ARC Review: Syncopation by Anna Zabo

I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 

I really wish the cover wasn’t Like That

Summary: Twisted Wishes front man Ray Van Zeller is in one hell of a tight spot. After a heated confrontation with his bandmate goes viral, Ray is hit with a PR nightmare the fledgling band so doesn’t need. But his problems only multiply when they snag a talented new drummer—insufferably sexy Zavier Demos, the high school crush Ray barely survived.

Zavier’s kept a casual eye on Twisted Wishes for years, and lately, he likes what he sees. What he doesn’t like is how out of control Ray seems—something Zavier’s aching to correct after their first pulse-pounding encounter. If Ray’s up for the challenge.

Despite the prospect of a glorious sexual encore, Ray is reluctant to trust Zavier with his band—or his heart. And Zavier has always had big dreams; this gig was supposed to be temporary. But touring together has opened their eyes to new passions and new possibilities, making them rethink their commitments, both to the band and to each other.

book review - pink


Syncopation is a book that I expected to love, and while I did love a lot of it, I also can’t give it the full five stars I was expecting to give it when I started reading. I did enjoy it a lot though and I can’t wait for the sequels.

First off, I had never read a book about a band even though I know there’s a lot of them. This was my first. I loved the music/band element so much! I also loved that Zav came from a classical background, it was kinda cool to see that a musician can do both genres. There was also talk about socio-economical privilege (why Zav could afford a musical school) and I’m glad it was there.

Also, I loved the fact that everyone in the band is queer. Ray and Dom are gay, Mish is queer (not otherwise specified in this book but I really hope she gets her own sequel), and Zav is aromantic pansexual.

I can’t really comment on the aromantic aspect myself but ownvoices aro reviewers have found it great and the representation meant a lot to them. Here’s two reviews you can check out ➝ review by Acqua • review by Min.

I need to say that while in the middle of the book I was struck with a bad case of “oh god I’m so not in the mood for an adult contemporary book”, so a lot of my enjoyment was influenced by this mood. The sex scenes (well, all the bdsm stuff tbh) were also not really for me, but that’s something I was prepared for before starting the book, and once I read the first couple of those I skimmed the other ones because the point they made was clear: this book and Ray and Zav’s relationship is all about the trust between them.

A few other things bothered me and those had nothing to do with my mood. Mainly I found a few plot points predictable and Carl to be a little bit too much of a stereotype of a bad guy for my tastes. I also thought that sometimes the double POV was a bit repetitive; what I mean is that sometimes one character would wonder about something that we already knew from the other’s POV and that was a little annoying to read. But it’s minor flaws in an otherwise great book, and I highly recommend it.


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