first crushes, and putting your heart on the line for love. Darren Johnson lives in his head. There, he can pine for his crush—total dream girl, Delia Dawson—in peace, away from the unsolicited opinions of his talkative family and showboat friends. When Delia announces a theme song contest for her popular podcast, Dillie D in the Place to Be, Darren’s friends—convinced he’ll never make a move—submit one of his secret side projects for consideration. After the anonymous romantic verse catches Dillie’s ear, she sets out to uncover the mystery singer behind the track. Now Darren must decide: Is he ready to step out of the shadows and take the lead in his own life? 


I was really excited to read Rhythm & Muse because I love books about music. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this one. It was pretty lacklustre from start to finish and I basically only finished it because it was a very quick read.  

I really didn’t like Darren, like at all. He was constantly judging people for their music tastes and would also have the meanest thoughts on people’s performances. This made him a huge hypocrite because the reason he stopped performing was because of the unsolicited opinions and mean comments he got after one performance. Now, I was a vocalist, I studied it at college and did god knows how many performances, trust me when I say people are never harsh about your signing to your face. Well unless you’re terrible, but apparently Darren has the best voice in the world, so it just doesn’t add up. 

He was always weirdly obsessed with Delia. There’s having a crush on someone and then there’s crazy stalker level. Darren was very close to the second one. There was little to no development of their relationship and sorry *spoiler* but there was literally no reason for Delia to want to date him. If someone wants to date you because you won their podcast song competition, they probably don’t actually like you.

I’m assuming the author doesn’t know anything about recording music because they mentioned something about producing or mastering the track in an hour, which is not how it works. Unless they have the quickest producer in the world, but this was a bunch of teens in what I can only imagine is a crappy studio (they are very expensive to hire) so I don’t think that was the case.

It’s such a shame to say that I didn’t get on with Rhythm & Muse. It was one of my most anticipated reads but it fell completely flat. I was hoping to have some good points to talk about, but as soon as I began writing this review, I couldn’t think of any other than it being a fast read.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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