Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Brittainy Cherry’s The Mixtape is a heart-rending, beautifully drawn story about two people who find each other during the hardest times of their lives. Cherry deftly uses the metaphor of a mixed tape to illustrate the ups and downs of life, each track representing a moment in our lives that is either the best or the worst of times.
Through her characters, Oliver and Emery, Cherry reminds readers that we construct the family we want; we aren’t born into it. Her story also focuses on overcoming loss. The book has a strong focus on mental health, namely through Oliver’s story, and the wisdom that Cherry pours over the page, through the voice of therapist Audrey, is important for anyone who engages in negative self-talk. Both Emery and Oliver struggle with life, but they learn quickly that acknowledging that bad things happen to everyone, that a new day dawns with the opportunity to be better, is an apt lesson from The Mixtape.
I’ll be honest with you. If you’re looking for a true romance with this story, you won’t find it in the context of Cherry’s other books. This is a story about overcoming, not necessarily falling in love, although that is one of the focuses of this story. I loved Cherry’s insistence on moving us through Oliver and Emery’s stories individually, providing her readers with both the past and present to underscore her different messages. The cherry on the sundae of this story is Oliver and Emery’s slow-burn love story.
I did receive an ARC of this story for an honest review, and they often have grammatical errors. If I have any criticism, it’s that. The writing was a bit messy as it was a draft, and, at times, it hindered the readability of the story.
However, the overall flow and tenderness between Oliver and Emery draw you into Cherry’s The Mixtape. The allusions, the sentiment, the journey of her characters hold you captive to it. If you love the journey of broken people and their eventual healing, then you should definitely read Brittainy Cherry’s The Mixtape.
In love and romance,