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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  579 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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 t

Kindle Edition, 415 pages
Published February 21st 2017 by Montlake Romance
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  579 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Jx PinkLady Reviews ♡ bookwormthoughts

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
Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️
5 String My Heart Stars
 photo IMG_2470_zpskkbkth1f.png

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
**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 won
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Laura Spinella
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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 p
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-net-galley
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 r
Barbara White
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 re ...more
Barbara Davis
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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!
Susan Peterson
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 doors ...more
Anne Pisacano
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 teac
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 breathl ...more
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 j ...more
Laura Drake
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Carol Boyer
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 expectatio ...more
Holly Robinson
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Linda Zagon
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 emotional
Jennifer Schultheis
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hq
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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. The
Christine Moore
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
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 R ...more
Ruthie Taylor
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
~~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 i
Michele Davenport-Burdick
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Ellyn Oaksmith
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 everyo ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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, ...more
Karin Gillespie
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mandy Casto
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 makes the "disaster" that was Olivia, Rob, Theo and India seem fake or misleading.

One dynamic that I did appreciate was the relationship between Oli
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book by this author. It certainly won't be my last. I enjoyed Olivia's story tremendously! ...more
Kristen Cook - A Book Ninja
3.5 ✨. A book with gritty characters and all their flaws. Easy read that was enjoyable.
Lori (a_bookworm_and_her_books)


I went into this book knowing nothing about it. Or the author for the matter.

But when I read the synopsys on NetGalley, I figured this book had the potential to deliver a very interesting story and I found myself wanting to know more about Olivia and her musical gift.

So I was obviously beyond pleased and honoured when I was granted an e-ARC from the publisher and Netgalley. But most importantly, I was not disappointed.

When the first chapter opened on an impulsive Olivia reducin
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