Review by Ellen Blake
This month’s pick of the month from Andrea Peskind-Katz from GREAT THOUGHTS, GREAT READERS is What You Do to Me by Rochelle Weinstein
What is What You Do to Me is About
What You Do to Me by Rochelle Weinstein is a fictional novel about two unfinished love stories, inspired by the song “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s. This incredibly romantic song, written for a woman named Delilah DiCrescenzo, achieved platinum status in 2007. Listeners obsessed over what they imagined to be the story behind the song.
Journalist Cecilia James, a workaholic trying to get ahead at Rolling Stone, stumbles across a clue to the identity of the muse behind the song titled, What You Do to Me. Legendary rockstar, Eddie Vee, wrote the popular song without disclosing the name of the woman who inspired the soulful melody. Though Eddie disappeared after his last concert, which ended in tragedy for some of his fans, the mystery continued to intrigue the public for many years. Cecelia works tirelessly to uncover the truth about two soulmates from different worlds separated by a forbidden love.
Cecelia learns Eddie wrote the song for his first love, Sara Friedman, who never stopped loving him. They each thought about the other over the years but did not connect due to fate and circumstances beyond their control. As Cecelia works to give Eddie and Sara a happy ending, she hopes she can heal her own relationship. A child of divorce, she tends to hold onto a lot of anger and distrust. Most of all, she fears rejection, and as a result, tends to push people away to avoid getting hurt. She’s heartbroken when her long-term boyfriend, Pete, finally decides he has had enough. Cecelia moves in with her father upon leaving the apartment she shared with Pete, though she blames him for her parent’s divorce. After losing Pete and then almost losing her father to a heart attack, she finally feels ready to acknowledge there might be more to the story than she knows.
What You Do to Me is a novel written in a dual timeline about love and sorrow, and the universal language of music The nostalgic song references throughout remind us how very personal specific melodies can be, and how music can evoke strong emotions, both positive and negative, provide comfort, and help people communicate when they can’t find the words.
My Review of What You Do to Me
Rochelle B. Weinstein wrote a captivating and heartfelt novel that simultaneously encompasses two separate stories of love and loss. She brings both sets of her characters to life with vivid descriptions that are both colorful and authentic. Each character was very human and I felt strongly connected to each one of them. I especially enjoyed the alternating timelines which kept me wanting to read more to find out what happened next.
Weinstein masterfully details the importance of family relationships, even messy ones, and the opportunities for redemption in this complex, multi-layered story. The classic songs with their artists listed as the title for each chapter provided me with a fun walk down memory lane.
What You Do to Me is full of sorrow and joy. Its pages bring in passion, self-sacrifice, self-discovery, and forgiveness. While this book was a relatively quick read, I wouldn’t say it was particularly light as it covers a wide range of profound topics. Relationships are multifaceted, but even in the most difficult ones, second chances are possible. Highly recommend it for those who both love music and enjoy books about relationships.
NOTE: While Hey There Delilah was written for a real person by Tom Higgenson from the Plain White T’s, Delilah and Tom did not end up together. Read more about that story HERE.
About the Author: Rochelle Weinstein
Rochelle Weinstein, the USA TODAY and Amazon bestselling author is a former entertainment industry executive who currently splits her time between South Florida and North Carolina. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she is the youngest of four siblings. An avid reader since childhood, Rochelle grew up with authors like Sidney Sheldon and Judy Blume.
Other Books by Rochelle Weinstein
Here are some of Rochelle Weinstein’s other novels along with brief descriptions.
When We Let Go: A moving novel of family and forgiveness and of hope and healing
This Is Not How It Ends: A heartfelt novel of hearts lost and found, and of one woman torn between two love stories.
What We Leave Behind: A powerful and emotionally charged tale of love, loss, and redemption, this novel is a must-read for anyone who has ever questioned the path they’ve taken in life.
The Mourning After: A captivating story about a family in crisis and recovery that sings with the power of the human spirit.
Where We Fall: A moving story that will resonate with any woman who has had to face love and loss, life and death, and everything in between.
Somebody’s Daughter: An emotional novel for mothers, daughters, and anyone who has ever felt imperfect.
About Andrea Peskind Katz from Great Thoughts, Great Readers:
Andrea Peskind Katz runs Great Thoughts, Great Readers, a Book Salon presented via her private FB group where approximately 5,000 prolific readers and authors interact. To quote Robert Frost, she created her “second act” career to “unite my avocation and my vocation”. After 20 years in high-pressure sales, Andrea retired to spend time doing what she loves best: hanging with her family and reading good books.