Beatless – Amber L. Johnson


Mallory Durham has been left behind and it is making her feel less like an adult and more like an afterthought.

Divorce, sickness, educational aspirations being shattered, and her Aunt Sam moving into her home, have made Mal’s life nearly unrecognizable to her.

When Tucker Scott re-enters her life along with his band, will they offer what she needs to once again find her voice and self confidence or will it strip her of it even more?

Told through the dual voices of Mallory as she navigates her new world, and Aunt Sam’s letters to her niece, Beatless tells the story of two women at very different points in their life, fighting the same battles; proving that no matter what age a person is, there are always lessons to be learned.

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**I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review**

I read this book last night in one sitting. I think I even took my kidnle to the bathroom with me and into the kitchen whilst I made a cuppa. I didn’t want to put it down! Having said that… I started it at about 7pm, and finished at 9.30pm (The same evening). It’s not a particularly short book, but it IS compelling. I’ve read a few pieces by Johnson, and every single one has the same effect. I literally put my life on hold until I reach the end!

Being the kind of person that I am, I found myself really identifying with Mallory (Mal). I’ve been lucky mostly not to have ‘friends’ like Lassiter and Brooke to constantly wondering if anything I did, wore, or said was good enough, but I I am a worrier internally. I do, and I think most of us do, look for the approval of others, even if I don’t need it. this is Mal’s major flaw. She wants everyone around her to be happy which allows her to fit in seamlessly, but life doesn’t work that way.

Her parent’s divorce, she’s kept back a year at school due to illness, and she can’t apply to the college of her choice. Already, she’s on the back foot. Enter Aunt Sam.

We are privvy to letters that Sam writes to Mal, but we don’t know if we’re reading them before or with Mal. Each letter tugged at my heartstrings more and more as the story went on.  I thought I had worked out what was happening there, but I didn’t. Well, not completely, but I will tell you… it’s a tearjerker!

Sam is like the mum every girl wants, no matter how much they love and are close with the one they have. She tells Mal to go out and live. There’s very few rules, yet still Mal is hesitant. Then Tucker appears.

It’s been a while since I found myself crushing on a fictional character (Jasper), but there’s something aout Tucker that made me pay that little bit more attention.  He’s portrayed at first as someone who is a bit of a wideboy – thinking with his fists, but as we get to know him along with Mal, it becomes clear that’s not quite the case.

I’m really trying not to give too much away as it would completely ruin the story. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and it’ll make you want to bang heads together, but most of all. It’ll make you want more, which for me, is the sign of a great author!


The Scott house was less than five miles from mine, but it could have been in a completely different world. The neighborhood was older, clearly didn’t have a Homeowners Association, and the houses themselves looked like they were in dire need of repair. His was a brown ranch that had an exposed basement, which I quickly learned was where he had all his musical instruments set up. It was a sweet deal because he’d soundproofed the room with egg crates, the whole back wall was filled with band posters, and there were a few guitars mounted to the studs above his keyboard.
He seated himself in front of it, turning on the power and shuffling the sheet music that had accumulated there. “What’s your vocal register?” 
“I don’t have one anymore, remember?”
“We can change that.” Light notes plinked out from beneath his fingertips and he swiveled in his seat to regard me carefully. “I know you’ve got it in you. You have to believe it too or it won’t work.”
“I don’t want to sing in front of you.” The thought alone was making me want to vomit. What if I was as terrible as I imagined? I’d only been singing along to the radio in my room, but it was breathy and sparse, and honestly, it hurt a little if I went too high. 
His eyes softened and he patted the seat next to him. “Then sing with me.”


1. Incomplete- Switchfoot
2. The Queen and I – Gym Class Heroes
3. Love Somebody – Maroon 5
4. Stay the Night – Zedd
5. Collar Full – Panic! at the Disco
6. Miss Missing You – Fall Out Boy
7. I Lived – OneRepublic
8. Adel/Eurythmics mashup – Rolling in Sweet Dreams
9. Ellie Goulding/ Eminem mashup  – Love the Way You Burn
10. Imagine Dragons/ Coldplay mashup – Radioactive Paradise
11. Lorde/ Katy Perry mashup – Royals vs. Roar
Bonus track: Ke$ha/ Beatles mashup – Tik Tok Together
(mashups can be found on Youtube)
Dream Cast:
About the Author

Amber is a full time mom, full time wife, is employed full time, and writes when she can. She believes in Happily Ever Afters that occur every day – despite the obstacles that real life serves up on a regular basis. Or perhaps they’re sweeter simply because of them. She always has 2 rubber bands on her wrist, a
song in her head, and too much creamer in her coffee cup that reads ‘Cocoa’ – because she’s a rebel. If she’s not at her desk, with her boys, or behind the computer, she’s supporting live music with her arms raised above her head and eyes closed, waiting for the drop.  

Connect with Amber

Twitter: @WhereIsJakeRyan
Facebook author page: Amber L. Johnson Author



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