Scratch Track is on my list of anticipated reads of 2018. Here’s the link if you’d like to see the others on my list:
I absolutely adore Eli’s introspective writing style. I’m partial to rock star romances and all the debauchery that comes with them; however, Scratch Track has none of the drugs in the typical “sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll” theme. There’s rock’n’roll in the form of Escaping Indigo and Rest in Peach (Quinn’s love interest’s band) laying down tracks in an LA studio and, of course, sex in the form of Quinn and Nicky coming together. But drugs are a sensitive subject for Quinn, whose brother died from an overdose the previous year.
Eric’s death and Quinn’s self-imposed guilt for failing Eric is the crux of the story. Scratch Track chronicles Quinn’s journey of “melodramatic self-contemplation” and eventual acceptance that preventing his brother’s death wasn’t his responsibility. This journey is necessary for Quinn to develop a relationship with and form a commitment to Nicky.
In Escaping Indigo (the first book of the series), Quinn comes across as the silent, stoic type. The reader gets a small glimpse of him as a perceptive, emotional being at the end of the book. In Scratch Track, we get better insight into his personality and his internal struggles. It becomes apparent that he hasn’t allowed himself to grieve and tries to absolve himself for his perceived personal failings by denying himself happiness, Nick becomes a casualty of Quinn’s self-flagellation.
Nick has his own complication outside of his hurt stemming from Quinn’s abandonment the previous year. This complication was a complete surprise to me but it didn’t feel out of place to the development of the story and characters. I appreciate the realistic way the author presented Quinn’s apprehension, eventual acceptance of his limitations to and acceptance of this development.
The way the author addresses Quinn sexuality is so refreshing:
“I was pretty sure there wasn’t a label for me, but then, I hadn’t ever really searched for one, either. I liked what I liked. When I liked it, which wasn’t often.”
I love the following quote, one of Quinn’s introspective thoughts during a conversation with Ava.
“And I understood, in a way, seeing your future diverge from what you imagined it would be, or what you wanted. The loss of that, even when you were happy with what you had.”
How poignant? I have a feeling this will stick with me for a while.