Wednesday, April 6, 2022

[Review] - Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson & Dolly Parton

Recently, I read the newest James Patterson novel - Run, Rose, Run. The New York Times Bestselling Author teamed up with the Country music legend Dolly Parton, who recorded a companion album, Rose's Story. (Note - Sorry, folks, the album isn't included with the book. You have to purchase it separately. Or you can do what I did, listen to the album on Dolly's YouTube Channel.

From my understanding, James Patterson contacted Dolly Parton about collaborating on a project. Patterson went to Vanderbilt University in Nashville and has always loved the city. He flew to Nashville, met up with Dolly, and they came up with the idea for Run, Rose, Run.

The novel centers on AnnieLee Keyes, an aspiring singer/songwriter who hitchhikes to Nashville in the attempt to start anew and possibly hit it big in the Country music business. Shortly after playing a few gigs at a bar, guitarist Ethan hears AnnieLee's singing talent and tells his mentor and retired Country music legend, Ruthanna, all about her. 

Ruthanna more or less swoops AnnieLee off the streets and brings the girl to live in her home. She sees a little bit of herself in AnnieLee and wants to guide her in making the right decision with her music career. 

In practically a blink of an eye, AnnieLee records her debut song, followed by an album. With the press hounding her every move because AnnieLee is the newest trending artist, she doesn't have time to breathe. Then the past that AnnieLee thought she had outrun comes crawling back to haunt her. 

Final Thoughts

Run, Rose, Run reminds me quite a bit of the television series Nashville, and I wonder if either James Patterson or Dolly Parton has seen the series. My guess would be 'yes' because there are many similarities between the two. Then again, maybe not. The plot of a young woman wanting to become a singer has been used multiple times in books. The authors stay at a feel-good level of storytelling, but unfortunately, it leads to predictability. It feels like a Sunday night made-for-television movie from the 1990s, and ironically the novel is being adapted into a feature film with Dolly Parton set to play Ruthanna.  

Overall, Run, Rose, Run is a fast-paced and entertaining coming-to-age story. Yes, it's predictable, but in a good way. If things that happened didn't happen, I wouldn't have been disappointed. It's not a perfect story, but I still enjoyed it, flaws and all.

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