Idol tells the story of Killian, the lead singer of Kill John, as he struggles to find his love of music after a devastating blow to his group, and Liberty Bell, the hermit who is hiding from the world for various reasons. Their story is one of finding who they are and what makes them happy and owning it in an industry built on facades.
The aspect of the novel that I love the most is the importance of music to humans that is portrayed in the book, not only from the characters, but the author herself.
“MUSIC CAN BE your friend when you have none, your lover when you’re needy. Your rage, your sorrow, your joy, your pain. Your voice when you’ve lost your own. To be part of that, to be the soundtrack of someone’s life, is a beautiful thing.”
Libby finds solace in music when she is sad and uses it to convey an important message to Killian, and Killian speaks of music and performing as a high and the audience as an animal. The both truly love music, as exhibited by their several conversations and the careers they choose to pursue. This is an aspect of the novel I truly love and agree with. Music is used as the soundtrack of our lives and Kristen Callihan portrayed this idea perfectly with the characterization of the band, Libby, and Killian.
What ultimately made this novel enjoyable for me is Killian and his interactions with his bandmates and Libby. I am not sure that I would have liked it as much without him. His wit and banter sucked me into his character. Just as Libby describes,
“…this guy vibrates with vitality. It permeates the air like a perfume, soaking into my skin and making me want to rub myself all over him just to get a little bit more of that feeling – as if by being near him, I, too, might be something special.”
This is exactly how I feel about him. I am drawn to him over all of the other characters, and I’m not sure I would have liked the book without him. His humor and constant concern with his friends make him loveable. It is endearing that he was constantly thinking of the happiness of the people he loves over himself, and, even if it has disastrous outcomes, his intentions are always good. I think what is the most enjoyable aspect of his characterization is that he didn’t talk negatively about the music industry. Killian acknowledges what is bad about it, but recognizes that it is part of what makes them rock royalty. Yes, he has lost his desire to compose, but it is tied to what happens to Jax. I also really loved that Kristen Callihan didn’t have Killian use groupies to make Libby jealous, have him get photographed in a compromising position that he will have to explain later, or any of the other standard rock-romance conflicts. The conflict she creates, while it does center around the issues in the music industry, is unique.
I also like Libby, but I didn’t really connect to her. I think she is a good heroine, a good match for Killian, and fantastic with the band. She never expects him to put her before them, and she sacrifices for his benefit and the benefit of the band. I also like that she is courageous enough to take her career and make it what she wants. In the end, her only focus is on making herself and the people she loves happy.
“I breath in her scent. Touch her skin. ‘You can have the world. Just reach for it.’ ‘I don’t need the world,’ she whispers in my ear. ‘What do you need?’ I’ll give her anything. Everything. Soft hands on my neck, gentle lips mapping my skin. ‘You.’”
There is a host of good secondary characters. I laughed at their antics, especially Rye and Whip, but I, once again, didn’t feel this burning desire to know their stories. The reader is fully aware that there will be stories, as the basic plot of their future books is hinted at in Idol. I will, of course, read their stories, probably the day they are released, because I enjoy Kristen Callihan’s writing and her stories, and I am sure I will like the next books just as much, if not more, as Idol.
Overall Idol is an enjoyable read that I would whole-heartedly recommend if you are looking for well-developed plot and characters living in the world of music.
I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.
He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away?
As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles.
Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse —and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name.
The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.
About the Author:
Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.