23:27 by H. L. Roberts
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult/Adult Fiction
These were all the things that you would expect from being famous. The bait that the producers of the industry would tempt you with to get you on their side.
What they don’t tell you though are all the inner tragedies that come along just as quickly. They don’t tell you about the heartache that occurs when you realize that this wasn’t what you wanted at all.
They don’t tell you about the pressure that’s always on the verge of crushing you when you’re forced to do everything that the public demands for and not what you truly desire.
They don’t tell you about the self hatred that would soon take over your entire being at the thought that you will never be good enough.
No – they don’t tell you these things at all.
But, Lilith Rose will.
When Lilith Rose, lead singer to one of the most famous rock bands around gets tired of all the lies and secrets that comes with being famous.
She decides that it’s time for all of it to stop and ends up revealing everything on a Facebook live stream.
“Part of me wants to die tonight, part of me wants it to be an accident, and part of me wants someone to notice and save me.” – Lilith Rose.
Going into this novel, I had no idea what I had coming. This is a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat for its entirety, and I would highly recommend it as a single sitting read. Lilith (aka Lil) is the lead singer of a band made famous overnight thanks to YouTube, but little did she know that fame came with its own terms and conditions. As relationships form and fall apart in the band, emotions run high bringing a possible downfall to the band.
The beginning of 23:27 is one of the most well-written introductions I have ever read. H. L. Roberts skillfully introduces us to just enough background while keeping the reader entertained and interested. Immediately I was sucked into the story.
The entire idea of a secret revealing Facebook Livestream was enthralling. Quite often writers frustrate me with the switching of viewpoints, but Miss Roberts did a fantastic job. Both Lil’s POV and Alec’s POV kept me engaged the entire time. Not only did H. L. Roberts write both point of view extremely well tailored to each character, but she timed the voice of the characters correctly as well. In other words, I found that she wrote the proper chapters according to each POV rather than randomly switch and by doing so, she strongly enriched her story.
There are three things that really make a story great to me: characters, plot, and voice. 23:27 exceeded expectations in all three of categories. I found every character to be well written and thought provoking, specifically Lil and Alec, though that is likely due to them being the main two characters. I also enjoyed reading about the relationships between characters, whether that be the bad, the good, or the romantic.
As I said before, this book really kept me on the edge of my seat. It isn’t often I read books as intense as this, but 23:27 may have changed that. A large reason for this is the plot. For many novels, there is a single goal the character is trying to achieve or they’re just along for the ride, but not true for this book. There were so many parts to the plot I kept crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t end while at the same time hoping it would so I could see the resolution. I felt as though there were multiple climaxes, one major but this is spoiler free, which worked really well with the story.
It isn’t often that I find an author’s voice that I absolutely adore, but I believe that this is an author I will have to keep up with. It’s not that I fell in love with it, but this isn’t that kind of book. It’s meant to make you think. To believe. And become a part of this world she’s created through her words, which I believe H. L. Roberts has done an excellent job of.
One part of the novel I have yet to address is the mental factor. There are some very deep and dark subjects approached head on in 23:27. For one thing, suicide is a major factor in the story and decisions of a character. However, it is shown in a negative light. I am grateful that the author is careful with the subject in that she ensures that it does not come across as something that is an “okay” option or something that teenagers are doing to make a point. I feel like it was a much better approach than in books/movies such as 13 Reasons Why (as I’m certain that’s the one on everyone’s minds right now) especially because it shows the proper treatment/prevention and does not come across as something theatrical. Other major topics brought up are depression and anxiety. Hopefully, this novel will spark the proper conversations on how to address such things. While I do not agree with everything in 23:27, for the most part it has done a better job than most other young adult books I have read that attempted the same feats.
As a whole, I greatly enjoyed 23:27 by H. L. Roberts and look forward to seeing everyone else’s thoughts on it as it was a very thought provoking novel with strong messages.
Let me know what you thought of this review down in the comments below! Do you have any comments on 23:27?