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Love Songs for Skeptics

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"Voicy, heartfelt, hilarious, propulsive...this book is brilliant." -Christina Lauren, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author For fans of Josie Silver and Emily Henry comes a debut romcom about the life-changing magic of second chances. Zoë Frixos gets the whole love song thing. Truly, she does. As an editor at a major music magazine in London, it's part of her job "Voicy, heartfelt, hilarious, propulsive...this book is brilliant." -Christina Lauren, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author For fans of Josie Silver and Emily Henry comes a debut romcom about the life-changing magic of second chances. Zoë Frixos gets the whole love song thing. Truly, she does. As an editor at a major music magazine in London, it's part of her job description. But love? Let's just say Zoë's been a bit off-beat in that department. After falling hard for her best friend, Simon, at thirteen and missing every chance to tell him how she felt before he left town, Zoë came to one grand conclusion: Love stinks. Twenty years later, Simon is returning to London, newly single and as charming as ever, and Zoë vows to take her second chance. But Zoë's got other problems now: In order to save her magazine from closure, she has to land the biggest interview of her career with a notoriously elusive rock idol. There's just one problem: Nick, the arrogant publicist who seems determined to stop the story and ruin Zoë's life. With her brother's big(ish) fat(ish) Greek wedding on the horizon, Zoë begins to wonder if her first love is the right love. In the wake of a life-changing choice, Zoë must decide if she's right to be skeptical about love, or if it's time to change her tune... This charming and quirky debut has it all: childhood friends, love triangles, enemies-to-lovers, and a My Big Fat Greek Wedding subplot.


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"Voicy, heartfelt, hilarious, propulsive...this book is brilliant." -Christina Lauren, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author For fans of Josie Silver and Emily Henry comes a debut romcom about the life-changing magic of second chances. Zoë Frixos gets the whole love song thing. Truly, she does. As an editor at a major music magazine in London, it's part of her job "Voicy, heartfelt, hilarious, propulsive...this book is brilliant." -Christina Lauren, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author For fans of Josie Silver and Emily Henry comes a debut romcom about the life-changing magic of second chances. Zoë Frixos gets the whole love song thing. Truly, she does. As an editor at a major music magazine in London, it's part of her job description. But love? Let's just say Zoë's been a bit off-beat in that department. After falling hard for her best friend, Simon, at thirteen and missing every chance to tell him how she felt before he left town, Zoë came to one grand conclusion: Love stinks. Twenty years later, Simon is returning to London, newly single and as charming as ever, and Zoë vows to take her second chance. But Zoë's got other problems now: In order to save her magazine from closure, she has to land the biggest interview of her career with a notoriously elusive rock idol. There's just one problem: Nick, the arrogant publicist who seems determined to stop the story and ruin Zoë's life. With her brother's big(ish) fat(ish) Greek wedding on the horizon, Zoë begins to wonder if her first love is the right love. In the wake of a life-changing choice, Zoë must decide if she's right to be skeptical about love, or if it's time to change her tune... This charming and quirky debut has it all: childhood friends, love triangles, enemies-to-lovers, and a My Big Fat Greek Wedding subplot.

30 review for Love Songs for Skeptics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is the perfect warm hearted pick me up read that revolves around the world of music and songs from Christina Pishiris. When Pete, Zoe Frixos's brother asks her for help in selecting the song for the first dance at his upcoming wedding, her choice of Kiss's Love's a Slap in the Face gives your a good idea of where she stands when it comes to romance and love. Now in her thirties, Zoe has the perfect job, she is the editor of Re-Sound, a hip and cool music magazine that has given her the oppo This is the perfect warm hearted pick me up read that revolves around the world of music and songs from Christina Pishiris. When Pete, Zoe Frixos's brother asks her for help in selecting the song for the first dance at his upcoming wedding, her choice of Kiss's Love's a Slap in the Face gives your a good idea of where she stands when it comes to romance and love. Now in her thirties, Zoe has the perfect job, she is the editor of Re-Sound, a hip and cool music magazine that has given her the opportunity to meet and know the stars and celebrities of pop and rock, and singer-songwriters. It may not be the best paying job she could get, but it feeds her heart and soul, and allows her to pay the rent for her London home. When she was 13 years old, she fell for her best friend, Simon Baxter, the boy next door, who spent more time in her family home than with his warring parents who go on to divorce. She never told him how she felt at the time, and soon after he returned to the US with his mother as his parents split. She and Simon have kept in touch through the years with their Zak Scaramouche creation that forms the basis of the postcards they send to each other, bringing back memories of just how close the pair of them used to be. Simon's marriage has fallen apart and he is coming back to London to live and work. Zoe now has the perfect opportunity to get together with him, a chance she never expected to fall into her lap. The chemistry between them is undeniable, they care for each other and slot right back into each others lives with such ease it is as if the two had never been parted. However, when it comes to romance, the two just seem to be not connecting with each other in this realm. There are obstacles in the form of Simon's old university girlfriend, the singer Jess, and a PR man, Nick Jones, wants her to promote his of the moment boy band with its unsavoury Poundland Prince Charming of a lead singer. The music magazine is under threat, and Zoe desperately needs to get an interview with famous reclusive singer, Macie Tyler, her musical idol, to save the magazine and her work team that includes Mike, Lucy, Gavin and Rob. Then there is the big fat Greek wedding preparations with Pete's marriage, the nights out with her sister in law Alice and her friends, teaching them how to dance, hen nights and more. Zoe faces a tough up hill challenge when it comes to romance, only to find life takes her along surprising and unexpected paths. One of the greatest joys of reading this book is how Pishiris weaves music and songs throughout the story, with appropriate song titles for chapter headings, and the focus on the music business, music media and PR channels, and with singers and bands that form part of the narrative. This is a fabulously fun, lighthearted, comic and entertaining read for those in search of escapist reading fare. Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for an ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    3.5 stars! Blurbed by none other than Christina Lauren, Love Songs for Skeptics was so fun! Zoe works as an editor at a music magazine in London. Love hasn’t come easy for her. When her best friend, Simon, returns to London newly single, Zoe goes for it. Just as her magazine might fall apart. This was such a fun and quirky book, just the escape I needed between heavier reads. I LOVED Zoe. I loved Simon! I loved the London setting and the music scene. I can’t forget to mention, there’s even a big fa 3.5 stars! Blurbed by none other than Christina Lauren, Love Songs for Skeptics was so fun! Zoe works as an editor at a music magazine in London. Love hasn’t come easy for her. When her best friend, Simon, returns to London newly single, Zoe goes for it. Just as her magazine might fall apart. This was such a fun and quirky book, just the escape I needed between heavier reads. I LOVED Zoe. I loved Simon! I loved the London setting and the music scene. I can’t forget to mention, there’s even a big fat Greek wedding! Pick this one up when you need a lift! I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    I loved this book! What a stellar debut! The story and writing style had me hooked immediately. Love Songs For Skeptics is such a feel good read. Very entertaining! I loved that each chapter was a song title and the full playlist at the end was such a nice touch. Many of the songs being favorites of mine that I have listened to on repeat on numerous occasions. The characters are well written and likeable. I found myself connecting with many of them, especially Zoë. I just loved her character so m I loved this book! What a stellar debut! The story and writing style had me hooked immediately. Love Songs For Skeptics is such a feel good read. Very entertaining! I loved that each chapter was a song title and the full playlist at the end was such a nice touch. Many of the songs being favorites of mine that I have listened to on repeat on numerous occasions. The characters are well written and likeable. I found myself connecting with many of them, especially Zoë. I just loved her character so much and felt like she's someone I could see myself being friends with. The storyline is fantastic. Zoë Frixos is the editor of a major music magazine. She's head over heels in love with her teenage crush Simon who left town twenty years ago without knowing how Zoë felt about him. But now that he's back in London, single and as gorgeous as ever, Zoë vows to let him know how she feels. And just like in many love stories there's a whole lot of obstacles in the way... If you're a fan of contemporary romance and feel good stories I highly recommend this book. A huge thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for my copy!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Zoë Frixos’ life is in quite a disarray to say the least. Though she has the dream job of a lifetime as an editor for a major music magazine, it’s at risk for closure unless she lands an interview with an elusive and big name music idol - which also means she has to get through her arrogant publicist Nick. Her love life is dismal, though some amazing news about her first love Simon moving back to London has her heart fluttering. I enjoyed this fun read while listening to the amazing playlist wit Zoë Frixos’ life is in quite a disarray to say the least. Though she has the dream job of a lifetime as an editor for a major music magazine, it’s at risk for closure unless she lands an interview with an elusive and big name music idol - which also means she has to get through her arrogant publicist Nick. Her love life is dismal, though some amazing news about her first love Simon moving back to London has her heart fluttering. I enjoyed this fun read while listening to the amazing playlist with music from the 80’s and 90’s that is set for every chapter. It was also fun signing up for Zak Scaramouche fan club as well and you’ll get it when you read the book. I loved the refreshing and joyful writing that I find myself smiling reading this funny, lighthearted and absolutely brilliant romantic read!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amata

    I don't usually read romantic stories, but this novel was recommended to my by a good friend. I decided to give it a try and I don't regret! It is one of the most engaging and entertaining novel I've read. I could not put it down - was wondering what would happen next by the end of every chapter. The narrative is funny and Zoe - the protagonist - so likeable. I even found a few things I could relate to, which made me shed a tear or two. I loved reading this novel from the first word to the last, I don't usually read romantic stories, but this novel was recommended to my by a good friend. I decided to give it a try and I don't regret! It is one of the most engaging and entertaining novel I've read. I could not put it down - was wondering what would happen next by the end of every chapter. The narrative is funny and Zoe - the protagonist - so likeable. I even found a few things I could relate to, which made me shed a tear or two. I loved reading this novel from the first word to the last, and even delayed getting to the last three chapters because I didn't want it to end. After this delicious experience, I might even give the romance genre a try!

  6. 4 out of 5

    mindful.librarian ☀️

    (free review copy) YAY!!! A fresh and unique story in my favorite genre - I didn’t know if it was even possible anymore! Loved the Greek family and culture, loved the music, loved Zoë being over 30. This is a standout to me and I’m so happy I grabbed it off my stack of ARCs yesterday- I finished it in one day. Just one tiny quibble I had with the story I think someone should have caught - there’s a pretty momentous event in the story that it made zero sense for Zoë’s family not to have attended a (free review copy) YAY!!! A fresh and unique story in my favorite genre - I didn’t know if it was even possible anymore! Loved the Greek family and culture, loved the music, loved Zoë being over 30. This is a standout to me and I’m so happy I grabbed it off my stack of ARCs yesterday- I finished it in one day. Just one tiny quibble I had with the story I think someone should have caught - there’s a pretty momentous event in the story that it made zero sense for Zoë’s family not to have attended and been there for her through. A small thing but it wouldn’t leave my mind.

  7. 5 out of 5

    kyookumbur

    You know that moment where you pick up something for the first time in the year, and it kind of sets the tone for the rest of the year? Love Songs For Sceptics was that book for me. The IT* book. It was so good, that I couldn't stop reading. There's just some magic about it. Something so powerful that I had to write about it as soon as I was done. I feel like I'm lying in a bed of air, and love. Books should make you feel that way. They should make you feel good and happy, like this one did for m You know that moment where you pick up something for the first time in the year, and it kind of sets the tone for the rest of the year? Love Songs For Sceptics was that book for me. The IT* book. It was so good, that I couldn't stop reading. There's just some magic about it. Something so powerful that I had to write about it as soon as I was done. I feel like I'm lying in a bed of air, and love. Books should make you feel that way. They should make you feel good and happy, like this one did for me. If the author has more books, I am definitely going to go on a bender and make sure to read them all. The book is very well written (seriously, a lot of books these days are so badly written, that I wonder how they're even on the market!), the characters and their lives are well explained. Basically, it's the book you should start your year with.

  8. 5 out of 5

    TARA

    Yes I love romance and that’s typically the thread pulling me along, but I also find entertainment value, laughs and the presence of good people just as special. I seriously enjoyed this narration. It was fast paced with heaps going on, but it was delivered so well by Nicky Diss. I loved the cast and plot and song titles! I don’t want to spoil anything about the love interest, but I was VERY happy in that department too. No explicit details more chick lit, but I thought they had great chemistry. Yes I love romance and that’s typically the thread pulling me along, but I also find entertainment value, laughs and the presence of good people just as special. I seriously enjoyed this narration. It was fast paced with heaps going on, but it was delivered so well by Nicky Diss. I loved the cast and plot and song titles! I don’t want to spoil anything about the love interest, but I was VERY happy in that department too. No explicit details more chick lit, but I thought they had great chemistry. If you consider reading this, try audio. It wasn’t life changing or anything but it was just a great book that I can’t really fault.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 2.5 stars, rounded down Despite being over 400 pages, which is quite long for a romance or chick-lit, the whole thing remained at the surface level. Simon’s whole OD thing was completely glossed over, Zoe came to terms with Patrick’s death very quickly, etc. The romance was an interesting blend of tropes. It’s a love triangle that involves both the enemies to lovers trope AND the BFF to more trope. I always say in my reviews that I don’t like love triangles, but I actually don’t mind them if they 2.5 stars, rounded down Despite being over 400 pages, which is quite long for a romance or chick-lit, the whole thing remained at the surface level. Simon’s whole OD thing was completely glossed over, Zoe came to terms with Patrick’s death very quickly, etc. The romance was an interesting blend of tropes. It’s a love triangle that involves both the enemies to lovers trope AND the BFF to more trope. I always say in my reviews that I don’t like love triangles, but I actually don’t mind them if they’re done well - and I feel like they’re seldom done well. In this case, the love triangle was unsatisfying because it was very obvious which guy was better. I couldn’t stand Simon, but Nick was only marginally better. His declaration of love felt very forced and unnatural. I really liked the friendship that developed between Zoe and her soon to be sister-in-law. I also liked the bond between Zoe and her brother and the loyalty she felt for her staff at the magazine.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    A quick read, and not a bad one for what I think is a debut. I lean closer to 2.5 than a solid 3 because frankly, as a romance, it’s got a big problem: we need to believe these people are in love, but they spend almost no time together and several of those brief meetings are antagonistic, and It’s closed-door so there’s no heat to help sell it. The author loves her heroine and she’s likeable and drawn well, but the hero and everyone else suffers from an overstuffed cast and an ambitious plot. I A quick read, and not a bad one for what I think is a debut. I lean closer to 2.5 than a solid 3 because frankly, as a romance, it’s got a big problem: we need to believe these people are in love, but they spend almost no time together and several of those brief meetings are antagonistic, and It’s closed-door so there’s no heat to help sell it. The author loves her heroine and she’s likeable and drawn well, but the hero and everyone else suffers from an overstuffed cast and an ambitious plot. I hope this author, should she continue to write romance, scales it down and allows the reader to focus more on the central characters, or perhaps switches to a genre that requires a little less belief in a happily-ever-after.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Charming, comical, and delightfully uplifting! Love Songs for Skeptics is a sweet, heartwarming tale that takes us into the life of the hardworking Zoë Frixos as she juggles her feelings for her newly returned, single best friend who she’s crushed on since she was thirteen, a cocky boy-bander with an overinflated ego, a potential interview with a famous, reclusive musician who could save her career, and a push-and-pull relationship with the arrogant, yet handsome publicist, Nick Jones. The prose i Charming, comical, and delightfully uplifting! Love Songs for Skeptics is a sweet, heartwarming tale that takes us into the life of the hardworking Zoë Frixos as she juggles her feelings for her newly returned, single best friend who she’s crushed on since she was thirteen, a cocky boy-bander with an overinflated ego, a potential interview with a famous, reclusive musician who could save her career, and a push-and-pull relationship with the arrogant, yet handsome publicist, Nick Jones. The prose is sharp and fluid. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are multilayered, amusing and endearing. And the plot is a smart, engaging tale full of life, loss, love, tricky moments, awkward situations, quirky mishaps, delicious chemistry, romantic drama, tension, self-reflection, and a soundtrack of some of the most unforgettable, retro, love songs of all time. (Playlist can be found here: HERE ) Overall, Love Songs for Skeptics is a light, refreshing, entertaining debut by Pishiris that I thoroughly enjoyed and is definitely the perfect choice for fans of contemporary romance novels that have a lot of humour, heart, and hope. Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cece

    Well, this was a bit of a let down. Love Songs for Skeptics initially caught my eye with praise from Sarah Hogle and Beth O’Leary (two authors I discovered last year and absolutely love) and I’m trying to read as many new or debut romances as I can in 2021, but this book’s first person POV didn’t work for me, I failed to connect to the heroine, and the love interests’ one-dimensionality made the central romance flop. When this contemporary romance/women’s fiction debut opens, 34-year-old Zoë Frix Well, this was a bit of a let down. Love Songs for Skeptics initially caught my eye with praise from Sarah Hogle and Beth O’Leary (two authors I discovered last year and absolutely love) and I’m trying to read as many new or debut romances as I can in 2021, but this book’s first person POV didn’t work for me, I failed to connect to the heroine, and the love interests’ one-dimensionality made the central romance flop. When this contemporary romance/women’s fiction debut opens, 34-year-old Zoë Frixos is struggling with hero-worship in both her personal and professional life. As the executive editor of a struggling print music magazine, she’s fixated on saving her publication through an interview with her longtime idol: the reclusive rock star, Marcie. She’s similarly concentrated on beginning a romantic relationship with her childhood best friend, Simon, after decades of unrequited infatuation. Unfortunately, Zoë keeps bungling her opportunities with Simon and Marcie through poor communication: avoiding a discussion of her feelings with the former and forcing her company on the latter. Nick, Marcie’s alluring new publicist, also complicates her plans, by acting as the famous musician’s gatekeeper and the third point in Zoë’s bumbling love triangle. If you’re someone who dislikes first person point of view, I suggest you skip Love Songs for Skeptics. I don’t avoid it as a general rule and many of my favorite contemporary romances use it (The Hating Game, You Deserve Each Other), but first person is remarkably tough to get right and this book reveals many of its built-in limitations. In first person, the narrating protagonist must emotionally engage the reader because the reader will be limited to their perspective for the entire book. If the first person protagonist fails to connect, the point of view can feel claustrophobic, which is what happened for me here. There wasn’t anything “wrong” with Zoë, but she also wasn’t portrayed as interesting or complex either. She was avoidant in relationships, preferring to “ghost” people when she didn’t know what to say to them, which is a perfectly understandable trait in real-life but a narrative dead-end in a genre romance. She was snobbish about music, loved her Greek family and cared deeply for the employees who worked under her, which are all exemplary if frustratingly vanilla qualities. Most problematically, she lacked emotional awareness, both of herself and others. Because in Zoë’s first person narration, while we’re irritatingly aware of the minute changes in her idolization of Marcie/Simon and annoyed attraction to Nick, her point of view never provides any depth or nuance into their characters. It doesn’t help, perhaps, that both heroes are superficially drawn – Simon as the fun-loving, extroverted charmer from Zoë’s teenage fantasies who struggles with commitment and Nick as a brooding, career-minded seducer with secret passions. It isn’t revolutionary stuff and yet Zoë’s perspective still fails to add much-needed insight into Simon or Nick’s real feelings. Without that, the men’s romantic declarations (or lack thereof) come completely out of the blue. The love scenes end up feeling entirely random! They’re also shockingly short-lived, lasting only a few pages, which gives the central romance the sense of being shoehorned in, despite its clear prominence in both the plot and Zoë’s interiority. Unfortunately, I also had a number of other, smaller problems with Love Songs for Skeptics: Like food in Jasmine Guillory’s contemporary romances, alcohol plays an uncomfortable role in this text. In addition to the aging rock goddess Marcie, there’s a second, younger female musician named Jessica. Both women are characterized as alcoholics whose addictions have kept them from sustaining professional success, but Zoë doesn’t extend much empathy to either one of them. When Jessica, her rival for Simon’s affections, vomits publicly in an upscale restaurant from intoxication, she thinks it’s a “there-but-for-the-grace-of-God moment” yet tells Nick that she finds the episode “a little bit funny”. Nick admonishes her, wisely pointing out that “alcoholism is a disease”. Zoë is clearly uncomfortable with his assessment of the situation and draws a comparison to her own libation, but our heroine’s dependence on alcohol is never reframed or addressed. Instead, her daily drinking is catalogued in breathless, painstaking detail throughout the novel, which I found repetitive and slightly unsettling. Then, there’s this: (view spoiler)[the only queer secondary character is fridged. His death is clearly meant to drive character growth for Zoë and Marcie, but it felt gratuitous, regressive and plot-driven. Don’t kill your gays, people. (hide spoiler)] Finally, this book is kissing-only. Again, like first person POV, I don’t have a hard-and-fast rule against closed door or low steam romance. I prefer explicit sex scenes, but I also think that a romance novel’s sexual content should fit its context and Love Songs for Skeptics is definitely a hornier book. Zoë muses, repeatedly, about how keen she is to sleep with both Simon and Nick. At one point, she considers the feasibility of having sex against a soundproofed wall in a private room of a karaoke bar! Which was hot! Then, this novel ends with…kissing? I thought it was a little anti-climatic (pun intended!). This book gets 3 stars from me because I neither loved it nor hated it, which is what I understand that rating to mean. Actually, I wish it had been a bit messier or more flawed. As it is, my tepid reaction mirrors its rather plain, peripheral type of storytelling. I longed for Love Songs for Skeptics to dig into its themes or dive deeper into what was driving its characters. Swimming along on the surface is a serene enough experience, but it gets boring rather quickly.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Milena

    3.5 stars I was very excited to read Love Songs for Skeptics. I love the cover and was intrigued by the blurb. After reading this book, I have mixed feelings about it. There were a lot of things I liked about the story: a snarky heroine, supportive female friendships, and lot's of musical references. But there were also a few things that annoyed me. Specifically, a trope where our heroine is pining for a man who is not interested in her but leading her on, while ignoring a great man who is very m 3.5 stars I was very excited to read Love Songs for Skeptics. I love the cover and was intrigued by the blurb. After reading this book, I have mixed feelings about it. There were a lot of things I liked about the story: a snarky heroine, supportive female friendships, and lot's of musical references. But there were also a few things that annoyed me. Specifically, a trope where our heroine is pining for a man who is not interested in her but leading her on, while ignoring a great man who is very much interested. Another thing that I didn't love is how much of the story was about drinking alcohol. There was so much mentioning of drinking and getting drunk in this book, and I just found it trite and boring. All in all, I enjoyed Love Songs for Skeptics while reading it, but it won't stay with me or go on my favorites list. *ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)

    3.5 stars rounded up full review to follow

  15. 5 out of 5

    Agi

    Zoe is a music journalist and editor for a cool magazine Re - Sound. It may not be the best paying job, but she loves it and it gives her the opportunity to meet new, interesting and creative people. When Zoe was 13 years old, she fell in love with her best friend, Simon Baxter but she never told him what she feels. Now, in her thirties, her job is her life but then Simon comes back from the States, separated from his wife, so maybe now is the time for them? In the meantime, the things at work ar Zoe is a music journalist and editor for a cool magazine Re - Sound. It may not be the best paying job, but she loves it and it gives her the opportunity to meet new, interesting and creative people. When Zoe was 13 years old, she fell in love with her best friend, Simon Baxter but she never told him what she feels. Now, in her thirties, her job is her life but then Simon comes back from the States, separated from his wife, so maybe now is the time for them? In the meantime, the things at work are not running smoothly and the magazine may be closed down. The only salvage is an interview with someone special, and Zoe knows who that can be - her favourite music artist, Marcie Tyler, bit will she manage to get this interview? Namely, Marcie's publicist Nick and Zoe are not the best friends. The characters were developed well enough, although more than often I couldn't understand their actions. The romance aspect was, I don't know, somehow cold and not so heart - warming, I couldn't warm to Simon at all and I really couldn't see what Zoe sees in him - he was arrogant and, in my eyes, he used Zoe and took her for granted. Sure, they have a past and memories but as soon as they were together it all felt so unnatural for me. Actually, now I think about it, Zoe around men felt unnatural, she was also so tense around Nick and well, it spoiled the whole picture, made the reading difficult. Nevertheless, I still think that Zoe was the strongest link in this book. She is an interesting, complex character with fiery personality, who is passionate about her work and music, and I loved how the fate of the magazine was so important to her, and how much she cared about her co - workers. She is friendly and full of heart, so no wonder that she's surrounded by friends, but she also can be stubborn and full of unexpected ideas when she wants something badly. What she doesn't have, is luck with her love life - still holding torch for her childhood friend and not seeing what is around her. It was a great idea to use the song titles for the chapters, they fitted perfectly, and the focus on music business, how it really is being inside it, how the music PR works, showing that it's not only a bed full of roses, was a great idea. And the best parts of the book were for me the scenes about the big fat Greek wedding preparations and everything that regarded to it. Zoe's future sister - in - law Alice was lovely and I really liked how Zoe allowed herself to relax in her company. Altogether, "Love Songs for Sceptics" was a nice debut novel that had it moments but, sadly, it missed the wow - effect for me. I wasn't completely engaged and couldn't warm to the characters as much as I like to. The beginning, when Zoe is asked by her brother to help him choose a song for the first dance at his upcoming wedding and she chooses Kiss's "Love's a Slap in the Face" was absolutely brilliant and I was hoping that the book is going to stay with this humorous, witty tone but unfortunately it didn't happen, it simply went downhill for me. I can't put my finger exactly on what went wrong, and I can see that the story is accumulating raving reviews, so simply try this book and decide for yourself. Copy provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Grayce

    Almost DNF but I forced myself to for the sake of this review. As someone who has worked in this industry before, I thought I would like this book and find it hilarious but I honestly didn’t. I didn’t find Zoe’s mentality relatable at all. Some of her actions were not consistent with her character. Simon seems like a douche - why does she like him and why has she been pining over someone like him? I couldn’t understand his appeal. I also find it hard to believe that she would swear off men for d Almost DNF but I forced myself to for the sake of this review. As someone who has worked in this industry before, I thought I would like this book and find it hilarious but I honestly didn’t. I didn’t find Zoe’s mentality relatable at all. Some of her actions were not consistent with her character. Simon seems like a douche - why does she like him and why has she been pining over someone like him? I couldn’t understand his appeal. I also find it hard to believe that she would swear off men for decades after that one rejection. The last note I have is that these characters seem to really propagate binge drinking - it’s not that cool. Binge drinking culture is not healthy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    This is one the best rom com I read in a long time. It's a brilliant and unputdownable book that made me laugh and root for the characters. It's well written, with a well thought and likeable cast of characters. The plot is engrossing and entertaining and it kept me hooked turning pages as fast as I could. I love the Greek family and the description of the life in a music magazine as much as I loved Zoe, a fleshed out and interesting woman. It's the first book I read by this author and I can't wait This is one the best rom com I read in a long time. It's a brilliant and unputdownable book that made me laugh and root for the characters. It's well written, with a well thought and likeable cast of characters. The plot is engrossing and entertaining and it kept me hooked turning pages as fast as I could. I love the Greek family and the description of the life in a music magazine as much as I loved Zoe, a fleshed out and interesting woman. It's the first book I read by this author and I can't wait to read other books by her. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Randi (randi_reads)

    Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review. Thirty four year old Zoe Frixos is an editor at a failing music magazine. She is banking on an interview with an elusive musician to save the magazine. There is so much going on this story with Zoe's childhood crush (Simon) returning to London, Zoe's brother's wedding, girls' nights, the Marcie Taylor/Jessica Honey feud. It's a lot to take in. I didn't care for the supposed love triangle b Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review. Thirty four year old Zoe Frixos is an editor at a failing music magazine. She is banking on an interview with an elusive musician to save the magazine. There is so much going on this story with Zoe's childhood crush (Simon) returning to London, Zoe's brother's wedding, girls' nights, the Marcie Taylor/Jessica Honey feud. It's a lot to take in. I didn't care for the supposed love triangle between Simon/Zoe/Nick. Simon didn't treat Zoe right and she didn't treat Nick right. The romance, in general, fell a little flat for me. I didn't really feel the chemistry between Zoe and Nick. I wish we could have gotten more than Zoe's point of view. Nick's would have been good. Maybe then I would have believed it more.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Manu ✦★✦

    DNF 53% It's been nearly a month since I began this book and after a lot of consideration, I've decided to leave it. I don't even get why I disliked this book, it has all the things that I love, but my main problem was that I didn't like the characters and the pace of the book was wrong the whole book. To fast in the important parts and to slow on those who weren't. And I didn't get what did the main character see in the blond guy. And why did she have more scenes with him than with the actual lo DNF 53% It's been nearly a month since I began this book and after a lot of consideration, I've decided to leave it. I don't even get why I disliked this book, it has all the things that I love, but my main problem was that I didn't like the characters and the pace of the book was wrong the whole book. To fast in the important parts and to slow on those who weren't. And I didn't get what did the main character see in the blond guy. And why did she have more scenes with him than with the actual love interest? I don't know if the book improves later, but I don't actually wanna know. I expected so much from this book, what a disappointment.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Booksandchinooks (Laurie)

    I liked this one and it was a fun quirky book to end the year with. Zoe writes for a music magazine that is struggling to survive. She pins her hopes on getting a reclusive singer from a decade ago to give her an interview and boost the magazine’s circulation. She has to get the singer’s sexy publicist on her side but he needs her to do something for him in return. Zoe’s life is also turned upside down with the return of a friend from her past that she is secretly in love with. I liked the chara I liked this one and it was a fun quirky book to end the year with. Zoe writes for a music magazine that is struggling to survive. She pins her hopes on getting a reclusive singer from a decade ago to give her an interview and boost the magazine’s circulation. She has to get the singer’s sexy publicist on her side but he needs her to do something for him in return. Zoe’s life is also turned upside down with the return of a friend from her past that she is secretly in love with. I liked the characters and the flow of the story. There were humorous and many heartfelt moments throughout the story. Overall this was a book that I really enjoyed. This is a debut author and I’m looking forward to more from her.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Isabelle

    Love Songs for Skeptics // by Christina Pishiris It seems that this is the night to write reviews for books that gave me mixed feelings. I don't read a lot of romance novels and this one sounded very intriguing with its music theme. I really liked the flow of the story overall. It moved at a good pace all throughout the book and kept me engaged the entire time. Generally, I liked the characters and learning about their history and I'm happy with how they turned out by the end of the story but I d Love Songs for Skeptics // by Christina Pishiris It seems that this is the night to write reviews for books that gave me mixed feelings. I don't read a lot of romance novels and this one sounded very intriguing with its music theme. I really liked the flow of the story overall. It moved at a good pace all throughout the book and kept me engaged the entire time. Generally, I liked the characters and learning about their history and I'm happy with how they turned out by the end of the story but I do have to say that I'm pretty unhappy with the development of one of the main characters. His story went from being a saint to the other spectrum so quickly that it felt really jarring. I felt like I was being jerked around too much. I'm happy with how the ending turned out but it just didn't feel fair to the characters the way his drama was incorporated. I do think that for a debut novel she did really well though and I think I will read more of her in the future. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Smart

    Loved this book, brought back so many memories of living in London, listening to music, going to see bands reading the music press. I normally inhale books but there is so much hidden in this book that it defies rushing, hidden lyrics, hidden in jokes about banks and songs. Pathos, drama, food, drink, drugs and rock and roll. Love in all it's forms. A feel good book thats worth your time reading. Highly recommended. Loved this book, brought back so many memories of living in London, listening to music, going to see bands reading the music press. I normally inhale books but there is so much hidden in this book that it defies rushing, hidden lyrics, hidden in jokes about banks and songs. Pathos, drama, food, drink, drugs and rock and roll. Love in all it's forms. A feel good book thats worth your time reading. Highly recommended.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    An amusing, if predictable rom com debut by a British author "born in London to Greek Cypriot parents" about the highs and lows of hero-worship. The story unfurls in the first-person voice of Zoë Frixos, a 34 year-old editor of a major London popular music magazine. To save the slowly sinking Re:Sound from being cut by the cost-conscious conglomerate that recently acquired it, Zoë has to increase sales—difficult to do in a world more attuned to digital, rather than print, media like her magazine An amusing, if predictable rom com debut by a British author "born in London to Greek Cypriot parents" about the highs and lows of hero-worship. The story unfurls in the first-person voice of Zoë Frixos, a 34 year-old editor of a major London popular music magazine. To save the slowly sinking Re:Sound from being cut by the cost-conscious conglomerate that recently acquired it, Zoë has to increase sales—difficult to do in a world more attuned to digital, rather than print, media like her magazine. Zoë has her eye on fifty-something rock goddess Marcie Tyler, the singer whom she still idolizes, as the feature star who will pull in more readers. But Tyler's notoriously reclusive—and the one controlling access, her new PR agent, just happens to be the "jumped-up posh boy" with whom Zoë traded insults at a recent industry do. Meanwhile, Zoë's best friend from childhood—the same boy whom she's been crushing on since her teen years—returns to London from the U.S., recently divorced and eager to reconnect. Love triangle shenanigans ensue... Romance readers (especially Jane Austen fans) will likely know from the start how Zoë's love life is likely to proceed. To fall in love with such a predictable storyline, then, a reader has to fall for its narrator/narrative voice. That didn't quite happen, at least not for me. Zoë may claim to hate schmaltzy love songs, and everything having to do with her brother's upcoming wedding, but she's pretty romance-obsessed—a gap which suggests a real lack of self-insight, a character trait that proves very annoying. And while Zoë's job title suggests competence, we rarely see said competence on the page, except in narrative asides (ex: "When I was in professional mode, I got shit done"). It takes her the entire novel to get her scoop, after many attempts and failures, and we don't see her working on much else job-wise during the story. These two things combine to make Zoë come across as rather hapless and immature as she makes more and more unwarranted assumptions and judgments about both of the two men mentioned above. I kept wanting to stop the book and say "why don't you ask him this?" or "why did you assume that??" Zoë has many appealing qualities, though: her knowledge and love for 80's music; her undemonstrative but heartfelt love for her family; her concern for the people who work for her; and her long-time friendship with Simon [can I join the Zak Scaramouche Fan Club?]). But she's more passive than active, someone who allows others to take advantage of her without her even realizing it, which tipped the scales against her for me. Her blinders, paired with her first person narrative, means we don't get a real sense of either her childhood friend Simon or PR guy Nick, either. Which makes the romances both end up feeling rather flat (although the kiss in the karaoke bar scene was both fun and hot). And even after Zoë kicks one guy to the curb, she doesn't upbraid him for his cavalier treatment of her; it takes her brother to point out to her that she'd never "held him to account for how he'd treated me." In typical rom com fashion, Zoë does end up experiencing an emotional insight that finally leads her to change her course (and to change the course of her one-time idol, Marcie Tyler). Also in typical rom com fashion, said change leads her to true love, to getting the scoop, and to saving her magazine (although it's a bit hard to believe that a single big story could keep a floundering periodical afloat). Whether you find such an ending pleasurably joyful or overly contrived (or a not quite satisfying mix of both) may depend on how much you buy into the fantasy the rom com as a genre offers. Points off for killing off a queer older mentor so that both heterosexual Zoë and Marcie can learn much needed lessons about acting while there is still time, rather than just mourning over loves lost.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Noemi Proietti

    Zoe Frixos, music journalist, wants two things: finally getting together with Simon, her first love, and getting to interview elusive singer Marcie Tyler for her magazine. Zoe had been in love with Simon since she was thirteen. Now, he’s single and back for good in London so this may be their chance to be together, at last. If only his ex-girlfriend wasn’t so much present in his life… Marcie Taylor is Zoe’s idol, but she’s been away from the music scene for the last ten years and she hasn’t given Zoe Frixos, music journalist, wants two things: finally getting together with Simon, her first love, and getting to interview elusive singer Marcie Tyler for her magazine. Zoe had been in love with Simon since she was thirteen. Now, he’s single and back for good in London so this may be their chance to be together, at last. If only his ex-girlfriend wasn’t so much present in his life… Marcie Taylor is Zoe’s idol, but she’s been away from the music scene for the last ten years and she hasn’t given any interview. An article about her may be her chance to save her magazine, Re-sound, from being closed, even if that means having to spend much of her time with her annoying PR, Nick. To say that I enjoyed this novel it’s saying too little. I loved it and I devoured in one day (luckily it was a Sunday or I would have had to take the day off!). Love Songs for Sceptics is funny, refreshing, and captivating and I really liked the characters. Zoe is a brilliant and well-developed heroine: she is determined, stubborn, witty, and very likable. I admired the strengths she would go to save her magazine and to help the people she loves and she made me laugh a lot. I also liked her colleagues Mike, Lucy, and Gavin, her brother Pete and her future sister-in-law Alice, and the sometime-irritating Nick. Zoe is not the only protagonist of the story. The author’s deep knowledge of music is impressive and I loved how she weaves it through the story making it at the centre of the plot. Love Songs for Sceptics is definitely a must-read for 2019 (the eBook is out next week) and 2020 (paperback is published in April) and I highly recommend it to all music and romance readers out there!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    When Love Songs for Skeptics was endorsed by Christina Lauren, Sarah Hogle and Beth O'Leary, I knew it was a must read for me. It ended up being a quick, easy read that I mostly enjoyed. The music world setting of this book was great. I liked that it was about an editor and a publicist, not the rock star, although there was some rock star action in it. Zoe was a strong, confident woman and when she was exhibiting that attitude, I couldn't love her more. BUT, she was also quite a bit indecisive. When Love Songs for Skeptics was endorsed by Christina Lauren, Sarah Hogle and Beth O'Leary, I knew it was a must read for me. It ended up being a quick, easy read that I mostly enjoyed. The music world setting of this book was great. I liked that it was about an editor and a publicist, not the rock star, although there was some rock star action in it. Zoe was a strong, confident woman and when she was exhibiting that attitude, I couldn't love her more. BUT, she was also quite a bit indecisive. I did love the love story and I felt like it was pretty clear from the beginning who she should be with and I wish that extra love interest would have been wrapped up a little quicker so we could focus on the main couple. Can you tell love triangles aren't my thing? I could have used a few more scenes of the two main characters together to further establish their relationship but the interactions we got were adorable! Some cons for me: There were a lot of story lines in this book. Near the end I almost thought that some wouldn't be resolved because there just wasn't time but it did all wrap up fairly neatly. There are also a lot of characters in the book. I feel like some are introduced and then not mentioned again. Then at times I had to ask myself, "who?" when a person was brought up. It made me not connect to the secondary characters as deeply as I could have. I think some are redundant (like the best friend and soon to be SIL- they both serve the same purpose) and some are a bit disposable (like the random editor from her work that we are introduced to). (view spoiler)[When her mentor, Patrick, dies, it is so sudden and I don't really feel her grief because I never understood her connection to him. (hide spoiler)] Overall, this was a cute read and a good debut novel. It didn't knock me off my feet like I hoped but I would happily read more from the author!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

    Full of humour, loads of music references, two utterly gorgeous guys, and all manner of diva rock stars, this is one hell of a story. There is plenty going on at all times, various sub plots, and for me the biggest storylines are will Zoe get the interview with the reclusive star she idolises that will save the magazine she is the editor of. And will Zoe decide that Simon or Nick is the actual love of her life - they both have their good points! I loved that Zoe was Greek, her brother is getting Full of humour, loads of music references, two utterly gorgeous guys, and all manner of diva rock stars, this is one hell of a story. There is plenty going on at all times, various sub plots, and for me the biggest storylines are will Zoe get the interview with the reclusive star she idolises that will save the magazine she is the editor of. And will Zoe decide that Simon or Nick is the actual love of her life - they both have their good points! I loved that Zoe was Greek, her brother is getting married and there are references all over the place to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I enjoyed Zoe getting to know her sister in-law better, and also the other key women of the wedding party, for a few really fun gatherings. Who knew ukuleles could be so much fun, or easy to play. Zoe and Simon have known each other for ages, they are even both official members of the same fan club. I loved that element to the story, it kept cropping up and making me smile! There is a whole host of emotions experienced as you read this story, and there are few tougher issues touched on, delicately. A really enjoyable and impressive debut novel. Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily,

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Cute/predictable/romantic comedy When Zoe was 13 yrs. old she fell in love with her best friend and next door neighbor, Simon. Though his family moved away, she and Simon always remained friends. Now in their early 30’s and successful in their careers, Simon has divorced his wife, and moved back to London. Maybe after all of this time, they can finally be together? For me this was just okay. I really liked the pop culture references, and song titles in each chapter. There were some cute moments li Cute/predictable/romantic comedy When Zoe was 13 yrs. old she fell in love with her best friend and next door neighbor, Simon. Though his family moved away, she and Simon always remained friends. Now in their early 30’s and successful in their careers, Simon has divorced his wife, and moved back to London. Maybe after all of this time, they can finally be together? For me this was just okay. I really liked the pop culture references, and song titles in each chapter. There were some cute moments like her and Simon sharing ice-cream, the karaoke scene, and Zoe finally getting her interview. However, I wasn’t completed invested in the story and didn’t care for any of the characters. Zoe was fun and witty at times, but mostly she jumped to conclusions and assumed the worst in every situation. I wasn’t a huge fan of the love triangle between Simon and Nick, nor the drama between Jess and Macie. The only character I somewhat liked was Alice, who seemed down-to-earth and a good friend. Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for sending me an ARC!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elysia Walker

    A funny, romantic, page turning book! This story follows Zoe – a music journalist and editor. I loved following Zoe’s job through the book. There’s nothing better than finding out about a world you’ll never see into. It’s capturing and so interesting. The book is jam packed with lots of different happenings that you’re constantly entertained. The love triangle in the book was possibly the most gripping. Will Zoe choose Simon, her life long best friend and secret crush, or Nick, the charming publi A funny, romantic, page turning book! This story follows Zoe – a music journalist and editor. I loved following Zoe’s job through the book. There’s nothing better than finding out about a world you’ll never see into. It’s capturing and so interesting. The book is jam packed with lots of different happenings that you’re constantly entertained. The love triangle in the book was possibly the most gripping. Will Zoe choose Simon, her life long best friend and secret crush, or Nick, the charming publicist of her favourite music artist? With attraction and good points to both of them, it’s an extremely hard decision to make! But that’s the best part, the book keeps you guessing the whole way through. The book as a whole is an easy read with varied size chapters. They’re perfect for those “just one more chapter moments”. My most favourite part of the chapters though were the titles. Cleverly picked song lyrics that linked so well to the chapters. I just loved it!

  29. 4 out of 5

    M

    british women's fiction is my favorite genre, so this should be right up my alley... pros: the writing was pretty good and i will definitely read more from this author. the chemistry between zoe and nick was great... when it happened. cons: however, the plot of this particular book was a huge swing and a miss for me. so much of this book was wrapped up in zoe's feelings/interactions with simon that it didn't really allow for the warm fuzzy glow build up of the guy you're supposed to root for her t british women's fiction is my favorite genre, so this should be right up my alley... pros: the writing was pretty good and i will definitely read more from this author. the chemistry between zoe and nick was great... when it happened. cons: however, the plot of this particular book was a huge swing and a miss for me. so much of this book was wrapped up in zoe's feelings/interactions with simon that it didn't really allow for the warm fuzzy glow build up of the guy you're supposed to root for her to end up with. i hope in her next book the author focuses more on building up the main relationship rather than devoting so much time to the other part of the love triangle we're not really meant to care about - that made for it to be quite boring in the parts that didn't feature her and nick and their banter/relationship growing. found myself skipping/skimming quite a bit because of this, despite the fact that i think this writer is talented with her prose/dialogue

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tori

    Thanks to an ARC from NetGalley, I got to thoroughly enjoy this London based book. I love nothing more than a story that takes place in the UK (especially London). I loved Zoe's Greek family (those food descriptions had me hungry!) and her job as a music journalist. However, I felt her relationship with Nick didn't develop realistically, but I did end up loving him. I read it in one sitting because I didn't want to put it down, so 4 stars! Thanks to an ARC from NetGalley, I got to thoroughly enjoy this London based book. I love nothing more than a story that takes place in the UK (especially London). I loved Zoe's Greek family (those food descriptions had me hungry!) and her job as a music journalist. However, I felt her relationship with Nick didn't develop realistically, but I did end up loving him. I read it in one sitting because I didn't want to put it down, so 4 stars!

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