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For fans of Inglath Cooper and Catherine Ryan Hyde, a novel that Publishers Weekly calls “…a wrenching tale of love and loss.” .

Even as a violin prodigy, Olivia Klein courted trouble. But when her marriage to high-stakes investor Rob Van Doren takes another wrong turn, Olivia acts out once too often. A night of bad behavior results in community service hours. Time is to be served with Theo McAdams, an inner-city teacher whose passion for music eclipses Olivia’s. As she inches toward a better place, life surprises Olivia in the form of her first husband—baseball legend Sam Nash.

Years ago, Olivia fell in love with Sam. Their impulsive marriage imploded with a fateful car crash and harsh parting words. Olivia never expected to see him again. But now Sam is back, and he wants her forgiveness. He also wants to recapture their volatile love affair. Olivia is torn between rekindling romance and saving her marriage. To her surprise, it’s the presence of the young music teacher—and the lessons from a reckless past—that may bring harmony to Olivia’s off-key life.

415 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 21, 2017

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About the author

Laura Spinella

7 books553 followers
Echo Moon is my eighth published novel. Author? Maybe. In truth, I’m a girl from Long Island who fell in love with the South and ended up calling New England home. Along the way, ideas emerged, leading to the books I've written, and Echo Moon is among my favorites—it is the final novel in the Ghost Gifts series.

When Ghost Gifts was published, I never thought I’d write about ghosts again. One and done, as they say.

To my surprise, the book was the #1 bestseller in Kindle store during most of its debut month, and went on to become a RITA awards finalist, RT Book Reviews finalist, and winner of an Audie, for Best Paranormal Romance. Foretold, book two, was an Amazon Editors' Pick the month it debuted. I remain humbled by reader reaction and the desire to hear more of Aubrey Ellis’s story.

Not all my novels are about ghosts, though I seem to have a good relationship with the ethereal world. Unstrung offered a change of pace for me and readers. The mainstream women’s fiction novel met with solid critical acclaim, including a starred review from Publishers Weekly, as well as being named to PW’s seasonal list of most anticipated and notable titles. I hope readers are as taken with quirky and capricious Olivia Klein as I was; I had the most marvelous time writing about her.

I live not far outside Boston with a husband, three technically grown children, two dogs and two cats. That's Auggie in the photo! Life takes place in a 130-year-old house where I can always be found writing my next novel. As always, I love to hear from readers. Feel free to drop me a line here, and many thanks for reading a Laura Spinella novel!

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5 stars
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206 (34%)
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97 (16%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 115 reviews
April 12, 2017

Unstrung is a beautiful piece of Contemporary Women's Fiction that provided me with the loveliest of reading experiences. A plethora of multifaceted characters cohesively produced a wonderful story of love, hope and longing. Unstrung did not take me to a place I expected, it went further than I imagined. It’s a slow burn with a unique quality to the story arc and a delicate underlying romance running through that felt light in tone but ultimately warmed my heart and made me feel so much for the protagonists at the heart of the story. Protagonists who need to be met, experienced and understood within the parameters of the telling so as not to spoil any aspect of the unravelling of the story. On the surface and from details in the synopsis readers may consider the story will test their levels of acceptability concerning marriage but please trust me when I say that the way the story unfolds is magnificent, the delivery totally compelling and the motivation on point to allow readers a high level of understanding for each of the characters pivotal to the narrative.

The emotion of it completely crept up on my sensibilities, grabbed my attention and submerged my reading heart into the lives of the characters showcased within the writing canvas of this engaging story enticing me into the world of violin prodigy Olivia Klein. Showed me the layers of her history and the impact those layers have on her present day and future. She seems, at times, a complete mess, a product of the pressure and expectation placed on her but equally I saw her strength of character through the choices she found herself having to make. It’s about the way people can shape your life, impact it, change it, creating a history and future. I totally loved how it all played out. I felt love and respect between the characters, the development of individuals, especially Olivia and found myself wanting what they wanted and completely understanding the decisions they made and the motivation for their actions.

The depiction of the important aspects of life resonated for me causing my complete investment in the story and lives of the characters. Unstrung is a must read for those who enjoy beautifully written contemporary romance with a unique and touching story and clearly developed characters at its heart.

Advance copy provided for my honest review thoughts *

★ Graphic created by me with a stock photo I purchased from deposit photos ★
Profile Image for Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️.
816 reviews838 followers
February 13, 2017
5 String My Heart Stars
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A new author to me and what an incredible delight. A story of deep sensitivity and awakening. It was gritty, real, emotional and an embracement of your past and a welcoming of your present.

This story is an amazing journey of Olivia Klein Van Dorsen. She's 46 years old, a virtuoso violinist, and a hot mess. Her marriage is in trouble and she has come to a cross road in her life.

“Whether it was a violin or your life, Olivia, it’s always been rather unstrung.

Her story is emotional, heartbreaking, destructive, and awakening. There are so many facets to her life. She is a hot mess and her life, past and present, are fixing to be on a collision course. It's an inevitable crash but the journey getting there is epically emotional and one where healing of the soul is finally achieved.

I loved how the author exposed the many layers of this story. With each page that I turned, I gasped, I sighed, I cried......I truly felt with my heart the emotional battle that Olivia struggled with. Theo, Rob, Sam, Claire, Sasha, Eugenia.....all vital individuals who were part of Olivia's life, who shaped her into her 46 yrs, who encompassed her with sorrow, pain, joy and love.

As the story unravels, Olivia begins taking responsibilities for her actions. It's as if destiny has brought her to this place and time to finally deal with her life, both good and bad. I feel that I really can't tell you anything more involving the story. I believe that one should experience the book as it plays out and not by knowing what is going to happen if I tell you. I promise the plot is full of feels. I read the blurb and had a recommendation push from my amazing reading buddy TeriLyn. Everyone has friends who they believe in their recommendation and she is one, so TL thank you for sending me to NG and requesting. This book totally exceeded my expectations and the author hit it out of the park!!!

*Unstrung provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for TeriLyn.
1,335 reviews385 followers
December 21, 2017
**Unstrung generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**


5+ "More than you could imagine..." Stars

Going into this book I held no preconceived notions about what to expect. After the short blurb the story sparked my interest. What I received in return is nothing short of a magnificent reading experience. My words will pale in comparison to what I believe this story should receive in acclaim but I hope to give you a reason to read this book. The wonderful richness of the writing, the enormous depth and excellently structured development of the story telling created a perfectly emotional and luminous reading environment. This tumultuously beautiful story of growing, learning, trust, and choice will grab you from the very first sentence, the pull so strong you will hold on tight until the end. It's contemporary fiction with romance and so, so, so much more.

Laura Spinella spun this honest, raw, and telling tale chronicling a woman who's life revolves around the choices she's made at a precarious time in her life. It's a story of how those choices effect her daily life years later. A continual journey of those choices compounding her decisions, her mind, and her emotions in her present and future. Her experiences, both those she's chose and those thrust upon her by others, shapes who this heroine is in her adult life and provide the catalyst for this story. There's a common thread woven through the story that builds the enigmatic, engaging plot. This common thread pulls taut the many bands of the story throughout the entire journey.

We see this story from the first person point of view of the heroine and the sprinkling of third person points of views from two key people in her journey. Snippets of her past told through vivid reflections give us so much insight. I loved the relationships in this story. It's truly a book of vivid characters. A study in development characters for your readers and driving the focus forward because of this interesting people. Friendships, a marriage, ill-fated relationships and introspective personal relationships provide layers and layers of story you can sink into. You'll identify with each character in some way. You'll find yourself thinking about the choices you've made and how they affect you now. You'll think about your marriage, if you're in one, and how your choices affect your partner. An insightful look into the windows of your life. It's a beautiful thing to me when an author finds their way into your own life and your own reflections.

And this story was very real-life for me. It's provocative and seductive, melancholy, and nurturing in it's tone. It's about growth and self-worth, recognizing your best qualities as others see them and fostering the tremendous giving impact of meaningful relationships. This isn't an easy story - there are characters for whom will provide you a thundering array of feelings. Each of them you'll love and loathe, celebrate and damn them. Some characters you'll root for the entire time. Rest assured each one evokes a maelstrom of complex feelings as deep as the characters feel. Each one you'll find the compassion you crave through this fierce story.

Human relationships prove to be hard. Every single day they take work and perseverance. The complexities of individuals and how we fit with others built upon the foundations we're from in our childhoods, it's a recipe for complicated adults with even more complicated lives, feelings, and relationships. Laura Spinella unraveled all of that so perfectly for me. She took me places I anticipated by twisting how I though we'd get there. She so eloquently took me places I never thought as well. Turning perceptions upside down and her characters inside out. And her writing, gosh her writing, it hit every note brilliantly. And the strong, distinct choices this author made to tell this story worked in a big, bold, and wonderful way.

Unstrung is a slow burning mosaic of emotion and grandeur. It's a completely satisfying stand alone book. I'm so grateful and elated to have read this story and now to have been introduced to this authors beautiful writing. I highly recommend it to readers who love complexity in their stories and more importantly their characters, a slow burn, a momentous onslaught of emotions wrapped into a story of growth, loss, bravery, and deep enduring love.
Profile Image for Malene.
1,200 reviews526 followers
April 16, 2017
Unstrung had what I was looking for in a story. A meaty storyline with intriguing and
layered characters. It took some time for me to fully invest myself in the story because its pace was slow to begin with but once I hit that spot at 20% I was done. Hooked line and sinker.
Olivia was a fabulous character who had been dealing with her parents' expectations and needs all her life. Her gift was playing the violin but her love for it had come at a price. Her whole life story was interesting because the choices she had made when she was young had shaped her into who she was today. I enjoyed her story and the flashbacks to how she met her husband Rob and her ex husband Sam. Again also they had played a huge part of who Olivia was today. She had secrets and how they and her choices affect not only her but her husband and friends was exciting and emotional.
I was surprised and captivated by the twists and turns in the story because nothing was certain and I enjoyed that tremendously.
Every character had depth and even though I didn't agree with their choices I was deeply invested in their journey.
This story was all about people and choices. Whether they're right or wrong they're bound to make an impact and cause changes.
That's exactly what Laura Spinella and her book Unstrung has done. It definitely made an impression. Well done.

4 BadAssDirtyRightChoicesStars
Profile Image for Laura Spinella.
Author 7 books553 followers
August 23, 2016
I'm excited to deliver Unstrung to readers--the novel slated to nest between Ghost Gifts and its sequel. Honestly? Unstrung couldn't take a bigger step away from Ghost Gifts--a story (and trilogy) that thrives on magic realism--to a book that strips down to the rawest human emotion, how we see ourselves. I mean, really, who's brave enough to stare into that mirror?

That said, I loved writing Unstrung. I think Olivia is the most powerful character I've ever imagined, someone wholly shaped by her past, who desperately wants to do better in her future. The question is "Can she get there?"

Even my style of writing was affected by Olivia, although at the heart of her tale lives a Laura Spinella novel. I hope readers will find a lot of truth in Olivia's not always easy story. She is imperfect; she is determined. I think her story is as singular as it is universal. I hope book lovers will take her on, and I thank them for reading.
Profile Image for Nancy.
417 reviews
February 28, 2017
This was a book about a woman who has a talent for making bad choices and how she find redemption, in spite of her choices.
Profile Image for Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews.
1,135 reviews68 followers
February 3, 2017
Arc provided by Netgalley for a review

4-4.5 stars

This book was seriously the hottest mess ever and I enjoyed every single second of it.
Do you ever read a book and sit back and think Holy Shit did i grow up with this author. Kidding Kidding not kidding?

This book is more Women's Fiction than a romance, family drama, drama drama llamas....

But the author can weave a story like strings on a violin....

There were some lines in this book that struck me right in the heart. I had my son young (no regrets as he is the best human to human) and it was just him and I because the sperm donor just didnt have the mental capacity to father. I understand making decisions without you being the 1st person you think of. I understand how doing what you think is the best in a situation causes a domino effect, how at a young age you can look at someone and think it is LOVE LOVE LOVE and you're caught in this whirlwind of fast and furious and booze and smoking a lil weed, getting down and dirty in a stolen VW Jetta. How your decisions can affect this lil human being and how having an absentee father shapes your whole entire existence.

Some say you are not your past, but your past is what shapes you, makes you you, makes you tick and tock. How for 21 years we have shaped each other. How he is me and I am him and how many I hate you and I love you's have been thrown my way and how i would not change that for the world.
And now my human has a lil human of his own and the affects of not having his biological father in his life makes him a better father, someone who wants to do better, who at 20 took his responsibility like a man and ran with it. And all I can think is " I DID THAT " ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME

So I understand Olivia more than I think most who read this book will.
She was crazy and self centered and her walls were so high that it was frightening.
Also I love someone very much who is very very much like Olivia who went through the exact same thing.
Somehow someway I hope her story ends up how this one did....


Profile Image for Barbara White.
Author 6 books1,114 followers
July 29, 2016
UNSTRUNG is one of those fabulous novels that refuses to fit neatly into any genre; and Olivia, the brilliant violinist who sees her gift as a curse, is a tortured heroine who refuses to be a victim. When we first meet her, she's about to throw up in a garbage can while attempting to play nice before the judge who will hand out punishment for reducing her husband's Porsche to scrap metal (with a baseball bat). She might seem like a runaway train on auto-destruct, but as the story unwinds, the reader discovers the steel and the heart she hides so well. Book clubs will devour her story, one that reveals, so subtly, how domestic abuse comes in all guises and cares nothing for social class. Dark, quirky, and hopeful, I loved every page.
Profile Image for Barbara Davis.
Author 8 books1,900 followers
February 21, 2017
I turned to the first page of Unstrung expecting a story about music. Instead, I discovered a wonderfully written story about reconnecting with who we really are, of finally seeing ourselves stripped of other people’s baggage. Spinella offers a glimpse of characters who are at their most raw, weaving an evocative tale about lies, regret, and long held secrets, reminding us in the end that sometimes the worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this jewel!
Profile Image for Susan Peterson.
1,567 reviews252 followers
February 24, 2020
Beginning with the first chapter, Unstrung packs a powerful emotional punch, as we meet the volatile Olivia Van Doren. Olivia is a masterful violinist, a woman of exceptional talent, a woman whose past contains numerous secrets and regrets; secrets that neither her husband, Rob, nor her best friend, Sasha, know anything about. A brush with the law sentences her to community service, which she performs as an assistant to a young music teacher, Theo. When her ex-husband, Sam, shows up on her doorstep, her floundering marriage, her career, her home, and her well-kept secrets are all about to unravel. Olivia is an amazingly complex creature; impulsive, artistic, and erratic...a persona seen by most of the world. But, deep down. Olivia is brave, loving, and charitable...a side of her that she hides from everyone, even those who love her the most. Her choices and her lies have impacted everyone around her, trickle-down effects that she can't seem to overcome without destroying the lives of everyone she loves. This book is told with so much passion and heart, not unlike the music Olivia plays on her violin. Unstrung is a multi-layered story, as the characters struggle to find their place in the world, living up to others' expectations, and coming to terms with the legacies of their parents. This is a compelling book, filled with flawed, complicated characters, and a story rich in detail, with unexpected turns....heartfelt and original. A fabulous read.
Profile Image for Anne Pisacano.
78 reviews43 followers
December 17, 2016
I received an ARC of Unstrung and feel fortunate to have been able to read this wonderful book before the release date.

Unstrung features an unusual female character (Laura Spinella is exceptionally good at this) who will linger in your thoughts long after the novel is finished. The chapters are written in alternating points of view with Olivia, an extremely gifted violin player professionally employed with the New England Symphony being the main character and Theo, a young inner city music teacher is secondary. Throw in a husband who takes financial risks that aren't always the best choice, an ex-husband who resurfaces after many years and who wants Olivia back and you have a complex, layered story that will draw you in and not let go.

Be prepared for several unexpected hooks and secrets revealed throughout that will take your breath away. This is a surprising love story, not typical in any way, and completely satisfying.
Profile Image for Kerry.
Author 11 books2,832 followers
August 2, 2016
In UNSTRUNG, Laura Spinella orchestrates a brilliant, multi-layered story about family expectations, forgiveness, and whether we can truly love ourselves and others just as we are. With an emotionally explosive opening, UNSTRUNG follows Olivia Van Doren, a gifted concert violinist who sees her gift as a curse, as her life unravels in a shocking series of twists and turns that captivate the reader from page one and doesn’t let go until it crescendos into a symphonic ending that leaves you breathless. As lyrical, dynamic, and riveting as the compositions Olivia performs, UNSTRUNG is an honest and raw exploration of one woman’s journey as she learns to embrace her talents and the goodness life has to offer.
Profile Image for JG.
1,493 reviews56 followers
February 21, 2017
I had no expectations when I started reading Unstrung but from the very first page, I knew I was going to like it. What I didn't know was how I was really going to love it and to love Olivia and Theo and Sam. Olivia was the character I probably needed to read about, her travails, her journey it really strikes a chord somewhere in me. About what life expected of you, of what you expected in return and how when everything doesn't turn up the way you envisioned everything just unravels. This book just flows, the tone, the pacing was just apt, a perfect balance of humor and angst. The characters might be messy and imperfect but the story itself will strike a reader just in the right place.

*ARC provided thru NetGalley*
Profile Image for Laura Drake.
Author 26 books255 followers
July 29, 2016
Oh. This book. It's going to hang with me for a long time.

Olivia Van Doren is one of the most complex, captivating characters I've ever met in a book. She should be unlikable but, because we know the house she grew up in, she isn't. The author walks a delicate line throughout the entire book, and kept me on the edge of my seat with twists, turns, and the drama vortex that is Liv, and her poor decisions.

An absolutely riveting read. I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Maria11.
1,855 reviews37 followers
February 16, 2018
Heartbreaking and touching

Ok a whole box of Kleenex down and I think more to go! What a touching yet heartbreaking story. I listened for the longest time in my car to work, but I had to finish tonight, so I read the rest.

Olivia. What a complex, real, heartbreaking character. She is such an imperfect character but her actions are so real, it is like she could walk off the pages and become a real woman. Through much soul searching, mistakes, sacrifices, self hate, understanding, and love she finds herself and a life she can love.
She goes through so much her childhood didn’t have physical abuse but mental and the result is a woman who only sees the worst in herself and in order to protect herself she only wants others to see that.

Olivia’s side characters in the story also go through so much, because her choices effect everyone in big ways or small ways. Throughout I loved Olivia just wanted her to be happy. If I tell too much it gives it all away. Just read it!

This author is outstanding! The narration was great. It’s emotional so be ready! LOVED IT!
Profile Image for Carol Boyer.
429 reviews23 followers
February 22, 2017
Unstrung played exquisite chords of emotions in my heart as I read this beautiful book by Laura Spinella. Literally, I felt like I was living inside the life of Olivia Stein a masterful violinist, feeling her rebellious rage, her quest for finding her own self amongst superior expectations from her mother and father to become a chair as a violinist with a major symphony. Her life was full of secrets protecting her innate feeling as she expressed it. ."Failing at what should be obvious expectation is my real talent". There are wonderful layers of joy, grief, and suspense to this story, with characters that made me cry, get angry but kept me totally mesmerized to the total surprise in last page. There is Theo, a teacher of music for inner city students, India, Theo's intuitive ex-fiancé, Sam, Olivia's ex-husband, a baseball legend, Rob, Olivia's husband, who she doesn't trust and Sasha her best friend whose sarcastic comments keep the distance between them. From the depths of soul, Laura has written this novel with brilliance and seeks the truth of Olivia's angst and the hope of finding her authentic self and true romance. There are masterfully crafted passages of music from famous conductors that made me feel them like they were actually playing as Olivia's emotions and showed the keen knowledge that Laura brings to her novel. I deeply love this book, and highly recommend it, for it deserves far more than 5 stars.
Profile Image for Gina *loves sunshine*.
1,885 reviews70 followers
June 29, 2021
Wow, totally blown away by this book which happens to be in the contemporary women's fiction genre. I downloaded this on a whim with no recommendation at all(which I never do) - available on Audio in Kindle Unlimited. The narration was FABULOUS and I think really contributed to my enjoyment of the whole book. I typically have trouble with this genre so I love when I find something that I connect with!!

I was hooked from the beginning and really could not stop listening. The characters were all solid and I just loved the way everything developed with Olivia and her relationship with Theo, and ultimately Sam and Rob!! The style reminded me of Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Katherine Center. I'm definitely going to check out the backlist of Laura Spinelli!!!
Profile Image for Holly Robinson.
Author 18 books237 followers
February 21, 2017
In Unstrung, Laura Spinella delivers a fast-paced, original, and deeply emotional story about violin prodigy Olivia Klein's struggles to keep her life on track while running from her past and making some disastrous mistakes along the way. With surprising humor and heartfelt romantic themes, this book will have you rooting for these flawed characters as they realize that love, even when it comes later than you think it should, is always worth the wait.
Profile Image for Linda Zagon.
1,342 reviews103 followers
March 2, 2017
I would like to thank NetGalley, Montlake Romance, and Laura Spinella for the ARC of "Unstrung" by Laura Spinella for my honest review. The genres of "Unstrung" are General Fiction(Adult) and Romance.
I find that the author's vivid and colorful descriptions of her complex and complicated characters are amazing.
I found myself wanting to scream at some of the characters for their decisions. I actually despised and hated some of the characters, and I was cheering for some. I I guess I got emotionally involved in this fictional story.
The story opens with Olivia Klein, and her attorney facing a judge for charges against Olivia for destroying her husband's Porsche with a bat. To add insult to injury, Olivia profoundly tells the judge where he should go. Olivia is a famous Violinist with a chair in the symphony orchestra. Despite the fact that Olivia was drunk and angry that her husband Rob made some investments that might cost the loss of the home that was in Olivia's family for years, the judge sentences her to a night in jail and one hundred hours of community service. Olivia for her own personal reasons offers to do community service with a Music teacher in one of the worst schools in the area. Olivia's mother is furious at Olivia and reminds her that she always has been rebellious. Her mother warns her that this will be the second marriage that will be ruined. Olivia had a very short lived marriage when she was young that at the time was a bad decision. Olivia is a very insecure woman who feels imperfect and "unstrung", and her Mother lives to remind her of this.
Rob, her husband vacillates between being a bad guy at times to a supportive good guy.
Laura Spinella writes about honor, family, love, redemption, forgiving, second chances, and hope. The author also describes that no one is just good or bad, and that we should accept ourselves for who we are.
There are surprises, twists and turns in this story. I would highly recommend this as an entertaining and intriguing read.
Profile Image for Samantha.
317 reviews6 followers
February 18, 2017
Even as a violin prodigy, Olivia Klein courted trouble. But when her marriage to high-stakes investor Rob Van Doren takes another wrong turn, Olivia acts out once too often. A night of bad behavior results in community service hours. Time is to be served with Theo McAdams, an inner-city teacher whose passion for music eclipses Olivia’s. As she inches toward a better place, life surprises Olivia in the form of her first husband—baseball legend Sam Nash.

Years ago, Olivia fell in love with Sam. Their impulsive marriage imploded with a fateful car crash and harsh parting words. Olivia never expected to see him again. But now Sam is back, and he wants her forgiveness. He also wants to recapture their volatile love affair. Olivia is torn between rekindling romance and saving her marriage. To her surprise, it’s the presence of the young music teacher—and the lessons from a reckless past—that may bring harmony to Olivia’s off-key life.
43%, it took until I was 43% of the way through this book before I was REALLY interested in it, I was worried that I was going to toss it into my just can’t bring myself to finish it pile. The crazy thing is that I enjoyed the story and Laura Spinella is easily one of the most talented authors I’ve come across in a really long time. It was Olivia, I just couldn’t stand her. Just. Couldn’t. Stand. Her. That’s my biggest complaint about the whole book. I want books that will grab me in the first chapter and not let me go (like Ghost Gifts did for me) and this one just had me plugging along. When I finally got to the end, I was left utterly spent and emotionally drained and I thought to myself, “ahhhh this is what I was looking for!”
I have to say again, Laura Spinella is so incredibly talented. Her ability to take your emotions and just twist your heart around them is unlike any other recent author I’ve come across in a long time. Her books keep you turning the pages because she’s masterful at crafting gut wrenching turns and emotional chaos, I love that! The evolution of the characters is always second to none and what keeps me coming back, but Dear Lord, why couldn’t someone have just punched Olivia in the face? Just once.
All in all, totally worth picking up and reading Special thanks to Netgalley and Montlake for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Christine Moore.
802 reviews26 followers
February 6, 2017
Olivia Klein is in trouble again. After a nasty fight with her husband Rob , she takes a baseball bat to his car. She ends up in jail and receives community service. Her community service is served at an inner city school working with Theo McAdams in his music class. Olivia is a violinist with the symphony. She has tried to escape her gift her entire life. She enjoys getting to know Theo and his students. As Olivia is getting to know Theo, she needs to decide if she should save her marriage to Rob. Then another twist, her first husband Sam comes back into the picture. Olivia must decide if her first love or her husband is the love of her life. With so many twists and turns this book kept me up late into night. By exploring her past, Olivia finds her future. This is a story of love, getting to know ones true self, and forgiveness. I loved this book and will recommend it to all of my reading friends. Thank you so very much to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for allowing me to read and review this book. I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ruthie Taylor.
3,544 reviews37 followers
February 18, 2017
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~


Fundamentally I enjoyed the plot and characters - but I did find it incredibly slow going. I tend to read 200-300 pages a day, every day - but this took me more than four days to read. I didn't want to give up, as I was curious as to whether it was going where I expected it to - indeed it did, and it was worth reading, but I still don't know why it went so slowly. After about 58% it did get much easier to read, as it was mostly in the current time. The individual characters going back in varying lengths of time did not really work for me.

Although chapters are seen from different points of view, the lead is always Olivia, and she is a woman who really has not grown up - and even though she had a tough family life, she has not moved past it, in spite of having a very patient husband and best friend. Maybe my biggest problem with this story is that I never quite identified with her. It was easier to understand the actions of all the other protagonists!

I was intrigued by the musical elements and the love and hate that she had with her talent and career. As she got to know Theo, the similarities and differences were beautifully explained. The question of why everyone can't teach was also an interesting element in the story.

So, I would recommend that you give this a go, because the story is good, and you may find the style is absolutely to your taste. I will remember and think about the story for a long while, as it prompts the reader to ask some curious ethical questions.

Wicked Reads Review Team

I am now going to read the reviews of other readers - I generally don't do that before I read a book or write a review - as they may inadvertently release a spoiler or prejudice my views - I recognise this is rather strange since I am guessing you are reading this before reading! However, I can see a high average score, and am particularly curious to see how our views varied.
Profile Image for Michele Davenport-Burdick.
8 reviews1 follower
January 13, 2017
Even as a violin prodigy, Olivia Klein courted trouble. But when her volatile marriage to high-stakes investor, Rob Van Doren, takes another wrong turn, Olivia acts out once too often. A night of bad behavior results in community service hours. Time is to be served with Theo McAdams—a music teacher with whom Olivia forms an unlikely bond. As she inches toward a better place, even hopeful that her marriage will survive, life surprises Olivia in the form of her first husband.

I've read all of Laura Spinella's novels and have enjoyed each and every one. In UNSTRUNG, we meet quirky, yet lovable Olivia and follow her down a destructive path, filled with twists and turns. This novel is an engaging page-turner and Laura's writing is flawless and effortless. I'm anxiously waiting for her next novel to come out! :)
Profile Image for Ellyn Oaksmith.
Author 16 books66 followers
August 17, 2016
Unstrung is a wonderful symphonic read with Laura Spinella as conductor, offering a layered look at a brilliantly gifted woman who dislikes herself. Olivia Klein seeks salvation through anonymous good deeds which eventually land her smack dab in the middle of her own turbulent past. She's destructive, brilliant, limited by her childhood and yet seeks the truth even though it will hurt those she loves. The three great loves of her life interweave with each other as Olivia asks the question everyone wonders -- just how much are we shaped by our own actions and what we inherit from our parents. Unstrung's fascinating, complicated storyline and accutely observed relationships grabbed me from the opening page and surprised me throughout. I loved this book.
5 reviews
January 2, 2017
I love starting off the new year with a list of book recommendations, and here’s a great one to add to your 2017 list. Unstrung by Laura Spinella grabs you from the very first scene with a volatile Olivia - hard-shelled and seemingly self-centered - well on her way down a path of destruction. Literally. :) What makes this book so hard to put down is the unique story of regrets, secrets, and lost (and found) love. It's filled with unexpected turns, a glimpse into the world of concert violinists, and interesting characters with layers upon layers to discover. Do yourself a favor and add this one to your 2017 Must Read List.
Profile Image for Karin Gillespie.
Author 10 books195 followers
July 29, 2016
Laura Spinella is a master at creating multi-layered, engrossing narratives, and Unstrung is no exception. From its emotionally explosive opening scene to its satisfying and surprising conclusion, you will not be able to put this enthralling novel down. The author has outdone herself in creating Olivia Klein, a troubled violinist caught up in a love triangle. This arresting tale will resonate with readers long after the last page.
Profile Image for Mandy Casto.
197 reviews
July 5, 2017
Really liked this story as a traditional "beach read." Some sections did not make practical sense to me, however. And, without giving away any ending spoilers, I'll just say that I wasn't satisfied with the ending --- For as much a mess as each character was throughout, it ended too neatly for my tastes. Too much was wrapped up in the epilogue...it makes the "disaster" that was Olivia, Rob, Theo and India seem fake or misleading.

One dynamic that I did appreciate was the relationship between Olivia and Eugenia. It was like Gilmore Girls' Lorelei and Emily! I could definitely visualize each encounter of theirs.
Profile Image for Gail.
716 reviews
April 16, 2017
This is my first book by this author. It certainly won't be my last. I enjoyed Olivia's story tremendously!
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