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Red Velvet Crush

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Rock music, a broken family, challenging sisters, and the crush of first love—Red Velvet Crush has everything you need in a summer read. For fans of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Eleanor & Park, and This Song Will Save Your Life.

Teddy Lee’s mother ran off when she was in second grade. And ever since, Teddy Lee, the often-overshadowed middle kid, has tried to keep her family together. But her older brother Winston usually keeps himself busy with smoking, drinking, and girls, and who knows what else. Her younger sister Billie is occupied with her shoplifting habit and boys . . . and who knows what else. So when Teddy Lee finally takes the songs she’s always written and forms a band, maybe it’ll bring everyone closer together, maybe it’ll be her time to shine. Unless Billie steals the spotlight—and the boy—just like she always does. Christina Meredith explores the complicated relationship of sisters—both the unconditional love and the unavoidable resentments—in a novel full of music, urgency, the first blushes of love, and the undeniable excitement of hitting the road.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published June 14, 2016

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Christina Meredith

3 books79 followers

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5 stars
10 (12%)
4 stars
15 (18%)
3 stars
21 (25%)
2 stars
27 (33%)
1 star
8 (9%)
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,689 reviews1,267 followers
April 9, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl in a band, but I lost interest.

Teddy Lee was an okay character, but I just didn’t connect with her well. Not sure why this was, but I just didn’t really love her.

The storyline in this was about Teddy Lee’s band going on tour over the summer, and that was pretty much it. I kept waiting for something else to happen that was interesting, and nothing really happened. We did get a bit of rivalry between Teddy and her sister, but even that didn’t really interest me.

6 out of 10
Profile Image for Kris.
508 reviews5 followers
March 31, 2016
This is a great book for readers who loved Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. It is a story about how sisters can hurt each other and what it is like to be the sister who always gives in and what happens when that stops. It is a love story and also a story about heartbreak and second chances. I absolutely loved this and will recommend it to everyone!
Profile Image for Julie.
1,534 reviews
March 25, 2016
This book was about sisters, family and being in a band. There was some romance . I wasn't too sure if Teddy was girl or boy in the beginning. But I loved that it focused on family relations while being in band. I finished it this morning and I enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Louisa.
6,789 reviews31 followers
May 26, 2016
A book about a band and about a family! So amazing to read, and I just loved it!
Profile Image for Amirah Ishak.
29 reviews44 followers
November 9, 2020
Red Velvet Crush is basically about Teddy Lee, an ordinary girl who really loves music form a band with her brother's help, Winston. The story goes on as the band, Red Velvet Crush went to a tour to perform. So basically, that's what the story about.

To be really honest, I don't feel attached to the main character, Teddy Lee. Her character is too plain and I don't feel any development or growth from her. In fact, I'm more interested in her sister, Billie. For some reason, Billie is more mysterious and interesting than Teddy Lee.

The story is too rush. I think the love story between Teddy Lee and Ty is too fast and seems a little bit rushing. I don't feel the excitement with their love story. There is a part at the end of the story where there's a misunderstanding between Teddy Lee and Ty, and Ty suddenly left. This part is supposed to be like the climax of the story or at least makes me wonder and want to know more. Sadly, I don't feel those emotions at all. It fails to wow me. I actually thought that Teddy Lee and Ginger will end up together after Ty left. For some reason, Ginger's character is more interesting than Ty and I can feel the chemistry between Teddy Lee and Ginger.

If you are looking for some light reading, without a heavy dialogue and plot you might want to read this book.

Profile Image for Chocolate.
144 reviews49 followers
November 24, 2017
Sigh. This book was heavy, emotionaly.

The connection Teddy Lee had with music was beautiful. For a person with siblings and spotlights, I understood her pain.

Winston was the perfect crazy brother.

I hated Billie and I don’t understand how TL can forgive her. She was full of herself. It could have been because she grew up without a mother, but idk.

Ty, he was very likable, but when he did what he did, I wanted to punch him repeatedly.

Jay, the crazy happy spirit. I love him.

Ginger, I think he might be my favorite character. I love how his silence speaks miles. How he’s there physically and emotionally without speaking a word. I love how he reacts to the music fully. It’s beautiful.

This book is beautiful.
Profile Image for Danielle Urban.
Author 15 books136 followers
July 26, 2018
Red Velvet Crush by Christina Meredith is a deep story of two sisters. One of them is always being overshadowed by the other one. Teddy Lee just wants her family to be a family again. So, she comes up with an idea and let it roll. But it isn't too long before her sister, Billie once again takes over...and things go down hill from there. I liked Teddy. She seemed likable and wanting what's good for others. Her family is in this broken weird phrase. One that cannot be shaken. Her father loves her and her sister. He raised them when the mother left and still sends stuff to Billie despite what she does. Christina Meredith realistically displayed a dysfunctional family, teenagers, and dreams. I found it all interesting. 

I received this copy from the publisher. This is my voluntary review.
1,954 reviews
June 1, 2017
I think what the problem in this book was is that there just...wasn't anything that happened. The band forms, Teddy hooks up with her insta-love boy, they go on a mini tour, Teddy and the boy get in a fight...sort of? Teddy is jealous of her sister. Boy comes back to her. The end.

On the one hand, I appreciate that the band didn't make it big right away--they didn't make it big at all. They toured some dive bars and then went back to their small town. I just don't know anything about the characters at all, and I don't know why I should care.
6 reviews
August 15, 2022
I just didn't like the whole manic pixie dream girl character.
Profile Image for Nicole.
321 reviews29 followers
May 26, 2016
Teddy Lee Carter is the middle child. Her older brother Winston and younger sister Billie are always getting in trouble. Ever since her mother left her family, it's always been her siblings and her dad. Winston started working at a radio station and has a great idea to form a band. After auditions, Ty, Jay and Ginger Baker join Teddy Lee and Billie to create Red Velvet Crush. After practicing in the garage, Winston's boss is able to secure gigs at small bars and clubs. However, Billie is getting more attention than Teddy Lee. Billie is in the spotlight and Teddy Lee is upset that Billie always gets what she wants. Sadly, because of the tension between Teddy Lee and Billie, things don't end up well with the band.

Although Red Velvet Crush seems like a typical story about a girl in a band, it is not. There is a lot of focus on the family dynamics. A single dad is raising three children after his wife leaves him and the family for good. Barely scraping by, he is able to provide food and shelter by working more than one job.

Winston and Billie are always getting in trouble and Teddy Lee is definitely feeling the middle child syndrome. She wants to be in the spotlight once in awhile but even when she is so close to pursuing her passion, her sister messes up. Billie is selfish and she is definitely annoying. It was hard to read about how Billie takes advantage of Teddy Lee. Billie knows that her sister will give in to whatever she wants and it's frustrating to read about. I seriously wanted to give her a slap or two.

The romance in the book is straight on instalove. It is all lust and no love. Teddy Lee and Ty had no connection in their relationship beyond the physical. Yes, he cared about Teddy Lee wanting to sing her own songs and all but I didn't see any development in the relationship pass the crushing and lusting. They didn't see a connection building into something more.

The plot was all over the place and it was hard to figure out what the main focus of the book is. According to the synopsis, Christina Meredith explores the complicated relationship of sisters and much more than that. I find the writing weak on the sisterly part. All I read is Billie always getting what she wants and Teddy Lee wanting to shine once in awhile. Teddy Lee gets so annoyed to the point where she gives in ALL the time. Even when Teddy Lee gets to front the band, she pretty much gives up. Billie pushes her buttons.

I wish Meredith delved more into the music scene by weaving the sisterly relationship with ins and outs of being in a band. I wanted that feeling I got when I read For the Record. There is lack of character development in the novel. I wanted to see growth between the characters and I didn't see much growth at all. Billie stayed like Billie and did what she wanted to. The guys in the band did their own thing. Winston continued to be Winston. And Teddy Lee didn't live up to my expectation. I wanted her to claim her own ground. I wanted her to say, "I deserve this moment to shine." I wanted her to finally be able to be in limelight. Instead, I got a girl who gives in to what her sister wants. She gives up. I want to see a strong female character who won't let her siblings push her around.

Red Velvet Crush is contemporary novel suited for those who don't mind reading about doing something spontaneous and trying to find out what you want to make of yourself.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews710 followers
February 3, 2016
I kept holding my breathe expecting Something Big to happen. No, not her and The Boy. And no, not them and The Tour... but something about betrayal and trust and thorny familial bonds set side by side with some newly made connections, and in the midst of all that --- possibility of conflict. So yes, Red Velvet Crush was sweet, sexy, with potential for damage... eventually. Because in the mean time, surprisingly, this we all about family.

I'm particularly impressed with the familial connections then complications in this one... and that's both in the family she's born into and the other one she's chosen. It's the bitter/resigned outlook Teddy Lee has when it comes to Billie that's most remarkable in it's honesty because everything about them read so true: the first with her sense of why me and the second with her own ingrained ideas of what was fair (to her.) Or even how Teddy sees Winston... and what adulting could possibly look like. It's with him that a muddled sense of past and present are put together: is he a screw up or not? is he grown up or growing up... or just playing at the first? But then there's a similar feel with regard to her father too; quiet in his presence, made surprisingly louder in his absence. Her emotion while not quite all over the place are complicated. As she loves him, finds comfort in him she also resents him and his (in)action and pigeon holing which sibling has which role. Classic middle child angst I initially thought... except the manner that aspect is told here while nothing new felt authentic.

Surprisingly, that same depth in how her family is tackled felt almost absent with regard to what the band and who the boy would become for/to her. Perhaps that's given the newness if both? So, maybe not so surprising after all. But it is with this new group... that she opens herself to possibility- that she isn't just Winston's little sister or Billie's older one, or even that kid whose mom left. There's a tentative openness to her with them in the picture. And it's also with them that the sweet-sexy-potentually damaging comes in. So yes we do get what the cover and the blurb hint at... except I liked this aspect less than I did when it was about her and her thoughts in Billie and Winston and her father mainly because her with them felt true and possible.

Thank you, E!
3 stars.
Profile Image for Brianna.
78 reviews18 followers
February 8, 2017
I was really looking forward to this book. I love books involving music and bands that potentially make it big. I also am always curious to read books that involve relationships between sisters that may not be ideal relationships. Since this book had both of those factors I figured 'why wouldn't I like it?'. Things just didn't really click or come together the way they could have. It was almost there, but didn't quite get it.

One of the biggest issues I had with this book was what the expectation was from the synopsis and what really happened with Teddy Lee and Billie. It states that the author "explores the complicated relationship of sisters" and while there is that complicated relationship, I wouldn't say that it was explored. They never really feel like sisters to me. Their relationship is so one note and there's not really any change to it, I just didn't believe it. I have older twin sisters and their relationship is what I view to be a complicated sister relationship. Maybe I just have high expectations in this subject...

Overall, I enjoyed the book but I was not really impressed by it. I'm not sure if I'll read another by this author, but I'm not necessarily against it. I just really wish there was a more dynamic relationship between the sisters and I really wish that Teddy Lee was able to really find herself and to grow as a person. Things were left so open and unresolved. Sadly, not a highlight of the year for me.

full review on my blog
Profile Image for Megan .
261 reviews
September 13, 2016
2.5 stars

Teddy Lee Carter is the middle child. The responsible child. Since her mother left them, Teddy has been the one in charge of getting her drunk younger sister, Billie, home after parties and keeping tabs on her wild older brother, Winston. Teddy's passion is music and one summer she finally gets what she's always wanted: a band (Red Velvet Crush) and a means to share her music with the world. Like everything else in Teddy's life however, Billie will not be content until she has what Teddy has. Including Teddy's new boyfriend, the band's drummer, Ty.

The author's writing style was clean and engaging. I would have enjoyed a more in depth look at each of the characters, but most the author's time was spent writing about sex: how Teddy wanted it and Billie and Winston were having too much of it. I found the relationship between Teddy and Billie very interesting and would have liked to read more about that. Christina Meredith nailed the sibling rivalry between Billie and Teddy. I did enjoy the ending.

I would recommend this book for older teens who enjoy realistic fiction.
349 reviews172 followers
June 22, 2016
Red Velvet Crush was a book that could not hold my interest, not even when I reached the 40% mark, and that's when I gave up on it. While the idea of the book is definitely intriguing, I didn't find it executed very well. It took me a while to even find out if Teddy Lee was a boy or a girl. I could read traces of romanticising of drugs and that's a hard limit for me. The love interest Ty was as generic as they come--mysterious, sexy, smelling good. Nothing was happening, which made the book monotonous and killed all my interest. Basically, the entire experience was taxing :(

I was provided a free eARC of this book by Greenwillow Books through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review. This did not in any way, however, influence the content of this review.
Profile Image for Angie.
121 reviews
October 7, 2020
This was an okay book. Nothing really happens. Literally. The way it’s written, it grabs your attention and you think something amazing is going to happen and then it doesn’t. The whole drama between the main character and her sister was super annoying. It just had nothing to do with the context of the story.
Profile Image for Jessica (Goldenfurpro).
881 reviews251 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
June 26, 2020
This was a DNF book for me. I gave up on this book mainly because nothing was happening and I was halfway through the book. There should be a story by that point and really did not seem to be going anywhere. So, I set the book aside.
Profile Image for Robert.
54 reviews
July 8, 2016
Basically a teen romance with vague music overtones. Blech.
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews

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