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Where the Rhythm Takes You

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Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his musi Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running. And that's when Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort. Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them… Inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, Where the Rhythm Takes You is a romantic, mesmerizing novel of first love and second chances.


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Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his musi Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running. And that's when Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort. Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them… Inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, Where the Rhythm Takes You is a romantic, mesmerizing novel of first love and second chances.

30 review for Where the Rhythm Takes You

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lia Carstairs

    I'm having really bad luck lately disliking the mcs and love interests in contemporaries :/ But overall, it was a solid story with a really great message—to do what you want and not what other want/expect of you. Live your own life, not the life of others. Do what make you happy or you might regret it for the rest of your life. "It had my heart, even when my dreams were somewhere else." Since she was a kid, all Reyna has known is life at the family hotel and she plans to continue workin I'm having really bad luck lately disliking the mcs and love interests in contemporaries :/ But overall, it was a solid story with a really great message—to do what you want and not what other want/expect of you. Live your own life, not the life of others. Do what make you happy or you might regret it for the rest of your life. "It had my heart, even when my dreams were somewhere else." Since she was a kid, all Reyna has known is life at the family hotel and she plans to continue working there for the rest of her life after the unfortunate death of her mother. Reyna feels as if there's no other option for her except to run the hotel and tells herself she's okay with it... until one day, the arrival of Aiden, her first love—now a famous singer—changes everything Reyna once thought and believed in. Coming into this, it's clear that an incident occurred between Aiden and Reyna in the past, and the mystery surrounding what happened two years ago had me really curious. Those chapters that were set in the past really gave more info on their relationship and how it grew between the two until it all fell apart. I actually found those chapters much more interesting than the present ones. Reyna annoyed me a lot throughout the novel with the way she acted, especially in the beginning of the book, but overtime I grew to understand her more and the actions she took. However, it still wasn't enough for me to like her unfortunately. Now the romance was... not my favourite. So the glimpses in the past about Reyna and Aiden were nice in showing how their bond developed and all but I feel like it wasn't really enough?? Like in the present chapters, the relationship between Reyna and Aiden was so lackluster and bland. They barely interacted with each other throughout the novel and when they did it was so awkward due to their past. I just really couldn't love, better yet like, the romance between the two since it felt like nothing to me. It felt so lacking and plain. Yeah, they were childhood best friends who fell in love with each other until an incident in which they finally see each other again two years later but I mean?? Where's the angst and tension?? idk everything just felt dull to me. I just can't enjoy the romance when it didn't even feel real at all. I'd honestly say Fish yes, you read that right and Reyna had more chemistry then Reyna and Aiden. At least they actually had noteworthy interactions and some actual spark between the two with the flirty and funny scenes. Aiden was just that one guy who was brooding in the background until all of a sudden everything magically changes and he starts acting nicer to Reyna— umm yeah... I do like how this was set in the Caribbean. Too often do novels take place in North America specifically the US so this was a nice change in scenery. It did take a little while getting used to some of the dialect used in the book, but it was definitely interesting. Overall, this had a pretty nice take on second chances and doing what you feel passionate about. The romance could've been much better in my opinion and the story dragged on a lot, which had me pushing myself to get through it. Props for being a pretty quick read though! Eternally thankful to Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    Felt the rhythm and I was moved! In Sarah Dass’ debut novel Where The Rhytym Takes You we are taken to the beautiful twin island Tobago where seventeen-year-old Reyna is helping her dad manage her family resort Plumeria. Reyna who lost her mother at a young age and the love of her live decides to give up painting and is going through the biggest tabanca she’s ever experience- granted she is just seventeen. The cause of Reyna’s tabanca is Aiden, her first love, who left her and Tobago behind Felt the rhythm and I was moved! In Sarah Dass’ debut novel Where The Rhytym Takes You we are taken to the beautiful twin island Tobago where seventeen-year-old Reyna is helping her dad manage her family resort Plumeria. Reyna who lost her mother at a young age and the love of her live decides to give up painting and is going through the biggest tabanca she’s ever experience- granted she is just seventeen. The cause of Reyna’s tabanca is Aiden, her first love, who left her and Tobago behind to pursue his career in music. Of course, like every tabanca, it hits harder when they show up to the hotel you are working at to spend an extended time with their group of friends. Aiden and Reyna must now either avoid each other for the entire stay, or confront each other. Friends, if you know me, I am not big on YA and Romance but this book truly did it for me. I felt the author did such a phenomenal job of taking me back to my teenage years and me thinking my first love was it and losing them was the end of the world- yea… the dramatics right?! The author writes convincingly about Tobago, love, and being a teenager who is heading into adulthood. The theme of grief, love, mother-daughter relationship and growing up was thoroughly and well explored. I truly enjoyed Reyna and how very likeable and realistically written she was. Granted, if my father owned a hotel, at 17 I wouldn’t be looking to manage it, I would have my friends over every weekend for a villa party… but that’s just me. If you are looking to escape, to visit Tobago, and to revisit how young, silly and in love you were at 17, Where The Rhythm takes you is the perfect book! P.S. The playlist at the end of this book is it!!! Love it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    Reyna is a 17 yr old girl living in Tobago working at her family's resort still grapping with the loss of her mother two years later. She still has feelings for her first boyfriend, Aiden who moved to the US and became a Grammy winning musician. As the front man of DJ Bacchanal he mixes island sounds with EDM that has taken the music scene by storm. So she's shocked when he's back on the island with his band in tow and a new girl at his side who also happens to be her half sister's sister-in-law Reyna is a 17 yr old girl living in Tobago working at her family's resort still grapping with the loss of her mother two years later. She still has feelings for her first boyfriend, Aiden who moved to the US and became a Grammy winning musician. As the front man of DJ Bacchanal he mixes island sounds with EDM that has taken the music scene by storm. So she's shocked when he's back on the island with his band in tow and a new girl at his side who also happens to be her half sister's sister-in-law. Aiden being back brings up a lot of memories she tried her hardest to suppress. Her hopes to avoid them are shattered when her father nominates her as their tour guide for the duration of their stay. Reading this book transported back to my vacation a couple of years ago in Tobago where we did some of the activities the group does in this book like the beachside horseback riding and boat ride the the Nylon Pool. And I loved how she showcased all the beauty the island had to offer not just from the tourist activity side but from the music, food, and history. Reyna does come across older than 17 but it in some ways made me think of my mother who had to act much older than her age at 17 because she was living in Trinidad trying to make a living on her own. Reyna's mother put a lot of pressure on her towards the end of her life to take over the hotel and keep her legacy alive. So Reyna has had to grow up fast and has thrown herself into day to day operations while trying to halt any changes around her. This depiction of grief was very well done. And there were flashbacks inserted throughout the story that added the right amounts of tension. Everyone close to her thinks she should be off hanging with friends pursuing her dream of being an artist but she's scared to move forward so she gives up what she loves. YA doesn't have the best reputation for including parents in stories and I liked that even though she and her father didn't have the best relationship he was a constant in her life and truly championing for her happiness even though she didn't always see it that way. I've never read Persuasion so I can't speak to how similar it is to that story. However if you love angsty summer romances and stunning tropical locales I suggest picking this one up. If you're a Trinbagonian whether on the island or abroad you're going to feel an extra connection to this story. The rhythm of the islands leap off the page giving this second chance romance a unique flair. And lovers of music should check out the Soca playlist at the end which was another fun addition. I received an arc from the author in exchange for an honest review. See original review at https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Wow, more people need to be picking this book up! Where the Rhythm Takes You is a modern retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen (great job of making the plot beats believable for a modern audience!) set in Tobago. It's a touching, joyful romance and coming of age story, one of the best YA romances I've read this year. Reyna is a 17 year old girl living in Tobago, helping out at the hotel that her family owns and operates. She's grieving the recent loss of her mother and kind of stuck in a rut wh Wow, more people need to be picking this book up! Where the Rhythm Takes You is a modern retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen (great job of making the plot beats believable for a modern audience!) set in Tobago. It's a touching, joyful romance and coming of age story, one of the best YA romances I've read this year. Reyna is a 17 year old girl living in Tobago, helping out at the hotel that her family owns and operates. She's grieving the recent loss of her mother and kind of stuck in a rut when her ex-boyfriend (now a musical superstar) comes back into her life. If you know the plot of Persuasion you kind of know how things are going to go, but this was beautifully adapted. Reyna's characterization is fantastic and we really get to see the difference between what's happening in her head and what the people around her see. I even teared up at a couple of points in the book, and I'm rarely that emotional while reading. I just became so invested in her journey and grief! This is also such a celebration of Tobago with its culture, food, and people. It's very immersive and made me want to visit. Absolutely loved this uplifting love story from a new voice in YA fiction! I would absolutely read more from this author. I received a copy of this book for review, all opinions are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kiki

    4.5 🌟 2nd Update, 12 hours later...: I love reading romance to get that giddy headed feeling, the jaw-dropping moments, the shrieks and flustered hand fanning, the thrills that make you roll in the bed with excitement and collapse back on the pillow, the groans when your favourite characters are making all the wrong decisions. Young adult authors are a treasure in their ability to give us lightness, excitement, fun while mixing in heavy sombre topics that anchor narrative and flesh out characters 4.5 🌟 2nd Update, 12 hours later...: I love reading romance to get that giddy headed feeling, the jaw-dropping moments, the shrieks and flustered hand fanning, the thrills that make you roll in the bed with excitement and collapse back on the pillow, the groans when your favourite characters are making all the wrong decisions. Young adult authors are a treasure in their ability to give us lightness, excitement, fun while mixing in heavy sombre topics that anchor narrative and flesh out characters. But what cinched the deal for me was Dass' confidence in her sense of place. If you've read Jane Austen's Persuasion you will find particular pleasures in how Where the Rhythm Takes You riffs on Austen's plot and characters, in what Dass kept, paralleled, flipped and localised in a Tobago locale with the Plumeria hotel that has seen better days on a tropical island. But the Austen knowledge is not at all necessary to connect with this second chance romance between the prickly Reyna still floundering in the wake of her mother's death and the suave but shy Aiden still hurt from their break up two years ago. This is a slow burn but lawks the fire sweeeeeeeeet. From the awkward reunion to horse rides by the sea, wine up as the steel bands play, and drama by the beach bar threaded through with flashbacks of Reyna's past with both Aiden and her mother our couple must figure out the steps they must take towards realising their visions for themselves and their place in the world before they can take those final steps towards each other. Allow Dass' debut to become one of your happy places (wid a little cass cass). Let the rhythm take you. Bookstagram | Twitter | The Book Slut ****** 1st update: Review comes after sleep because I stayed up all night reading this. Reyna is my gyal (to whom some persons still owe an apology!). Was prepared to dislike Aiden but he got to me in the first scene. The poopa is a true blue Austen Father. And Nicholas needs his own book!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    October 07, 2020: alright, alright, the cover has made me even more interested ahhh

  7. 5 out of 5

    Reeka (BoundbyWords)

    I. AM. CRYING. I won't be doing a full review of this book until closer to it's release date but OH MY GOD MY SOUL. I've finally been represented in a book, and to explain these feelings of incredible joy and love to you will be impossible...but I will try. MY SWEET SWEET TNT. This book felt like a love letter from Tobago, addressed directly to this little Trini girl (trapped here in quarantined Canada and missing her island immensely). AND ALL OF THE SOCA!!! Did I mention that I'm crying!? I ca I. AM. CRYING. I won't be doing a full review of this book until closer to it's release date but OH MY GOD MY SOUL. I've finally been represented in a book, and to explain these feelings of incredible joy and love to you will be impossible...but I will try. MY SWEET SWEET TNT. This book felt like a love letter from Tobago, addressed directly to this little Trini girl (trapped here in quarantined Canada and missing her island immensely). AND ALL OF THE SOCA!!! Did I mention that I'm crying!? I cannot WAIT for people to learn more about my beautiful country and it's culture. THANK YOU SARAH! You can't even begin to know how much this book meant to me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hayden (bookish.hayden)

    I really loved this book. I read it in two sittings, and seriously fell in love with every part of it. It felt a little different than other contemporaries, maybe just due to the fact that it was a remixed version of Persuasion. I loved the setting, the characters, and the story itself. Enough to have me tempted to read Jane Austen. CW: illness and death of a parent (prior to beginning of book), grief, kissing. Reyna was a lovely main character, who felt very real and relatable. She was a painter I really loved this book. I read it in two sittings, and seriously fell in love with every part of it. It felt a little different than other contemporaries, maybe just due to the fact that it was a remixed version of Persuasion. I loved the setting, the characters, and the story itself. Enough to have me tempted to read Jane Austen. CW: illness and death of a parent (prior to beginning of book), grief, kissing. Reyna was a lovely main character, who felt very real and relatable. She was a painter, but with the death of her mother, she's moved her focus to her family's hotel. We know from the start that she has a complicated past relationship, and it was interesting to watch as she navigated that. Her character went through a lot of growth and self discovery, and it was so well done. I loved the journey that her character went on, she is easily one of the best contemporary female leads I've read in a while. I think Reyna sometimes read older than 17, but it's definitely worth noting that her mother died, and she was forced to grow and adapt due to that. Aiden was a very well written character. Sometimes love interests get lost in books, but Aiden very much stood on his own apart from Reyna. His character arc is interesting, I liked the flashbacks to the past where we got to get to know him better. I think their relationship was very well written, and it made sense. I loved seeing their past, and their present was so well written and interesting. There was a lot of angst within their relationship, and I loved every second of it. All of the side characters felt so real, they jumped off of the page. The models, the band members, Reyna's family, they all just lived so loudly. Olivia was a character I didn't love, but I understand why she was in this and still found her important. The plot of this book is inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, which I have not read. But essentially, Reyna and Aiden were childhood friends turned lovers, he left the island, she stayed, and he's suddenly back and she's stuck hanging around with him and his new friends. There's a lot of awkwardness and complicated feelings, with Reyna acting like a tour guide, and it's all done so well. Reyna's mom passed away two years prior, and instead of perusing the life of an artist, she's staying and running the hotel her mother ran because that's what her mother wanted. In this book Reyna is forced to change, through multiple series of events, and I think it was so interesting to read. This book is set entirely on the island of Tobago, and my goodness was it ever gorgeous. On the topic of language, I think that the island slang used in this book is really easy to follow. Learning and adapting to any kind of slang or specific dialect within books is simply a part of world building, and is something that readers may need to take time to get used to. Fantasy books have maps of made up worlds, and sometimes made up races. If you can recite all of the orders of the Grisha, you can take some time getting used to the way that people may speak in Tobago. The ending of this book was really nice. Throughout the novel we jump back in time to see Aiden and Reyna's relationship form and build, and it was so well executed. I loved the way this book ended, I think the choices made make a lot of sense. This book made me feel so warm inside. My dad's side of the family is all from Guyana, they immigrated to Canada around the 70's, and have been here ever since. A lot of the food, slang, and music felt very familiar to me and made me nostalgic for my childhood. My grandfather loved to blast soca music at family get togethers, and the playlist in the back was full of familiar music. I think this book was beautiful, and love the way it made me feel. If you enjoyed books like Clap When You Land, Happily Ever Afters, A Very Large Expanse of Sea, The Sun is Also a Stat, I recommend this book. The vibes just match, I can't explain further.

  9. 4 out of 5

    ;3

    me every five minutes while reading this: opens up google earth to look up all the places they go to in tobago so that i feel like i’m ~there~ with them

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)

    Oh I just adored this modern day Persuasion retelling set in Tobago. Everything about this worked for me — the vivid Caribbean setting, the second-chance romance and the adventures. I loved the whole cast of characters and the family story, too!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jay G

    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer... *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review* 17 year old Reyna lost her mother two years ago, and everyone seems to be moving forward. Her best friend Aiden left Tobago to pursue his music career and she hasn't seen him since their messy breakup. Lately, her father has been putting a lot of the responsibility to run the family's resort on Reyna. Th Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer... *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review* 17 year old Reyna lost her mother two years ago, and everyone seems to be moving forward. Her best friend Aiden left Tobago to pursue his music career and she hasn't seen him since their messy breakup. Lately, her father has been putting a lot of the responsibility to run the family's resort on Reyna. That's when Aiden shows up as a VIP guest at the resort with his famous friends and Reyna is tasked with becoming their island tour guide. This was a really enjoyable Jane Austen Persuasion retelling! I'm a fan of second chance romances, and I liked both Reyna and Aiden as characters. The side characters of Aiden's friends were also a joy to get to know! I really liked the chapters set in the past, where we got to see how the relationship between Reyna and Aiden began then ultimately ended. I definitely didn't feel as though these characters were only 17, they read older in my opinion. The way the author describes Tobago in this is so beautiful, it seems absolutely gorgeous, and I so desperately wish to visit one day! I also really enjoyed the exploration of grief in this, I think the way Reyna was dealing with her mother's death was very realistic. There's also a super fun SOCA playlist in the back! Overall, this is a perfect summer read, with really great characters!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Milena

    4.5 stars Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass is one of the best YA romances I've read recently. Second chance romance is my favorite trope, and I loved Reyna's and Aiden's angsty love story. I also loved the friendships, music references, and most of all, the location. It's the first book set in Tobago I've read, I enjoyed learning about the island and the culture. I was so invested in the story, I finished reading the book in one day. If you are looking for a diverse, well-written YA roman 4.5 stars Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass is one of the best YA romances I've read recently. Second chance romance is my favorite trope, and I loved Reyna's and Aiden's angsty love story. I also loved the friendships, music references, and most of all, the location. It's the first book set in Tobago I've read, I enjoyed learning about the island and the culture. I was so invested in the story, I finished reading the book in one day. If you are looking for a diverse, well-written YA romance, I highly recommend Where the Rhythm Takes You! *ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    Yes it's predictable summer readbut I really liked Reyna, romance whole family dynamic and Caribbean vibes. Yes it's predictable summer readbut I really liked Reyna, romance whole family dynamic and Caribbean vibes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    N.G. Peltier

    CW: loss of parent Yayyyy, I'm so glad I got an ARC of this book! I came to the end it and just nodded and smiled when I saw that soca playlist. Great choice in songs as some of my faves were listed! This is my first time reading a book set in our sister isle written by a Trinbagonian. It really gave me a Tobago tabanca cuz I realized I haven't visited in ages!! Must rectify soon. Tobago as a setting just leaped off the pages and made me recall the many times I've gone. It was like a vivid charac CW: loss of parent Yayyyy, I'm so glad I got an ARC of this book! I came to the end it and just nodded and smiled when I saw that soca playlist. Great choice in songs as some of my faves were listed! This is my first time reading a book set in our sister isle written by a Trinbagonian. It really gave me a Tobago tabanca cuz I realized I haven't visited in ages!! Must rectify soon. Tobago as a setting just leaped off the pages and made me recall the many times I've gone. It was like a vivid character in it's own right. Now, while I know nothing about the retelling this book is inspired by, I don't think it made a difference in my reading. The story was intriguing enough without knowing anything about Persuasion. We got a second-chance romance told in a single POV. I will say though, that I do wish we had gotten a double POV. I wanted to get into Aiden's head a bit more but I get why we didn't. Can't reveal everythiiiing. We clearly see/feel Reyna's struggles but on Aiden's side it was a bit up in the air which for me did mean I wanted a lot more from the romance. I feel like the emotions came across as a bit one sided as we were in her head the entire time. I would've loved a bit more tension playing out between them to really drive home that "yeah you left me but I still feel something". And I don't mean sexual tension, I mean emotions portrayed via little looks, actions etc) leading up to them finally expressing their feelings!! We got some glimpses but we could've gotten more. For me it kind of went from zero to 60 with not a lot of build up in between?? Where the book shone for me was the setting and the characters. Especially Reyna's father and the other locals they meet cuz they could've been my friends or family. They felt so relatable to me! Out of Aiden's friends I liked Fish the most, as he's like that trying to hard to be funny/annoying dude and you can't help but shake your head at him that I'm sure most people know one of in their lifetime. Some of Reyna and Aiden's convos...whew I wanted to shake sense into these kids. I was like Reyna girl you can't be vex with the boy for this! But in the end they both realized they were being a bit hard headed as teens can be some times! Overall I enjoyed this. Now I need to sort out when next I can visit Tobago!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Wonderfully sweet and summery retelling

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dayla

    4.5 Stars! I received a copy of the ARC via Literary Bound Tours in exchanged for an honest review. I did a combination of a physical copy and the audiobook and I honestly really recommend doing this. It took me a second to get accustomed to the accent, but I felt like it added a level of authenticity and personality to the story that would otherwise be lost by just reading the book alone. This book held so many layers. You have the layer of our MC grieving over not just the loss of her mother, bu 4.5 Stars! I received a copy of the ARC via Literary Bound Tours in exchanged for an honest review. I did a combination of a physical copy and the audiobook and I honestly really recommend doing this. It took me a second to get accustomed to the accent, but I felt like it added a level of authenticity and personality to the story that would otherwise be lost by just reading the book alone. This book held so many layers. You have the layer of our MC grieving over not just the loss of her mother, but the loss of her first boyfriend a few years before the events of this book. You have the complex relationship between her and her painting, her and her best friend, and her and the hotel her mother left behind. There were moments where I wish I could have been like her big sister and told her to just let go of some of these stresses because there are times where you're reminded of how young she truly is and how much her heart hurts. But beyond the grief, I loved watching her and the love interest slowly fall back into their old routine of loving one another. I loved seeing his moments of jealousy and when he too shows just how young he is. And as we're watching all of this go down, we're also surrounded by this beautiful setting that makes you wish you could go exploring it yourself. I loved the descriptions and I wanted to be right there with them, sitting under waterfalls and running on that sand. I do think I felt frustrated sometimes because I wanted to help the MC realize things a little quicker and with less anger, but that's my only complaint. I just had to keep reminding myself that she's young and she's finding her way. I'd recommend this one for fans of second chance romances, and those who want a tropical setting with endless possibilities. Also, highly recommend the audiobook! Happy reading!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Grace✨

    AMAZING!!! This book left me feeling happy, hopeful, and joyous. I don’t know what drew me to this book (other than the Maika and Maritza Moulite blurb) because I don’t usually reach for contemporary romance— especially with heartache and loss. BUT I am lucky because somehow I knew I had to read this and I am so happy I did. This book make me long to visit Tobago (the descriptions of the island’s sights and food were so vivid!) but I also adored the second chance romance. This book showed growth AMAZING!!! This book left me feeling happy, hopeful, and joyous. I don’t know what drew me to this book (other than the Maika and Maritza Moulite blurb) because I don’t usually reach for contemporary romance— especially with heartache and loss. BUT I am lucky because somehow I knew I had to read this and I am so happy I did. This book make me long to visit Tobago (the descriptions of the island’s sights and food were so vivid!) but I also adored the second chance romance. This book showed growth and overcoming grief, Reyna’s journey was so personal and beautiful. This book made me feel so emotional and I sped through it. I would HIGHLY recommend reading this beautiful story!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kimberley

    Imagine being 17, talented, motherless, and afraid to dream for fear you'll opt to follow it as opposed to staying still and being miserable. That's Reyna. In a nutshell. Although this is a YA Book, these characters were far too "grown up" to be living the lives they were living; and no, I'm not one of those who believe YA characters can't be layered and have maturity some adults have yet to master, but Reyna's burden was a lot to reconcile. Too much, to be honest. For one, she's practically run Imagine being 17, talented, motherless, and afraid to dream for fear you'll opt to follow it as opposed to staying still and being miserable. That's Reyna. In a nutshell. Although this is a YA Book, these characters were far too "grown up" to be living the lives they were living; and no, I'm not one of those who believe YA characters can't be layered and have maturity some adults have yet to master, but Reyna's burden was a lot to reconcile. Too much, to be honest. For one, she's practically running the hotel she works at--despite her father's presence (if you can call it that)--as she appears to be wholly responsible for its daily decisions: vendors, guests, repairs, staff, and the planning of major events all fall to her. As everyone around her, save one person, is living their best life. Did I mention Reyna is 17? Second, her mother's death apparently sealed her to this fate--of what feels like servitude of another name--and no one seems to care that she's still wallowing in a grief so deep she feels guilty even wantingmore for herself. Again ...17. Third, the return of her "long, lost, love" Aiden--whose already won a Grammy at 17 (I ...)--complicates Reyna's life because Aiden managed to do what Reyna wasn't allowed to: follow his dreams and see how the cookie crumbles. Which, for him, meant a Grammy winning song and an affiliation with one of the hottest bands in the world. At 17. I just ...whew. Honestly, this whole story felt like a fairy tale because I spent the better part of my time trying to suspend disbelief at the charmed lives most of these folks were allowed to lead. Reyna's situation, while frustrating, was the only thing that balanced out what was an otherwise "too good to be true" story about a bunch of teenagers with a lot of time and money on their hands. Perhaps their good fortune was a nod to how easy it is to "become famous" these days. Or maybe it was meant to break away from the overly dreary YA--featuring Black characters--that only highlights the negative impact of white society. Or maybe, and this is wholly possible, I'm too jaded to be the audience this book required. Whatever the case, I had a hard time swallowing a lot of this and, as a mother, I was mortified by the majority of the "adults" in this book who didn't seem to care that Reyna was saddled by such a ridiculous request before she even had her drivers license. By the time anyone say's boo about it, and actually makes the move to correct it, I was unimpressed and ready to see the story end. As for the good, the reunion with Aiden--a young man who actually did manage to follow his dreams and succeed--was as tense as you'd imagine. However, as the story progresses, and you learn their history, you can better appreciate why they weren't able to be in each other's lives and what really tore them apart. Also, none of the younger characters were annoying or unlikeable. Further, the emphasis on the culture, music, and food of Trinidad and Tobago was a welcome change from most books--and playlist offered at the end was a nice touch. Overall, this was an entertaining story, however, the realism felt lacking--at least for me--and that made it a bit hard to digest at times. Thanks to Edelweiss+ for the ARC. Opinion is my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Megan Rivera

    It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running. Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort. Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scen It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running. Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort. Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites and he may (or may not be) dating one of them. It’s a great book and thank you to NetGalley your allowing me to read this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    3.5* This second chance childhood best friends-to-lovers romance delivered on all its promises. It was a heartwarming, angst filled summer romance filled with food, drama and music. Sarah Dass describes Tobago with a captivating vibrancy that made me want to hop on a plane and see it for myself asap. Whilst this book didn't utterly blow me away, it was a highly enjoyable read. (I also loved the audiobook narrator and is one I'd 100% recommend listening to!) 3.5* This second chance childhood best friends-to-lovers romance delivered on all its promises. It was a heartwarming, angst filled summer romance filled with food, drama and music. Sarah Dass describes Tobago with a captivating vibrancy that made me want to hop on a plane and see it for myself asap. Whilst this book didn't utterly blow me away, it was a highly enjoyable read. (I also loved the audiobook narrator and is one I'd 100% recommend listening to!)

  21. 5 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), bullying. This is a YA retelling of Persuasion set in Tobago. I was somewhat hesitant going into this because YA retellings of Persuasion often don't work for me purely because of the lack of TIME. There's eight YEARS between Anne breaking things off with Wentworth and seeing him again. That's just not possible in YA books. But this one? This one somehow worked for me. I think in part it's because while they're 17, they both read older than they Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), bullying. This is a YA retelling of Persuasion set in Tobago. I was somewhat hesitant going into this because YA retellings of Persuasion often don't work for me purely because of the lack of TIME. There's eight YEARS between Anne breaking things off with Wentworth and seeing him again. That's just not possible in YA books. But this one? This one somehow worked for me. I think in part it's because while they're 17, they both read older than they are - Reyna works at her family's hotel when she's not at school, and Aiden is part of the music scene's biggest group. So it very much does justice to the original while also being its own thing. The characters were great and I loved the setting. I enjoyed that Dass included a ton of Tobagonian culture and food and music and slang without explaining it to a white audience. Like, work it out from context, people. Or Google it. You don't HAVE to have the author explain every single thing to you. Anyway. It was a solid retelling. It was a solid book in its own right. The examination of grief was well handled and I really appreciated the way Dass discussed the impact of grief on your life even years later. All in all, this was great.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Adri

    It was adorable.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mishma Nixon

    Read my full review here Set around a seaside resort in Tobago, Where the Rhythm Takes You tells the story of a first love and second chances, as Reyna finds her quiet and resigned life thrown into chaos when her now famous and distant ex boyfriend returns to the island with his friends. Everyone around Reyna seems to be moving on – her best friend is going off to college, her father seems to be moving on from her mother’s death, and Aiden definitely looks like he has moved on – but she feels stu Read my full review here Set around a seaside resort in Tobago, Where the Rhythm Takes You tells the story of a first love and second chances, as Reyna finds her quiet and resigned life thrown into chaos when her now famous and distant ex boyfriend returns to the island with his friends. Everyone around Reyna seems to be moving on – her best friend is going off to college, her father seems to be moving on from her mother’s death, and Aiden definitely looks like he has moved on – but she feels stuck, confined to the resort she loves nevertheless and determined to carry on her mother’s legacy. In a tender and achingly beautiful coming of age story, Sarah Dass takes us through Reyna’s realization that moving on might not necessarily be a bad thing, and that a second chance in love can also be a second chance in life. Even though the book is described as a romance, for me this is Reyna’s story. There’s something so heartbreaking about feeling like you’re stuck somewhere, when everyone else around you is moving forward and leaving you behind. Reyna is desperately holding onto the resort as the last tie between her and her mother, sidelining her passion (which is painting) and attempting to forget a love lost. When things start falling apart and she loses control, I wanted to wrap her in a hug, because behind her almost obsessive need to stay in control is so much pain, regret, and grief. I also loved that the book let her be angry and resentful at her forgotten dreams even though it never let her become bitter as a person. As someone who has always been scared of change, I related so much to Reyna, and couldn’t help but cry whenever she did. That doesn’t mean the romance is sidelined however. We are given plenty of flashbacks that stand testament to the first love, and their second chance is delightfully awkward and painfully beautiful. At times Aiden frustrated me – and sometimes I wanted to knock some sense into his thick head – but their story is told with such an emotional maturity that had me in tears. I am a sucker for unrequited love and second chance romances, and this book hit the angst and emotions just right.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Flavia

    4.5 stars It’s not often that a contemporary YA book pulls me in like this, but Where the Rhythm Takes You was so good! You might have noticed that I read and review YA contemporary books very rarely in the last few months. I think I kind of overdid it and need to switch things up for a bit. Something about Where the Rhythm Takes You really called to me though, and I’m so glad that my instincts about it were right! I loved being transported to the Plumeria hotel in Tobago and follow Reyna around o 4.5 stars It’s not often that a contemporary YA book pulls me in like this, but Where the Rhythm Takes You was so good! You might have noticed that I read and review YA contemporary books very rarely in the last few months. I think I kind of overdid it and need to switch things up for a bit. Something about Where the Rhythm Takes You really called to me though, and I’m so glad that my instincts about it were right! I loved being transported to the Plumeria hotel in Tobago and follow Reyna around on the island as the story developed. As someone who has not read Jane Austen’s Persuasion (yes, I know it’s very shameful), I went into Where the Rhythm Takes You without any idea of how the plot would evolve. And I have to say that, not knowing anything about the plot of Persuasion actually worked in my favour because the plot was unpredictable for me, making it even harder to put Where the Rhythm Takes You down. I flew through this book in just a few days, which is quite quick for me considering how busy my work schedule has been. I also wanted to mention that due to said busy schedule, I listened to parts of the book on Scribd. I really liked the narrator as she really helped bring the story to life by giving the characters the proper accents (as far as I’m aware anyway). It definitely made my experience more authentic and immersive. Honestly, I feel like I personally spent those few days of reading in Tobago, and I miss it (or the idea of it, since I’ve never physically been there). I really enjoyed Sarah Dass’ writing because it was immersive even without the accompaniment of the audiobook and it also made the characters feel very real to me (I felt as if I spent time with them and got to know them better and better with every passing day). The events that take place in Where the Rhythm Takes You also felt so credible! And I could go on and on about the chemistry between some of the characters, but I won’t get into that because spoilers. I really enjoyed Where the Rhythm Takes You and definitely recommend it to those who read YA and also those who don’t normally read YA!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    WHERE THE RHYTHM TAKES YOU is a novel inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION that takes place in Tobago, following 17 year old Reyna two years after her ex boyfriend, Aiden, left the island to pursue his music career. Reyna feels like everyone is moving on without her; her mother passed away two years ago, Aiden left, her best friend is getting ready to leave for college, her father is dating again and wants to sell the hotel they run— and Reyna is stuck. Then one day, out of the blue, Aiden is ba WHERE THE RHYTHM TAKES YOU is a novel inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION that takes place in Tobago, following 17 year old Reyna two years after her ex boyfriend, Aiden, left the island to pursue his music career. Reyna feels like everyone is moving on without her; her mother passed away two years ago, Aiden left, her best friend is getting ready to leave for college, her father is dating again and wants to sell the hotel they run— and Reyna is stuck. Then one day, out of the blue, Aiden is back on the island and he’s staying at her families hotel. - I loved the setting of this story, the voice, and I really enjoyed watching Reyna and Aiden’s friend group interact. I would have enjoyed seeing Reyna have more positive interactions with her best friend Olivia, and I personally didn’t enjoy the messiness of Reyna and Aiden having other love interests as they’re reconnecting. It’s young love, it’s going to be messy, but it’s just not something that I enjoy reading. If you enjoy second-chance, childhood friends to lovers, check this one out! - 3.5/5 stars, WHERE THE RHYTHM TAKES YOU by Sarah Dass is available now! - Thank you to HCC Frenzy for sending me an ARC to review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Blodeuedd Finland

    A YA novel inspired by Persuasion, yes please. Reyna spends all her time at her father's hotel. And ever since her mother passed that is all she wants to do. I liked Reyna, but that poor girl needed to live her life and not obsess over a hotel. It has only been like 2-3 years since the breakup, it did feel short. But it is after all only inspired by Persuasion. They really lived for their angst there. Reyna's former bf shows up. He is hot stuff now, famous, cool girlfriend on his arm (or is she?). A YA novel inspired by Persuasion, yes please. Reyna spends all her time at her father's hotel. And ever since her mother passed that is all she wants to do. I liked Reyna, but that poor girl needed to live her life and not obsess over a hotel. It has only been like 2-3 years since the breakup, it did feel short. But it is after all only inspired by Persuasion. They really lived for their angst there. Reyna's former bf shows up. He is hot stuff now, famous, cool girlfriend on his arm (or is she?). They avoid each other, they have to spend time together. Reyna tries to figure out her life, slooowly. And there will be happines, and her finding out what she want, and actually doing that. I enjoyed it. Ok so I am not an expert, but to me the narrator's Caribbean accent sounded good. It really got me feeling this place and the people here

  27. 4 out of 5

    mesrakreads

    Okay, this review will be a mouthful. Strangers to best friends to lovers to strangers to lovers?? Hello, um yes. Also, I loved how the main character actually realized they were being a bad friend/person. Let's normalize this in literature & other forms of media. (Cough Cough Devi from Never Have I Ever) Okay, to be fair I haven't seen S2 yet, maybe she has some character growth. ANYWAY, I liked this book, although I had to go back & check who some of the characters were occasionally. I liked h Okay, this review will be a mouthful. Strangers to best friends to lovers to strangers to lovers?? Hello, um yes. Also, I loved how the main character actually realized they were being a bad friend/person. Let's normalize this in literature & other forms of media. (Cough Cough Devi from Never Have I Ever) Okay, to be fair I haven't seen S2 yet, maybe she has some character growth. ANYWAY, I liked this book, although I had to go back & check who some of the characters were occasionally. I liked how the author incorporated the culture of the island, (the book is set in Tobago BTW) and music. Speaking of music, at the end of the book, there's a playlist full of soca music, and Major Lazer song ft. Ariana Grande was on it, right. I search up Major Lazer to find out that he's not a DJ, HE'S AN ENTIRE GROUP?? Or technically, they're an entire group. Anyways, that was a lot. This book was good, although it felt really long. 3.5 out of 5.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Her whole life, Reyna was being groomed to take over the family resort. The Plumeria Hotel was a constant in her life, and she loved the place with all her heart. But following her mother's death, she began to feel as though it was her only choice for the future, as she believed it was her responsibility to keep the hotel going. Then a person from her past returned and seeing how much his life had changed had Reyna questioning if the Plumeria was really her only option. For my Austen fans out th Her whole life, Reyna was being groomed to take over the family resort. The Plumeria Hotel was a constant in her life, and she loved the place with all her heart. But following her mother's death, she began to feel as though it was her only choice for the future, as she believed it was her responsibility to keep the hotel going. Then a person from her past returned and seeing how much his life had changed had Reyna questioning if the Plumeria was really her only option. For my Austen fans out there, this is supposed to be a nod to Persuasion. As I have said before, I have not read any of Austen's books, but you know what? I still enjoyed this story, and here are some reasons why. BEAUTIFUL ISLAND SETTING This was my first "trip" to Tobago, and Dass fully immersed me in all the wonders of this island. Reyna's father arranged for her to be a tour guide for her ex Aiden and his friends, and therefore, there were many excursions that allowed me to see so much of Tobago. Music and food were intertwined with each place visited, and I felt like I got the full experience at every location. Dass' descriptions were so vivid, that I often found my tummy rumbling and my hips swaying. FIRST LOVE The flashbacks showcasing Aiden and Reyna's past melted my heart. These two went back quite a ways, and it was such a treat seeing their love story unfold. Watching their affection grow and develop, while they went from enemies, to friends, and then lovers was wonderful. I could feel those flutters of first love, and my heart ached when it all fell apart. The reason was one that always drives me batty, but it made sense in this story. SECOND CHANCES I have written entire blog posts about how much I love second chances. Kids, this was not an easy reunion as the ending to Aiden and Reyna's relationship was not a friendly one. But I was hopeful, and I was cheering them on. Every time one of them gave an inch to the other, I got excited, because it added to my hope that they could salvage what they once shared. But this wasn't just about a second shot at romance. This was also a second chance for Reyna to live her own life and pursue her own aspirations. It was an opportunity to tap back into the passion she once had and make her dreams a reality. Overall: I enjoyed watching Reyna and Aiden mend their broken bridges and find their way back to each other. I loved being on the island, and I adored the theme of second chances and new beginnings woven into this delightful story. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    What a beautifully written body of work by debut author Sarah Dass. We follow the stories of Reyna and Aiden. Life leads them on different paths ( one where Aiden leaves Tobago to become a big time musician and Reyna stays behind and is left to grieve an unbearable loss ) but the fates that be bring that back together when Aiden and his posse of friends arrive at Reynas family hotel on vacation ... - This story touches on some deep topics , such as teenage heartbreak , the negative effects of soci What a beautifully written body of work by debut author Sarah Dass. We follow the stories of Reyna and Aiden. Life leads them on different paths ( one where Aiden leaves Tobago to become a big time musician and Reyna stays behind and is left to grieve an unbearable loss ) but the fates that be bring that back together when Aiden and his posse of friends arrive at Reynas family hotel on vacation ... - This story touches on some deep topics , such as teenage heartbreak , the negative effects of social media , loss and change . - This is definitely a #readcaribbean book I would suggest 🇹🇹

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ella

    UMM HELLO PERFECT SUMMER READ!!! I’ve been stuck in my house for months because of Covid and desperately in need to travel and here came the perfect book! A book about friends to lovers wanting a second chance… who wouldn’t want to read it?! Sarah Dass does an amazing job incorporating culture into this book. There wasn’t a single part in those book that I didn’t love. If you need a getaway here it is! Thank you Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC!

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