I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
I re-read some of the series before starting on RaoC on Tour: Las Vegas
(which is what I shall be dubbing this - because #RaoCROX), but not all of them - however, I remembered enough that I got every single callback that got mentioned in this installment.
Speaking of which, I believe I'll start there. One of the joys of the Random books is the callbacks. Like little easter eggs (in this case literal
eggs) to the readers, it's always a treat to be transported back to a moment from one of the earlier books. #HooHaPhone #Mavis #PurpleShack #Gene #AnFetRaoC on Tour: Las Vegas
Centers mostly on Darla, Trevor, and Joe, although the rest of the gang is there as well. I mean, you can't have a RaoC book without all of the Randomites and their Randomettes!
Darla is busy being the band manager still, and has gotten them a huge break. They're the opening act for a big-ticket artist in Las Vegas. With a couple of bumps in the road leading up to the actual trip - they make it there intact, except that Darla wants to "play the odds" at the roulette table. Seems she has a bit of her mother in her after all. Her gambling doesn't go exactly as planned, which leads to some soul-searching, and finding her way to some fans that might help her get back a little of the cash she lost.
Let's put a pin in that for now...
...and move on to Joe. He's broken the news to his family (his mother mostly) that he doesn't intend to return to law school. He's learned a lot about his parents as well, probably more than he ever
wanted to. In RaoC on Tour: Las Vegas
he gets another jolt. To say he's left with mixed emotions would be putting it mildly. Joe is a moody one, and I wouldn't have him any other way. He sure loves Darla and Trevor though, and it really shines here.
On to Trevor. Ever the steady compass of their relationship, he's the buoy for most of the book. Near the end however, he learns everything that's gone on behind his back, and feels quite betrayed by Darla and Joe. I would've liked to have read a little empathetic bit on how he understood Joe's pain from feeling "left out" better after this, but I managed to build that narrative myself. I'm sure Trev felt that way - he's good with the empathy.
Throughout the book, there are so many great parts that make the reader chuckle, sigh, cringe (in a good way), and cry. I just utterly loved it. Probably my favorite so far. I love how RaoC hasn't become an "overnight sensation," and hit it big, because I feel like we're watching them grow up. There are a couple of lines via Darla that hit me that way, and they couldn't be more true.
She feels like she's seeing Trev and Joe become men, and it's completely different from anyone else she's let into her life. The arrow isn't far off the mark, Darla. That's how real life is, and when a book evokes real life feelings, you're doing something right.
Five "phone-licking contest" stars.