‘Mix Tape’ is the latest book by Jane Sanderson.
Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape. But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him ‘the one that got away’; after all, she’d been the one to run. Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past. For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is sixteen in Sheffield, dancing in her skin-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind. And so begins a new mix tape. Ali and Dan exchange songs – some new, some old – across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences, until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything. Because what if ‘what could have been’ is yet to come?
If you like your books to be filled with love, drama and music nostalgia, then ‘Mix Tape’ is just the story for you. A reflective piece about two people who never quite got over their first love and often wondered about the one who got away.
Living on different sides of the world, Dan is a respected music reviewer who thought he was content in his relationship, until a blast from his teenage reappeared reminding him off what could have been. Living in Australia, Ali is now a successful author, who everyone wants a piece off. But, just as her success is soaring, her teenage daughter becomes pregnant and Ali finds herself also reflecting on her life back in Sheffield and what might have been with Dan. Stirred on by reflection and new emotions Dan and Ali embark on a tentative new connection based purely on the soundtrack of their relationships.
The story is written through a period and flashes back and forth in the characters lives and is seen through her narratives. I really liked Dan, he was kind, hipster that people were drawn too. His needs are simple and I found myself sympathising with him as he struggled with emotions and tried to block them out to remain loyal to his partner. Ali was also an interesting character, she feels she has failed as a mother due to her daughter’s teenage pregnancy and constantly pits herself against her own mother, who was never there for her.
A reflective and relatable love story about the complexities of relationships, be that loving kind or maternal. Jane has weaved a cleverly written story of nostalgia that concentrates on one couple’s story of what might have been accompanied with a soundtrack that is perfect for each scenario.
You can buy ‘Mix Tape’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.