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Review: The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore

Blurb from Goodreads:
Raymond Chandler meets Nick Hornby in this clever noir romp through hipster Brooklyn as a mysterious mix tape puts a young amateur sleuth on the hunt for a killer—and for the truths hidden within her own heart.

Jett Bennett moved to New York to become a music journalist. What she found was a temp gig as a proofreader, but at least she’s fitting in with the artists and musicians in the tragically hip Brooklyn neighborhood she calls home.

But when Jett opens up her mail and finds a mix tape meant for her neighbor, KitKat, a local queen bee renowned for her “enhanced” baked goods and retro videogame collection, everything changes. Jett drops off the cassette and discovers that it’s game over for KitKat: someone bashed her head in with a rolling pin… and left her pot brownies burning in the oven.

KitKat’s boyfriend, Bronco, is M.I.A. Her sister is so desperate that she asks Jett to snoop around. Then there’s that mix tape. Jett didn’t know KitKat well, but she knows music. And a tape full of love songs from someone other than Bronco screams motive—sending Jett and her best friend, Sid, on an epic quest to find KitKat’s killer through record stores, strip joints, vegan bakeries, and basement nightclubs—a journey that resonates with Jett, and her past, in unexpected ways.
I was highly anticipating The Big Rewind- I love music, I loved (absolutely adored) making mix tapes and CDs, and I generally like murder mysteries.  While I did enjoy this book, several things left me a bit frustrated with the ultimate execution and ending of this story.  First, Jett was almost too melancholy and nostalgic for even me -- her age isn't specifically referenced but I assume she was in her mid-to-late twenties based upon the context of university and the age of those around her.  Maybe it's just me but I don't think your mid-to-late twenties is the time to be pining for all your previous boyfriends to the point where it is disrupting your life.  Throughout the book, Jett is almost fanatical about her old boyfriend, who we come to find out, she never even told she loved, which is why he moved on without her.  Without spoilers, the whole scene was bizarre when she went to confront her old boyfriend, especially since nearly every other scene of the book involved Jett languishing and obsessing over her best friend, Sid.  I guess, for me, there was too much emphasis on Jett's love life and not enough on Jett, herself, and the mystery of KitKat.  I understand that Jett's love life was used to detail her feelings about music and all her past mix tapes, but I think the explanation and execution could have been done better to integrate this plot device.

However, I would still recommend this to fans of music and mystery -- this book is definitely NA and not YA.  If you ever made a mix tape or CD, and happen to like light mystery solving, this may be the book for you.  This book is almost High Fidelity meets hipster Brooklyn Nancy Drew (I hesitate to compare Jett to Veronica Mars because, let's face it, no one is as kick-ass and awesome as VM!).  The Big Rewind will be released tomorrow, February 2, 2016, and you can purchase HERE!  
There isn't a better feeling in the world—not an orgasm, not a first kiss, not even that glorious soaring sensation you get when those first few notes of a new song pierce your chest and fill your whole body with absolute bliss—than acknowledgment that your mix tape was not only received and played but enjoyed.  It's a dance of sorts, balancing songs you think the listener will love while trying to say everything that otherwise dries up in your throat before you can get out the words.


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  2. Music and mystery? That sounds like it could have been an epic story had it not been for the obsession of the MC with her exes. I don't know how much of that I could actually tolerate.
    Thanks for putting this on my radar, Eva. If I come across it at a library, I'll be sure to pick it up!
    Lovely review! :)

  3. Yes I for sure will have to check this out. Love music and mysteries. I so remember making mixed tapes back in the day. Great review!

  4. I have really high hopes for this one because I love nostalgia. I remember making those mix tapes, too. I love music in my books (it seems to add a little something special to the story for me) and mystery goes without saying. I'm still going to add this one to my wish list and give it a try later in the year, I think.

  5. I hadn't heard of this book before but I am drawn to the music and mystery. But I don't like how it didn't focus on Jett and the solving mystery of KitKat. I would be put off by that since this is a mystery novel. Either way, it sounds like a good book. Great review :)

  6. Just the cover alone hooked me. I love the mix of music in books - and the addition of a mystery seems almost too good to pass up. Too bad this wasn't more of a hit for you but it sounds like it was still an enjoyable read.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

  7. Sorry this left you frustrated. It has a lot of elements I would have picked it up for as well. Wonderful honest review!

  8. Ah, I was hoping this would be better! It makes me think the author tried TOO hard to make this like High Fidelity based on your comment about the MC being obsessed with an old boyfriend. Who knows though? I do love music in books and I'm always down for a good mix c.d. ;)


    1. I didn't even think of that comparison (the obsession with the ex)! but you are so spot on!!

  9. Too bad you didn't like this book as much as you wanted to. It's a pity as the cover of the book is beautiful.

  10. Excellent review. Brilliant minds think alike.


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