A MelanieM Review: The Music of the Spheres by Chase Potter

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5    ★★★★★

Cover - The Music of the SpheresAn athlete and introvert from a family touched by loss, Ryan Mattson splits his life between reading and spending time with his dad and precocious younger sister. With the wounds of Ryan’s past almost healed, high school is simple, and so is everything else.

But that changes when he’s paired with Adam for a class project. Adam, the guy with birthmarks like flecks of mud and compost-brown eyes that hide behind dorky glasses. Grudgingly, the two young men work together, and as they do, an unlikely friendship is formed.

With the passing college years, their bond deepens and grows. Even Ryan’s sister and dad take a liking to Adam, and the family – always missing a voice – seems to gain another. But just as Ryan is forced to confront what Adam really means to him, his family is dragged toward crisis. And beneath the silent snows and starlit sky of a Minnesota winter, their friendship will be tested more than ever before.

I discovered Chase Potter through his wonderful debut novel, The Race for Second.  Two more stories followed, each even better than its predecessor, but now he’s written The Music of the Spheres, a novel so moving and heartwarming that I found it impossible to put down.

Its a tale of two young men, told from the perspective of Ryan Mattson, whose world was shattered when his mother died.  Rebuilding after that trauma made his small family stronger and more bonded but a little insular. So when a school assignment brings him into contact with Adam Haskamp, Ryan’s reactions aren’t exactly social. Then again neither are Adam’s.  Its not a particularly good first beginning but slowly, like a tentative dance, the two young men start to discover things about each other that they connect with.  How I loved this way to bring them together.  Potter made it feel so natural, you could feel it when the friendship kicks end and the vulnerabilities start to reveal themselves through the conversations and the descriptions of the body language and clothes.

Those characters are going to dig themselves so deep into your heart, starting with Ryan who doesn’t see himself as the special, caring person he is.  Ryan can be a little, no a lot, naive about things. Like those who just don’t pick up on clues while everyone else around them has not only gathered all the clues but solved the mystery and moved on to something else. I know people like that so I could see Ryan so clearly.  Adam too is painted so beautifully in words and descriptions that I could never get enough of him, every scene just cried out for more of his presence as his personality is so strong and yet so painfully vulnerable.  And together?  They have a friendship and romance everyone will want to see work and become something wonderful.

There’s Ryan’s father and brilliant sister and their own interactions with Ryan and Adam, at the start and as the relationship progresses.  Trust me, there is so much to love here.  You will find yourself quickly connected to these characters and their lives, your emotions riding along with theirs.  Yes, have that box of tissues handy, you will need it at times.

I’m not going into too much detail here, so much of this story should be savored, from the small revelations to the large painful realities everyone must go through.  It all feels so authentic that at times I thought my Kindle would bleed with the  pain and angst.  There are sections that some might feel a little slow but there are times in Ryan’s life when its introspection not action that he needs, so the pace feels right to me.

There is one nagging element, the tale of the disappearing blind dog.  He’s there and then, he’s gone.  I did talk to the author about this and was satisfied.  Unfortunately, I can’t say more at this time.  Hopefully that will change in the future and I will be able to update this review.  But it wasn’t enough to take away from the rating.

Need a story to lose yourself in?  Love a friends to lovers romance?  I haven’t even mentioned the magical inspiration behind the title, that might bring you to tears. It did me as did the story behind the cover.  The Music of the Spheres by Chase Potter has it all, deep friendship, family, self knowledge and enduring love.  Please don’t pass this one up,  I highly  recommend it to all.

 

Cover Artist: Chase Potter.  That is Chase and his husband, then fiance’, in that photograph on their engagement trip.  It makes that cover and its part in this book even more magical.

Sales Link:  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 239 pages
Published January 21st 2016 by Chase Potter Books
ASINB01AXJ6YO8
Edition LanguageEnglish

Need A New Romance to Love? Check out Chase Potter’s The Music of the Spheres (guest post and giveaway)

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Cover - The Music of the Spheres

The Music of the Spheres by Chase Potter
Publisher and Cover Artist: Chase Potter
Release Date January 21, 2016

Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is so happy to have Chase Potter here to day to talk about his latest novel, The Music of the Spheres.  Welcome, Chase, please tell us a little about the inspiration behind the story and that gorgeous cover.

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The Music of the Spheres by Chase Potter

Never before have I written a book quite like The Music of Spheres. Even the writing process itself was unique for me. At the beginning of November, I had just released my third book, and I wasn’t remotely interested in starting another project.

Then the inspiration came. A post about two guys graduating college who had shared a close friendship for years. A friendship defined by an innocent physical intimacy and a captivating sense of shared affection. A friendship that ran deep, touching each of their lives in a hundred different ways and eventually bringing the original poster to ask, “Are we… boyfriends?”

I was hooked. I built an outline over the next two days, and then I began to write. With my husband out of state, I had nothing but time. And just three weeks later, I was done. It took forty cups of coffee, five bubble baths, and a dozen beers spread across several tough scenes, but barely after I’d started, the manuscript was done and it felt like something amazing.

It’s no big secret that I like metaphors, and I put a lot in this story too. The title has its own special place in the book, and the covers features me and my husband as the silhouetted figures, courtesy of our engagement pictures (which incidentally were taken years ago by the young woman to whom the book is dedicated and who was the basis for one of the main characters.)

From the beginning, creating The Music of the Spheres was really a wonderful experience. The story had a certain symmetry and cohesion that not only made it painless to create but also let me fall in love with it. I laughed and I cried, and the emotions stuck with me longer after I’d finished writing. That’s the kind of story I love to write, and I’m excited to share it with readers.

About The Music of the Spheres

Cover - The Music of the SpheresAn athlete and introvert from a family touched by loss, Ryan Mattson splits his life between reading and spending time with his dad and precocious younger sister. With the wounds of Ryan’s past almost healed, high school is simple, and so is everything else.

But that changes when he’s paired with Adam for a class project. Adam, the guy with birthmarks like flecks of mud and compost-brown eyes that hide behind dorky glasses. Grudgingly, the two young men work together, and as they do, an unlikely friendship is formed.

With the passing college years, their bond deepens and grows. Even Ryan’s sister and dad take a liking to Adam, and the family – always missing a voice – seems to gain another. But just as Ryan is forced to confront what Adam really means to him, his family is dragged toward crisis. And beneath the silent snows and starlit sky of a Minnesota winter, their friendship will be tested more than ever before.

Contemporary, friends to lovers, gay fiction, romance, coming out.

Kindle Edition, paperback (coming Jan 25), 239 pages
Published January 21st 2016 by Chase Potter Books
 authorphoto Chase Potter

 About the Author

 Chase Potter lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his husband Mitchell and their dog Alex. The Music of the Spheres is his fourth novel. Raised in rural Minnesota, Chase has also lived in Germany and Austria. The experiences growing up in a small town and his struggles to adapt to foreign culture and language have served as inspiration in his writing.

Giveaway

For the Rafflecopter giveaway, five copies of The Music of the Spheres. Copies will be in the form of a gifted Amazon Kindle copy.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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