Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mix Tape” as Want to Read:
Mix Tape
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mix Tape

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,653 ratings  ·  370 reviews

‘A lovely novel, delicately drawn, with characters that really linger in the mind and memory. A clever and compelling blend of realism and idealism - I got really swept up in it.’ Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us

You never forget the one that got away. But what if ‘what could have been’ is yet to come?

Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix

Kindle Edition, 411 pages
Published January 23rd 2020 by Transworld Digital
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mix Tape, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mix Tape

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,653 ratings  ·  370 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mix Tape
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: current-lit-uk
Daniel is a Sheffield lad, lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan and very much into his music. We first meet him in 1978 at his mate’s Christmas party - packed terrace house, cheap booze and Blondie and Elvis Costello blaring from the stereo. He’s with his new girlfriend Alison, sixteen, to his eighteen - she takes her music seriously too, wants to go to uni and become a writer. Alison has a troubled home life which she doesn’t like to talk about. It’s their first proper date and their first proper r ...more
Jane Sanderson's novel is a huge nostalgia fest of a read with its central theme of how fundamentally music connects us to other people and so effectively evokes an era, personal histories, and past memories as if they happened just yesterday. Mix Tape succeeds in bringing back my past, of how I too made mix tapes to share with close friends, and some of them also made their own particular mixes. This novel takes the reader back to the late 1970s and the music I adored back then. Those mix tapes ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of the love between Daniel Lawrence and Alison Connor who meet in Sheffield in 1978 aged 18 and 16 respectively and their later lives with their partners from 2012. They are united when they first get together by a love of music, in fact Dan goes on to be a music journalist. Alison leaves Sheffield suddenly a few months after meeting Dan, meets Michael in Spain and marries him, setting with him in Australia. She becomes a successful novelist. Dan meets Katelin in South America ...more
A wonderful and nostalgic experience of love, loss, fear & acceptance - all enveloped by music.


Dan and Alison's story is a difficult one. Separated in two timelines over 30 years apart we first meet them in the beautiful rock'n roll haze of the late 70's. In the basement of Kev's house, the impossibly beautiful and mysterious Alison captivates the cool and popular Dan. Their connection is undeniable, and this is written with such a gentle and careful style that it's inconceivable not to feel lik
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I loved the premise of this book, late 70’s/early 80’s and mix tapes ( you had to be there ) and Daniel and Alison ‘refinding’ each other after many years

In practice it was long, drawn out, repetitive and indulgent of their previous lives and I felt sorry for their now ( pretty decent, non horrifying ) life partners and families who suddenly are thrown into this pairs revisited teenage love!

I DID love the retro parts, the feel and atmosphere of that era was brilliantly voiced and the fact that D
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh, this had potential, but I ended up severely disappointed. Some stars for a believable love story, real emotion and a lovely concept about communicating through songs.

BUT, this story had a massive deal breaker for me. There is always an acceptable and adult way of going about reconnecting and choosing your first love even after decades of living the rest of your life. Once Daniel and Alison made their decisions, I couldn't stay with this. I finished it, but I wasn't happy. The protagonists we
2 Stars

Trigger Warning: Alcohol Abuse, Attempted Suicide, Homophobia

O.W.L.S - Career Auror
Herbology - Book that starts with M

I don’t even know how this happened. It started off so well, I was honestly having so much fun going between past and present and learning about the lives of Daniel and Alison. I was thinking to myself this is going to be a 4 star read this is great and then disaster hit.

The basis of this book is following two different characters in the past and present and they are Alis
I absolutely loved this one.

It's a second chance story at its heart, but not an easy path. I got the feels but it was challenging too.

Ali and Dan met as teenagers in late 1970s Sheffield then lose touch. Thirty years later they reconnect through their shared love of music. As times have changed, twitter and spotify have replaced the function of the custom mix tape, but its purpose still holds true.

It started a little slow, but it gradually grew into a beautifully poignant story. What I loved tho
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm such a sucker for books like this. The minute I laid my eyes on Mix Tape in the shop, I knew I'd love it. Like Nick Hornby writes in The Polysyllabic Spree (about another excellent book, The Fortress of Solitude), "it wasn't just up my street; it was actually knocking on my front door and peering through the letterbox to see if I was in." And yes, I did love it! ...more
Adele Shea
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book actually made me cry at one point.
You can’t help but fall in love with Daniel and Allison. Childhood sweethearts, that lose each other through events out of their control.

Will they ever get together or will they always be “The One That Got Away”?

Brilliantly written by Jane Sanderson and so easy to read. 4.5*
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
I had been looking forward to reading Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson for a while before it finally came up in my schedule. I am of an age when mix tapes were common. I’d be listening to the radio on my boom box on a Sunday evening, a blank tape in the cassette deck, waiting for the Top 40 to start, with my fingers on the ‘play’ and ‘record’ buttons, poised to catch the opening bars of the whatever song I was hoping to record. We played mix tapes at parties, traded them among friends, and shyly gifte ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one - ok, it helped that some of the book is set in Sheffield, where I am from, but that withstanding, it is a great book. Most of the reviews explain the synopsis, so I will concentrate on how it made me feel... I cried with sadness and happiness throughout the book and really recommend it to those of a certain age who either made mix tapes, or had them made for them... those were the days!
Paula White
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

I could not put this book down. I found myself taking every opportunity to read it. I loved the way as a reader we got to see Alison and Dan’s lives in the present, how their relationships were. We got to know them today and with the flashbacks we get to know who they were. Their connection was strong and Alison had a very difficult upbringing and some horrible experiences but Dan was her safe place and then she disappeared on him.

Loved Dan - he was so strong and new what he wanted. Alison w
I have mixed feelings about this book by Jane Harper. I loved the premise of the story with Allison and Dan and Dan instead of telling her of his feelings he makes Allison a mixtape to show her how he feels. Also, the relationship that she has with his parents, it was kind of sweet. Then twenty years later he sends links to songs that they once listened together was different to anything that I have read. They still had things in common.
Even though this book was written well. This book left me
Linda Harris
Found this book soooooo long drawn out ,actually skimmed through it. Nothing new . Will they ,won't they ? Really didn't care by the end . . Read this for a change .... Think I'll stick to my thrillers 😆 ...more
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2020
oh my gosh I got so many feels reading this book! It brought back so much nostalgia of the mix tape era of my youth (to be fair even today i'll make the modern day version of digital playlists)and is basically a story of a first love that ended suddenly and reignites many years later whilst our 2 main characters are on opposite sides of the world. Loved this so much I think i'll probably be rereading this again soon! ...more
Dana A. O'Dea
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered this title on one of the many “Best Books of 2020”. I wasn’t familiar with it so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did. I only wish I had listened to the mix tape songs as I was reading the book.
Kara McMillan
Meh, it was a fine read. It would have been better had I been drinking cocktails in the sun on holiday though.
Bryony Indecisive Reader
Thanks to NetGalley for an early copy of this book for review.

Okay, maybe I didn’t appreciate this book because I’m not from the right generation. I didn’t feel nostalgic for the music or the places or the way of living. But I don’t think this was the case at all.
I actually really enjoyed the past in the book: it was a vibrant and fleshed out grimey city, filled with the music of thousands of people. We, the reader, were fed glimpses of Sheffield in the 80s, between lives from Australia and Sc
Lynn Brown
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read this book as the title was a blast from the past for me and reminded me of the many mix tapes I used to make. I wasn't really prepared for what I went on to read; thinking the book was going to be just a straightforward lighthearted retro look at the 1970s.

Alison was Daniel's girlfriend in Sheffield in the late 1970s - their ages were similar to my own, all the music they listened to was my music - apart from Daniel's favourite band the Comsat Angels who seem to have passed me by
Book 21 of 2020 - Mix Tape (Contains some spoilers)

"There they go, at the beginning of it all, their younger selves, walking through the dark, winter streets of Sheffield: Daniel Lawrence and Alison Connor. He’s eighteen, she’s sixteen, it’s Saturday night and they’re heading together to Kev Carter’s Christmas party, and nothing much has been said since he met her from the bus, but each is achingly conscious of the other. Her hand in his feels too good to be only a hand, and his presence, by her
Michelle Claypot_Reads
3.5-4 stars for me

This one was a slowburn with a lovely nostalgic feel to it. Do you ever forget your first love? What happened to them? Are they happy? These questions are answered with a phone message and a song link. The way the story was written with the musical references was a nice change of pace. I did have some issues with the flow of the book and enjoyed the "then" moments more than the "now". Overall it was a great read.

I received an arc of this book
Karen Barber
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an unexpectedly entertaining read.
Alison Connor has a pretty miserable life as a student in Sheffield. She finds herself a boyfriend, Dan Lawrence, and their shared love of music is just one thing they have in common.
Unfortunately Alison’s life is far from good, and on the day some of the worst things you could imagine happening take place she leaves Sheffield.
Years later she’s married, a successful author and living in Australia. Dan is a music journal
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I went into this expecting a light & fun Chick Lit, but was given so much more. It grabbed me at the outset with the premise of “what if your first love was the one that got away” plus the added nostalgia of mixed tapes and music’s ability to transport us back to a time and place. But top this all off with it being (partially) set in my home town of Adelaide, I was in!

You won’t find light-hearted romance and sentimentality though, Mix Tape traverses some tough subject matter of alcoholism, suici
Sara Eames
Oct 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Could not get into this at all - a pity because it has some good reviews.
Feb 14, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought I was going to love this, but it wasn't for me.

There was a large emphasis on music, which I unfortunately didnt know. Also I didn't take to the main character.
Helen Costello
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lovely read - not a light and fluffy as I imagined. Dan and Alison met as teenagers but lost touch - will they ever see each other again? They both have families, Dan now in Scotland and Alison in Adelaide.

This is a great look back at teenage love and how music was such an important part of our lives (mainly because Netflix didn’t exist then!)
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Listened to this on audio and loved it. Helped that j love the Australian and the accent

Brilliant story of young love and how a split decision can send you a certain way
Back in 1978 Daniel Lawrence and Alison Connor go on their first date, to Kev Carter's Christmas party. It's first love in Sheffield to the accompaniment of a fantastic soundtrack of music (Elvis Costello, Blondie, Jilted John).

Switch to present day 2012, Daniel is now Dan, living in Edinburgh with his partner Katelin, son Alex and dog, Dan is a music writer. Alison is now Ali, a writer, married with two daughters and living in Adelaide, Australia. Then Kev Carter sends Dan a tweet about Ali an
Grace J Reviewerlady
Oh, I didn't know what I was letting myself in for with this book; it's one of those magical stories which leaves you feeling absolutely privileged to be let in to a secret!

Alison and Dan are first loves in their teenage years, but circumstances tear them apart. Dan was always into music, and made up a mix tape for Alison, the only thing she kept of his. Many years later, living separate lives on different continents Alison is contacted by Dan in the language he knows best - that of music. And a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dear Edward
  • Such a Fun Age
  • Mr. Nobody
  • Love Lettering
  • The Christmas Wish List
  • She
  • The Lying Room
  • We Met in December
  • Ask Me No Questions (DS Kate Munro #1)
  • The Christmas Calendar Girls
  • Grand Union: Stories
  • Degrees of Guilt
  • The Man She Married
  • The Girl at the Window
  • Woman on the Edge
  • The Killer Inside
  • Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls, #1)
  • The Secret Sister
See similar books…
Jane Sanderson was born in South Yorkshire in 1962. She studied English at Leicester University, then after graduating she became a journalist. After a series of jobs with local newspapers she joined the BBC where she worked as a producer for Radio 4, first on the World at One, and then on Woman's Hour. She lives with her husband, the Independent journalist and author Brian Viner, and their three ...more

News & Interviews

Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
161 likes · 60 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“...he didn't know how lucky he was to have a family as this one; a family to get irritated with, to depend upon, to be loved by and to love. He took them for granted - my parents are right where I left them - but it was a lifetime's abundance of love that informed this casual complacency, the rock-solid security, the unshakable assumptions about the permanence of familial love and support.” 0 likes
More quotes…