You’re The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn Review: I’d Write a Haiku, Maybe an Iggy Rap at Most

May 25, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 2 stars, Books, Reviews

You’re The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn Review: I’d Write a Haiku, Maybe an Iggy Rap at MostYou're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by daniel herborn
Published by HarperCollins on May 1st 2015
Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Tim is repeating the HSC, but he's more into music than studying. He is juggling playing in a band with handing in assignments and the music is winning. Mandy is taking a year off before she starts uni. Her problem is she doesn't really know what she wants to study, so she's working (sort of) and even by her own admission spends too much watching daytime TV and drinking tea with best friend Alice, with the tea being an excuse for talking - lots. Tim and Mandy meet at a gig. The attraction is immediate, but they are both so shy and self-conscious, but over time they slowly, awkwardly, move toward each, meeting by coincidence, each unsure as to how the other feels.

Kristy’s first review on Happy Indulgence!

Thanks to the tribulations brought on by the busy schedule that is real-life, the worst of the worst has happened recently, and I’ve found myself in a bit of a reading slump.

Now, there’s two paths I usually look to in order to combat this. The first is to conduct a séance and hope to hell that whatever spirit I conjure can help me out, and the second is to pick up a contemporary novel which is my go-to genre when reading.

For practical reasons, I tend to go with the latter option.

In theory, You’re The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About would be the perfect antidote to my problem. The title alone practically oozes the romance à la Melina Marchetta and Gayle Forman that always snaps me out of a reading slump, and with stellar endorsements by Cath Crowley and Nick Earls, how could it go wrong?

Quite a bit, it turns out.

For one, I felt no connection with the main characters. To me, Mandy and Tim were paper cut-outs of characters you find skimming a bio on Wikipedia. Harsh, but true. I get that Mandy was the girl fresh out of high school trying to ‘find her place in the world’, while Tim was the muso playing gigs in all the bars of the Inner West while hiding a Dark and Possibly Terrible Past, but where was the personality? I like my angst, but I have to like the actual characters before I actually enjoy it. The relationship between Mandy and Tim was too rushed, too insa-love and let-me-take-you-now-despite-not-knowing-your-first-name. It was mind boggling having these two characters like each other before I could figure out if I even liked either of them at all.

We talk for a few minutes and it’s not enough. A moment later, I can’t really remember anything he said.

One conversation at a pub where you can’t even remember what the other person just said does not make true love, let me tell you that.

Despite the alternating POVs, all I really got from them was their common interest in music—which would’ve been fine I suppose, if it weren’t for the fact that it felt like Herborn was name dropping every indie band and singer in existence. When music is a theme in a novel, it should generate a better understanding of a character, not become a character in itself. The chapters were too short, the writing too stagnant, and the frequent location jumps into different areas of the Inner West just weren’t to my liking. I would’ve preferred it if Herborn just stuck to two or three areas of the Inner West, rather than trying to give readers an entire tour of what it’s like to be a hipster kid in Sydney.

The great unveiling of Tim’s big secret wasn’t that shocking since I’d figured it’d be something along those lines, but Mandy’s reaction to it was what irked me above all.

I wish we could be one of those lucky, happy couples that I see around, girls from my school who weren’t any more clever, or giving, or pretty, or interesting than me or anyone else, but who met their perfect boyfriends and disappeared into some bubble of happiness that floats around the city and bounces past the likes of me.

Oh yes, Mandy. Forget about Tim spilling his past to you, let’s focus on how you guys aren’t Facebook relationship status worthy instead. That’s definitely the way to a healthy relationship, no doubt about it.


I finished this book through sheer force of will more than anything else but quite frankly, this just wasn’t my cup of tea. It’s a shame, really, since You’re The The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About had so much potential, but its execution just wasn’t enough to do it.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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25 responses to “You’re The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn Review: I’d Write a Haiku, Maybe an Iggy Rap at Most

  1. Huh…I just realised (after I stopped wondering if a seance would work) is that I also pick up a contemporary during a reading slump. There's just something about them that works, when nothing else does!

    I'm sorry this one didn't work though, insta-love, ugh. It sounds like a total disappointment, I hope it didn't worsen your reading slump!
    My recent post Book Review: Center Ice by Cate Cameron

  2. This book went down hill really fast when reading your review. I know everything is dominated by sex in out society but if you are going to write about it do it right. I really don't like when characters who just met decide that they are in love and they need to have sex now. YA can be so frustrating…
    What is up with that first quote??? Such strange characters.
    Yeah, so I'll pass on this one.
    My recent post Made of Stars by Kelley York


    I always get drawn to this book and I think it's the cover because tbh contemporaries (minus those with tropes that I adore like crazy) and I don't get one another. And if there's a big BIG no no for me, it's music/sport contemporaries. Music ones don't do it for me because we tend to get like chunks describing the senses and musci and beats and whatever and tbh I don't give a damn half the time. And the name dropping would drive me up the wall. Yup, staying away. Restraint. I need that. Fantastic review

    • Writing this title at the end was literally my favourite thing because it was on my mind the entire time I was writing my review haha. Yup, completely agree the cover definitely looks inviting but the content is a meh for me. I love contemporaries but I’m totally with you on sport-based ones! Can’t stand them since I swear I have a balance impairment and I had a traumatising experience in primary/middle school where all balls seem to gravitate towards me and hit me on the head. All. The. Freakin’. Time. As for musically-based contemporaries, it depends for me although I agree that it gets aggravating when I’m reading paragraph after paragraph about ‘the sound of the song matching my heartbeat’ or some cheesy drivel like that. Thanks for commenting!

  4. I just bought this one too, damn it.

    I honestly thought it would be something akin to Dash and Lily, but less adventure and more mush. I don't mind instant lust, because when you're that age that's pretty much what romance is, but it sounds really bland. I love books that heavily feature music, but being older, there is no way I've probably heard of half the hipster artists. Speaking of Iggy, I've been calling her Ziggy until recently when I realised that wasn't her name at all. Yeah, I'm totally non conforming like that. Still going to give this one a try, but will save it for a rainy day. LOVED the review Kristy and look forward to seeing more of your brilliance and snark <3
    My recent post The Catalyst by Helena Coggan… Who's only FIFTEEN!

    • Oh no! Maybe there’s a chance that you’ll like it more than I did. I still have to get my hands on Dash and Lily, it’s been on my to-buy list for ages I’m not even kidding. Yeah, there were definitely quite a few obscure artists mentioned in the book and I had to google quite a few of them even though I thought I was quite adept in the hipster scene. LOL, honestly I don’t even think it matters that you called her Ziggy since I’m sure her moment of stardom will pass like a particularly horrible bout of food poisoning. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my review, Kelly, I’m ecstatic that you loved it! If I wasn’t super tired from my day, I’d be doing a happy dance right now, that’s for sure. 🙂

  5. Hi Kristy! *waves* By the way, I love your post title! xD

    Short chapters (in alternating POVs, no less) make it extremely hard for me to get into some characters, so it makes sense that you felt like the characters didn't have any personality.

    I'm so sorry this didn't work for you! Lovely review, though!
    My recent post Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

    • Hey Aimee! *waves back! Haha thanks I love writing titles for blog posts. Writing a book in alternating POVs takes a lot of skill since you have to make sure that each character gets enough content, and Herborn just didn’t deliver for me. Making the chapters short just made it worse so I’m definitely with you on how it’s hard to get into books that are written that way.

  6. rlsharpe

    Great first review Kristy! I loved the sound of this one, and I always enjoy when books have music in them, so I had high expectations for this one. Shame you didn't like it. From what you've shared I don't think I'll like it either. Hope you can get out of your reading slump soon.
    My recent post The Amberly Chronicles Episode 15: The Others.

    • Hey Rochelle, thanks so much! And same here, ever since reading If I Stay by Gayle Forman and A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley as well as a few other music-related books, I was looking forward to this one to match the same level of awesomeness. I’m hoping after my exams are over, my reading slump will disappear as well.

  7. I actually spit out my tea at the headline. Well, that sounds like a disappointing read, thanks for the warning. It's always like that with books that are supposedly about true love. It always turns out to be insta-love. Well, I mean the mother of all widely recognized romance stories is Romeo and Juliet, so what should we expect (I've known you three days, I should kill myself over my love for you)
    My recent post Book Blogging Tips (#4): Pros and Cons of Book Blogging Memes

    • Oh hey, Jen! I didn’t realise you were on blogspot too. Insta-love is always my biggest pet peeve, these days if I read about two people staring each other across the room and one of them is having an inner monologue waxing nostalgic about how their beauty can’t compare to anyone else, I’ll pretty much just close the book.

  8. AW. THIS IS SAD. I kind of skipped this one because it looked entirely mushy…but still. I was hoping it'd dash in with epicness. >.> It sounds a bit bland, to be honest, which is always disappointing.