Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass | ARC Review

Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running.

And that’s when Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort.

Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them…

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Where the Rhythm Takes You is a romantic, mesmerizing novel of first love and second chances.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’m having really bad luck lately disliking the mcs and love interests in contemporaries :/


But overall, it was a solid story with a really great message—to do what you want and not what other want/expect of you. Live your own life, not the life of others. Do what make you happy or you might regret it for the rest of your life.

“It had my heart, even when my dreams were somewhere else.”

Since she was a kid, all Reyna has known is life at the family hotel and she plans to continue working there for the rest of her life after the unfortunate death of her mother. Reyna feels as if there’s no other option for her except to run the hotel and tells herself she’s okay with it… until one day, the arrival of Aiden, her first love—now a famous singer—changes everything Reyna once thought and believed in.

Coming into this, it’s clear that an incident occurred between Aiden and Reyna in the past, and the mystery surrounding what happened two years ago had me really curious. Those chapters that were set in the past really gave more info on their relationship and how it grew between the two until it all fell apart. I actually found those chapters much more interesting than the present ones.

Reyna annoyed me a lot throughout the novel with the way she acted, especially in the beginning of the book, but overtime I grew to understand her more and the actions she took. However, it still wasn’t enough for me to like her unfortunately.

Now the romance was… not my favourite. So the glimpses in the past about Reyna and Aiden were nice in showing how their bond developed and all but I feel like it wasn’t really enough?? Like in the present chapters, the relationship between Reyna and Aiden was so lackluster and bland. They barely interacted with each other throughout the novel and when they did it was so awkward due to their past. I just really couldn’t love, better yet like, the romance between the two since it felt like nothing to me.

It felt so lacking and plain. Yeah, they were childhood best friends who fell in love with each other until an incident in which they finally see each other again two years later but I mean?? Where’s the angst and tension?? idk everything just felt dull to me. I just can’t enjoy the romance when it didn’t even feel real at all.

I’d honestly say Fish yes, you read that right and Reyna had more chemistry then Reyna and Aiden. At least they actually had noteworthy interactions and some actual spark between the two with the flirty and funny scenes. Aiden was just that one guy who was brooding in the background until all of a sudden everything magically changes and he starts acting nicer to Reyna— umm yeah…

I do like how this was set in the Caribbean. Too often do novels take place in North America specifically the US so this was a nice change in scenery. It did take a little while getting used to some of the dialect used in the book, but it was definitely interesting.

Overall, this had a pretty nice take on second chances and doing what you feel passionate about. The romance could’ve been much better in my opinion and the story dragged on a lot, which had me pushing myself to get through it. Props for being a pretty quick read though!

Eternally thankful to Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.