June 21, 2014

Book Review: Above the Noise by Michelle Kemper Brownlow


Becki Mowry’s journalism expertise keeps her busy as she spends her waking hours filling a calendar with gigs and public appearances for her boyfriend’s up and coming band, Alternate Tragedy. Radio interviews and TV spots result in sold out concerts and rowdy groupies hot for her guy; lead singer, Calon Ridge. But, as fame would have it, their time in the limelight also brings sabotage, rumors and false accusations. Becki and Calon try to stay steadfast on a personal journey that takes them to the depths of fear and uncertainty. And finally, the rug is pulled out from under the band when they must make a transition they never dreamed they’d be faced with.

In this third book of the In Too Deep series, Becki and Calon struggle to find balance as they navigate their new relationship while living amid the rock world’s nocturnal chaos. But when life’s unexpected obstacles come out of nowhere, they focus on finding their own private solace Above the Noise.




Go! I don’t want you near this!” I turned back toward Max. I’d allowed my eyes
off him for way too long.
What is this about, Calon?” Max was a
dumbass for challenging me with semantics.
hands all over Becki. That’s what this is
about, Max!” I motioned between us with my hand.
then the beat of “Tsunami” by Dvvbs and Borgeous bounced the floor. The music
was so loud it’s all I could hear. Max’s mouth flapped, but I had no idea what
he said. I didn’t need to hear anything to read his cocky swagger as he walked
toward me or the two middle fingers he shot up when he got within reach. That’s
when it all went down.
threw the first punch, seemingly in response to what he knew was coming his
way. He caught me in the jaw, and I heard Becki shriek my name, but my head
sprung back instantly, and my eyes locked on his. My fist connected with the
side of his head right at his temple, and I felt something in my hand crack,
but I felt no pain.
James! Knock it the fuck off!” Becki’s voice was garbled, like it was coming at
me through liquid.
wanted to just leave with her and keep her safe, but the cocky motherfucker in
front of me needed to feel the line I
was drawing in the sand. He came at me again, this time he ducked and ran
straight into my chest with his head. I curled my arms under his and brought
them up violently and made contact with his chest with a deep thunk. I could
feel the hit reverberate through my forearms.
He staggered back, but his feet caught up with his body and he kept his
think you’re such a fuckin’ hot shot, don’t you?” He was calling me the hot shot?
shook out the hand that hit him, and then ran it through my hair. I shoved the
other hand in the pocket of my jeans. “Are we done, Max?” I had to yell over
the music, and he was less than three feet from me. I drew my line. He needed
to understand his boundaries if we were going on tour together, but I didn’t
need to kill him. We could be done as soon as he got the point.
we’re done when I walk out the front door with Becki.” His lip curled when he
said her name, which sent a shock through my body I’d never felt before. I
could only imagine what went through his mind as her name rolled off his
tongue. We weren’t done.
 I lost it and caught him in the head again
with my fist. No doubt, I felt that one. I took another shot and made abrupt
contact with his jaw then another. Becki was yelling, but I couldn’t make sense
of anything she said, the music was too loud. Someone grabbed me from behind
and pulled me back. “Dude, he’s not worth it, let’s bounce. C’mon, Cal, don’t
do this.” Spider, always the voice of reason.
nodded and wrestled my arms back from him. I took a deep breath and calmly
walked back over to where Max was crouched, trying to get up.
you were out of line.” I crouched down in front of him and watched him wipe the
blood coming from his nose with the back of his hand. I didn’t want to
apologize. I wanted to continue smashing his head with my fist, but that wasn’t
how I wanted people to see me. “Stay away from her. She’s not yours to take.”
I’m not yours to take either!”
Becki’s voice was loud and clear as the song ended. I stood and turned to her.
She didn’t say another word, but her eyes said it all. I’d disappointed her.
That revelation stung way worse than if she’d just punched me in the gut.

Above the Noise (In Too Deep, #3)Above the Noise by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a big fan of this series, and once again Michelle Kemper Brownlow delivered an excellent read! I have loved Becki and Calon since they were introduced in books one and two, so I was ecstatic that they were going to get a book of their own.

The pace of the story was great. It never bogged down, and it held my interest from beginning to end. Calon ended up being an even better character, and boyfriend, than I could have ever imagined. However, I couldn't help but wish that he was just a little bit more bad. After all, he is on his way to being a huge rock star, but he acts like he's a church altar boy. Plus, much like I felt about the first two books, there is just too much crying! From both Calon and Becki. Don't get me wrong, these books are very emotional, but I guess I prefer my characters to be more stoic or something. Tears should be reserved for very, very, very, extreme circumstances. If I'm not moved to tears by what's going on in the story, it kind of bothers me that the characters are crying.

Anyway, that is literally my only complaint about this book. And it didn't detract from the story - in fact it's probably only something that bothers me. I loved how the story ended, I loved the journey they took along the way, and I can't wait for more of these characters and this world!

View all my reviews


Michelle Kemper Brownlow has been a storyteller her entire life. Her debut was on the high school cheerleading bus granting requests to re-tell her most embarrassing moments for a gaggle of hysterical squadmates.

Earning her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Art Education and then marrying her very own “Jake,” she moved to Binghamton, NY where she taught high school. After having two children she quit work and finished her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Binghamton University.

The Brownlow family of four moved to Michelle’s hometown of Morgantown, PA while the children were still quite young. A few years after moving, her family grew by one when they welcomed a baby into their home through the gift of adoption. The family still resides in PA, just miles from where that high school cheer bus was parked.

Michelle has been an artist for as long as she can remember, always choosing pencils and crayons over toys and puzzles. As a freelance illustrator, her simple characters play the starring roles in numerous emergent reader books published by Reading Reading Books.

Stay connected with Michelle:


Follow me on Twitter: @MK_Brownlow

"Like" me on facebook: Michelle Kemper Brownlow/ Author




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