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(The Arts #1)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  38 reviews
As a Korean adoptee, Louise Tanner has always felt like an outsider looking in. And the possibility of forming a romantic attachment is so laughable, she practically resigns herself to being single for the rest of her college days. She knows she needs to get over her fears, but she has to do it in a controlled fashion and under her own terms.

This means Gavin is most
Published March 8th 2016 by Entertwine
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Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  78 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Lily Kay
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well, it is my baby, so I do love it. And I am biased :)
Linda Cotter
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that grabs you within the first chapter, holds you, and doesn't let you go?
That's this book.
For a new author and first release, this story amazed me. The characters are lovable and fun, the story is beautiful and somewhat tragic.
Louise (Louie) is just trying to heal. Having had a rough childhood because of bullying, being adopted, and not knowing her roots, she just wants to be normal and have a normal life. She's struggling to get there, but she's doing what she can.
Melissa Reader
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lou was a poor tormented girl in middle and highschool. It became so bad that Lou thought she needed to try and take care of it
Gavin is a young gentleman who saw Louise and knew she was different. he's a big hot shot in the music business and in his personal life as well.
I am grateful to have had the chance to read this book. I felt it kind of hard to read at times because it brought up my own experiences and made it difficult to be OK. I wish I had friends like Lou.
anyway I think it was a
Nov 16, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
FREE on Amazon today (11/16/2018)!

As a Korean adoptee, Louise Tanner has always felt like an outsider looking in. And the possibility of forming a romantic attachment is so laughable, she practically resigns herself to being single for the rest of her college days. She knows she needs to get over her fears, but she has to do it in a controlled fashion and under her own terms.

This means Gavin is most definitely not an option. Not the hunky graduate student that everyone idolizes.

Krystina Schuler
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to be able to read an Advance Copy of this book right before it was released. I can't wait to buy a paperback when it is available for my bookshelf and to re-read it all over again, because it's that good.

While Louie has her own unique problems, she is remarkably identifiable. She struggles with finding her place in the world, defining her identity, and overcoming a difficult past. While we may not share her specific history, I think it is easy to find pieces of ourselves in
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow, fabulous debut! This was a story unlike others I've read. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down! Lily Kay doesn't shy away from tackling sensitive issues, namely cultural identity and the after effects of bullying. This story has a closet full of believable characters that you'll laugh with, cry with, while hoping and praying that Louise and Gavin can navigate the obstacles in their path, find their way back to one another and never let go. A must read!
Kelly Bowen
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A unique and uplifting tale of acceptance and finding the courage to love. Don't miss it!

If you're looking for something off the beaten path, this story has it all. A unique setting with diverse characters who struggle with their own past demons - but with acceptance and help, find the courage to risk their hearts for what matters most.

Heroes & Heartbreakers
This review originally appeared on Heroes and Heartbreakers:

Editor's Note: Lily Kay is the pen name for our blogger Tanya LK.

Compose by Lily Kay is the first in a new series. This story is a touching view into living a life filled with doubts. It’s a close look at what living with anxiety and recovering from an eating disorder is like —real topics that are very much prevalent on college campuses. Our heroine, Louise aka Louie Tanner, seems like she has everything, a loving family, great
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This is a great read! I became engaged with the characters in the first few pages and couldn’t put the book down. The romance between Louise and Gavin starts as a crush then grows slowly as the couple navigates the land mines of young love. Lily Kay’s conversational writing style draws the reader into the camaraderie of a group of close friends who support, coach and nurture one another. As the budding romance between Louise and Gavin progresses, the dynamic of supportive and protective friends
Suzanne Dahlberg
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’m truly impressed with Lily Kay's talent! The college vernacular Kay employs perfectly parallels Louie’s sometimes vague, sometimes brutally graphic analysis of what’s happening around and inside her. I confess the ear-training, sight-singing and theory passages vividly brought back the anxiety and incompetence I felt 35 years ago when pursuing my own music major. I so appreciate Kay's ability to delve into the deep recesses of what body image, social acceptance or non-acceptance, and striving ...more
Jill Bridgeman
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There's nothing more painful that going through life being bullied and picked on about your hair color, skin color, how short/tall you are, how skinny/fat you are. All of which can cause a person to internalize the bullying and make life even worse. And having one specific person continue to torment you day in and day out can make going through life even worse than thought possible. Louise is a girl who suffered more than her share of the bullying. But she stuck it out in life and made small ...more
Rita Carver
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Debut novel by Lily Kay is a real page turner. Dealing with mixed racial adoption, Korean child in a White family and White town, Louise struggles with feelings of alienation, not belonging and not included, and experiences bullying throughout her school years until she enters college. To add to the pain of not being accepted, she experiences the trauma of anorexia. The book explores the meaning of all this and follows Louise through a year of college where she triumphs over inner demons, ...more
Sandra P
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a beautiful story about a Korean adoptee that struggles with self-esteem issues, all while finding love in college. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, even though it was a little young for me (I'm over 40). It was refreshing to read about a character's struggles, all while trying to be brave enough to get what she wants out of life. I wish I could've read Gavin's thoughts throughout; I would've like to have known what he was thinking through all of her 'freak outs'. A great first book by a ...more
Mariana Lee
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a fantastic emotional story, beautifully written with brilliant characters and a interesting plot. It's gripping, real and will totally captivate you. Louie is an incredible girl, she has been through so much heartache and pain in her life but she is trying so hard to overcome it all. Gavin is good looking, very talented and also has his own demons to deal with. Together this two embark on an incredible journey that will eventually help them heal. I can honestly say that this story will not ...more
Amanda Cook
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a big reader of romance, but I have to say that this one really grabbed me. I felt the story was real, especially all the struggles Louise faces and how she deals with them as a young woman trying to get through college and manage her feelings about love. The buildup of her relationship with Gavin was exciting to read, and I couldn't help but cheer them both on while simultaneously being frustrated at times. But, hey, they're college kids. :) This was a wonderful debut, and I look ...more
Sherry Haynes
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Received a copy in exchange for honest review:

While the topic of this book is about a Korean Adoptee with self-esteem issues but the reader can place any ethnicity in this and just look at as an adopted child with self-esteem issues. The story was written to where it wasn't about her ethnicity but her issues and what she goes through to overcome them and who is there for her to get through the ups and downs. One of those who stand by her is someone who could be more than a friend if she would
M. Maria
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Emotional love story with a fabulous cast of characters. I really connected with Lou- a Composition major in college. All women have their struggles and Lou's include a past full of bullying, body issues, and other insecurities. When she meets Gavin- she realizes she's going to have to risk letting go of the past if she wants to be truly open to a happier existence . Watching her attempt to do so is heart wrenching and inspiring. I like having my heart wrenched and inspired. :)
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Um, wow! This is the author's debut novel? It grabbed my attention right away, and I found myself reading when I should have been doing other things, like getting my kids ready for school! I'm usually a historical fiction kind of girl (romance is not something I normally pick up). I thought I'd give this a try anyhow, and wow - so good! Great character development, interesting story, and steamy hot scenes, but not over the top. This says it's #1, so I'm excited to read more from Ms. Kay!
Lisa Thomson
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
i was given an arc of this for an honest review
Compose is not your typically romance the main charecters have flaws and lilly kay writing draws you I can say that this story will not disappoint you
This story has a closet full of believable characters that you'll laugh with, cry with
A must read!
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book!! The main character, Lou, has a lot of demons that she is learning to deal with and I loved seeing her heal and evolve as I read the book. The romance between Lou and Gavin pulls you in from the beginning and Lou's friends and roommates added more depth to the story. I was sad when this book ended. Looking forward to another great book from this new author!!
Graceley Knox
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lousie and Gavin are two characters that surprised me. I was sure I knew where they were going and how they would get there but Lily Kay surprised me there. I laughed, I teared up and I cheered on the couple. I also wanted to yell at them a few times, but in my book thats a plus! I loved the fresh take on the new adult genre and I hope to see more from her as an author! Well done!
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
A satisfying tale of a young woman's growth and bravery as she allows herself to find love. An engaging, quick read from an obviously talented new writer. Looking forward to reading more from Lily Kay!
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Kay gives the reader a protagonist, Louie, for whom I only want the best that life could give her. Real issues (bullying, interracial adoption, eating disorders, mental health, self-doubt) are dealt with honestly and with compassion. Real feelings, real life. I'm cheering for Louie!
I loved the idea of a romance with a Korean adoptee struggling with an eating disorder; it sounded so fresh and real compared to most college romances. Unfortunately the characters didn't engage me and execution of the story didn't fall into place as I hoped. 2.5 stars.
Jessica Ann
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story of overcoming life, self worth, and love. Lily did a great job with this story.
Maria Angie Mendoza
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal read!
I had to take note from this book and pause before I could bring myself to finish reading this beautiful, deeply emotional and inspiring read!! A poignant story of love, forgiveness and hope.
Music major Louie finds herself in a battle within herself when she falls for her music tutor Gavin. He's everything she ever dreamed of in a guy, gorgeous, charming smart, AND he really likes her, despite her quirkiness. The only problem is that all this attention to her brought out the
Ginelle Blanch
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a really good story. A lot of self image issues are being worked through in the book. A lot of abandonment issues and trust issues.

I really loved this group of friends. They were close knit and fun. Helpful and concerned. I loved the musical environment and the professors were so well portrayed.

Gavin was a pretty great character. I loved his willingness to wait and to help Louie through her issues. I liked that he didn't just let her walk away. And, I liked that he was far from perfect
Aisya Washington
Beautiful Read!

I can’t say enough nice things about this book! Louie was one of the stingiest protagonists I’ve ever read! Her transition to being a better her was so smooth and beautiful to watch! Love love love Gavin! He was very mature which sadly didn’t come easy and he loves Louie so much it’s adorable! Their love story evolved nicely and it was defiantly an easy cute read!
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Compose was everything a young romance should be with just enough "steam" to keep the adult readers happy. Sometimes I felt frustrated with the main character because I could not relate to her insecurities. However learning the reasons behind her insecurities enlightened me in ways I had never understood before. This "enlightenment" increased the story's value to me as a reader. I say "well done!" to my dear friend who wrote Compose.
Stephanie Burke
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book. The dialogue between characters was great and often made me laugh out loud. The relationship between Louise and Gavin was sweet and I appreciate the speed at which bit developed given her background. That being said, I didn't really feel a strong connection between them.
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Lily has been writing and reading stories since she was in grade school. After finishing her Ph.D., Lily had a stint in Academia as an evaluation researcher. She teaches sociology part time and may drop a concept or two into her writing. When she's not teaching or writing, she's frolicking in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, two children, and two furry friends.