Vinyl Review and Radio Cover Reveal

by: Sanzida Begum

Title: Vinyl (Book 1 of the Vinyl Trilogy)  
Author: Sophia Elaine Hanson
Published: November 26, 2015
Rating: 5/5 ☆☆☆☆☆
Summary from Goodreads:

“Legend meets Leviathan in this gritty dystopian fiction by debut author Sophia Elaine Hanson. All citizens within the soaring black walls of Revinia have metal Singers grafted into their skulls at birth. The parasitic machines issue a form of auditory hypnosis called The Music, which keeps their minds malleable and emotions flat. All artistic expression—especially real music—is strictly prohibited.

On the edge of the city, nineteen year old Ronja struggles to support her cousins and disabled mother. A chance meeting leads to her kidnapping by an underground resistance striving to preserve the human spirit. Violently severed from her Singer by the brash young agent Roark, Ronja revels in her newfound freedom until the consequences of her disappearance begin to unfold.

The first in a trilogy, Vinyl is a story of loyalty, passion, trauma, human connection, and the extraordinary power of real music.”

So let me start of by saying thank you so much to Sophia Elaine Hanson for sending me a copy of Vinyl in exchange for my honest review. Expect nothing less than my honest opinion.

Vinyl is the first book in the Vinyl trilogy written by author Sophia Elaine Hanson. It’s a lesser known dystopian novel as it was self-published but it truly is an incredible read. I started and finished this book within the same day because it was a fairly quick read and just really captivating. I’m not a fan of dystopian novels as it seems to be the same concept every time but Vinyl has a pretty unique concept that I really haven’t seen before. You can compare it to The Hunger Games trilogy or the Divergent series, but Vinyl has it's own unique touch to it that sets it apart from most dystopian novels. From the very first page of Vinyl, I was falling in love with this novel and once done, it quickly rose to the top of my list of favorite books.

Sophia Hanson is an incredibly talented writer (she’s also such a sweetheart!). She was able to put together a novel full of struggles, oppression, with this theme of music and just a hint of romance. The details were by far my favorite aspect of this novel. There were so many details without getting to be too much. Her vivid descriptions truly did bring Revinia and the characters to life. I was able to feel the anger, the struggle and all the emotions in between. Some parts of this novel had me at the edge of my seat because I couldn’t handle the anticipation of what’s going to happen next. Okay let me fix that, MOST of this novel had me at the edge of my seat. I was flipping one page after another because I couldn’t get enough of it. Simply said, I was hooked.

Some of the characters, I fell in love with. Other characters infuriated me. The main protagonist, Ronja, is this feisty, badass chick but she’s loyal. She cares so much about her family and even her mother who’s hardly there. When she wakes up after being kidnapped and something else that I cannot tell you, she realizes something is missing and one of her first thought is the safety of her family. I love a good book with a woman in power and this is just a perfect case of that. Roark is completely dreamy. I kind of hated him in the beginning because he was being an ass but then you get to know him and he’s totally book boyfriend worthy.

“I’ve never met a girl who was in love with another girl, but I don’t see why it would be a problem.”
-Ronja, page 146

One of the things I quite loved about this book is that Sophia includes a lesbian couple in the novel and I don’t know but it just seemed really refreshing to have them in there. I read a ton of YA novel and from the few dystopian novels I’ve read, I feel like gay couples are pretty rare. I can’t remember the last book that I’ve read, besides Vinyl of course, that includes a lgbtq+ couple, and even when they do have a gay couple it’s usually two guys, not two girls. I mean yeah Iris and Evie are more like side characters but I just love the fact that they’re in there, and they are literally relationship goals. There’s a part of the book where the couple asks Ronja what she thinks and her response, the quote above, was just perfect. You should love whoever you want and I love the fact that this was basically Ronja’s response.

“Henry had tried to kiss Ronja in the fourth grade. She had broken his nose, and they had been best friends since.

One of my biggest book pet peeves are love triangles. They are so overdone and cliched and I just hate it. I literally groaned when I thought that Sophia was about to include a love triangle between, Ronja, her best friend, Henry, and Roark. I dropped the book on the bed, stuffed my face into the pillow and groaned. But she didn’t do that. There was no love triangle. There was no romantic drama. This book was just really unique. Ronja and Henry relationship was strictly platonic and they are everyone’s best friend goals. There actually wasn’t much romance in this novel. We see bits and pieces of Roark and Ronja’s growing feelings for each others and I think the biggest giveaway of their relationship would be what happened in the ending of the novel.

Overall I truly think this book was just perfect. It wasn’t too short, nor was it too long. It starts of with a slower pace, introducing the characters and the world they resided a bit by bit but the pacing increases so fast and all of a sudden you’re flipping one page after another and there’s no going back. You’ll fall in love, you’ll get frustrated, you’re going to want to tear the book apart (I mean annotating not literally ripping it apart)  and you may even cry. Sophia’s writing is powerful and this book makes you want to be strong, be bolder.

The sequel to Radio will be coming out early next year and let me tell you the cover is beautiful. I mean it has Roark on the cover and he’s pretty dreamy.

Make sure to grab a copy of Vinyl on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, etc.

And in typical anthem fashion, I leave you with...

May your song guide you home.

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