Typical Cassie: "My bed squeaks as I climb on top of it. Sitting against the wooden headboard, I place the typewriter in my lap and inhale its dusty scent - which is oddly comforting, like the pages within an old book. Words beg to burst forth through my fingertips as I adjust the paper. This is my therapy."
Typical James: "To put it simply, I have to pursue music. Not just for myself or for this passion, but for the people who may some day be touched through my songs. Those who might be affected by my music in a positive way."
All her life, Cassie has been sheltered. Her grandma sets a 7 p.m. curfew, doesn't let her go to birthday parties, doesn't let her drive, etc., etc., etc. And all her life Cassie has been obedient. But now she wants to do something out of the ordinary, to experience the life that she never got to have, to be a normal teenager. Will her new classmate James be the answer to any of that? Does she have the courage to step out of her small world of grandparents, a couple friends, and her song lyrics?
James was just on American Spotlight, living his dream. But now he can't seem to find the inspiration and words to even start a demo album. Coming to a town in the middle of nowhere with his mother, James wants to sort out his life and figure out what he wants to do after high school. But his past, the past he has tried so hard to forget, might haunt him even here.
Unwritten Melody is a beautiful story, based somewhat on the sheltered life of the poet Emily Dickinson. The struggles of both Cassie and James are relatable and intricately woven into the story. Cassie learns how to be vulnerable and how to believe that her life holds meaning and purpose. James learns to learn from past mistakes, but not to let them hold him back.
At some times during the story, I felt that it dragged. However, other times were extremely gripping. The story is not as faith-focused as it could be, but it does include a few mentions of God. More about the Bible is woven into the discussion questions after the story.
For more on Tessa Emily Hall, visit her website, Facebook page, and blog. She has also written the book, Purple Moon.
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.