Brendan Kiely’s The Last True Love Story went on sale this week and our featured extended excerpt is still available for a few more days, check it out! Read Brendan’s thoughts on the novel, enter for a chance to win a copy of the book and an iTunes giftcard, and speaking of tunes, read on below for Brendan’s Last True Love Story playlist!
My stories from high school have soundtracks layered beneath them. In some stories the music is energizing, a fuel, propelling me forward as I speed into danger, like that time my friend and I blasted Powerman 5000’s “Organizized” in his little blue Reliant as we raced another friend’s car down Route 1 South. And in other stories music is a lullaby of safety when the rest of the world seems small and quiet compared to the hard knocking of my heart in my chest, like the night the acoustic tribute to Jerry Garcia trickled from my speakers as I tried to find the courage to tell the girl in the passenger seat beside me that I loved her.
The guys on the basketball team blasted Onyx’s “Slam” when we lifted weights at practice. The first time I was in a car pulled over by the police we were listening to Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire.” I watched in awe as four girls jumped out of their seats at a party and through magic muscle memory danced a routine they’d choreographed three years earlier to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Do You Want Me.”
In every story, the music amplifies the emotions and mood of the moment. But maybe the music is more than a soundtrack? Maybe the stories actually spring from the music itself?
This is something Hendrix, Corrina, and Gpa discover while on their mad dash across the country from LA to upstate New York in my new novel, The Last True Love Story. Their trip, and the whole novel, are guided by playlists curated courtesy of the rock maven, Corrina. Gpa, a Vietnam War vet with Alzheimer’s, remembers and shares stories of how he and his late wife fell in love when Corrina plays him classic rock songs from the sixties and seventies. Hendrix learns how it feels to fall in love for the first time when Corrina plays her own music and her voice ascends like a paper lantern rising to meet the stars in the night sky. And Corrina begins to believe that she can transform from a dedicated fan to a rock star herself as she listens to her playlist of women who rock.
It’s more than two and half thousand miles from LA to Ithaca—a lot of road for many songs and the crazy, exciting, and sometimes shocking stories that rise from them. Here’s a small sampling of Corrina’s playlist for herself, the songs that inspire her to try to join her pantheon of women who rock.