Charm City Rocks by Matthew Norman (Fiction)

Writing: 4.5/5 Characters: 5/5 Plot: 4.5/5
Norman’s books always make me happy. I love his characters — each one individually. They all live in imperfect worlds but make things work for them. They each think about what they want and can offer. They all have interesting personalities. I would be happy to spend time with every single character in the book.

Billy Perkins — cardigan wearing piano teacher with a prodigious knowledge of all music and an old time crush on the wild drummer from a briefly successful girl rock band who disappeared from sight nine years ago after a flame out on MTV. Margot Hammer — aforementioned drummer. And a bizarre, wonderful, somehow completely believable love story between them. Featuring a sprinkling of strong male and female characters, self knowledge, and relationships not focused on damage or drama, but on just figuring out what you want and can offer. And lots of music. All set down in Norman’s straightforward prose and great dialog.

I loved every minute of this book. No weak points. No filler. And a lovely ode to nice guys.

Thank you to Ballantine, Dell and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on June 6th, 2023