REVIEW: If 'The Long Distance Playlist' by Tara Eglington Is Turned Into A Movie, I Will Pay To Watch It
Hello Fellow Readerholics,
Yesterday was Valentines Day. But nobody cares about that because more importantly, IT WAS LIBRARY LOVERS DAY!! With loving libraries comes loving books and in particular, books that I loved because I know how much you all love hearing my opinion… right? I recently read ‘The Long Distance Playlist’ and I thought it would be good to review today because a) it features a very cute relationship and b) it’s (belated) library lovers day and I kind of loved this book.
Taylor and Isolde used to be best friends – before THAT FIGHT, 18 months ago. It’s been radio silence ever since – until Taylor contacts Isolde to sympathise with her breakup: the breakup that she never saw coming; the breakup that destroyed her confidence and ended her dreams of joining the National Ballet School.
Taylor’s had his own share of challenges, including a life-altering accident that has brought his hopes of competing at the Winter Olympics to a halt.
Isolde responds to Taylor, to be polite. But what starts out as heartbreak-themed Spotify playlists and shared stories of exes quickly becomes something more.
And as Taylor and Isolde start to lean on each other, the distance between them begins to feel not so distant after all …
A boy. A girl. A one-of-a-kind friendship. Cross-country convos and middle-of-the-night playlists. With big dreams come even bigger challenges.
I liked ‘The Long Distance Playlist’ for its lighthearted charm while it still dealt with real issues that people face. It was contemporary that I really enjoyed.
I thought that the idea of this book was really cute. It is told primarily in emails, Skype calls, texts and the occasional Spotify playlist but it still has the authenticity of a real life conversation. There are moments outside of the ‘online world’ which I also really liked because it made it more realistic and that way I was less worried about their phone use. I did find some of the formatting a little strange at the start but I quickly got used to it.
I really loved both of the main characters, Taylor and Isolde. I really admired their dedication to each other and their dedication to their ambitions but I think the most important thing was their prioritising of themselves individually. I really loved their ‘voices’ and their relationship was just so darn cute. I really adored the little things they did for each other, like send a cheer up email or an epic Spotify playlist (stream ‘The Long Distance Playlist’ playlist on Spotify, it’s very fun).
I really felt for Isolde. Her last relationship ended terribly and she didn’t really have anyone as her best friend lives interstate. Her parents are teetering on divorce and (at the beginning of the book, at least) Taylor isn’t talking to her. So she turned to dance, as her dream in life is to become a ballet dancer. I don’t know if I’m just really not a dancer but I never really knew just how cutthroat and dare I say, toxic, the world of ballet is. As readers, we see Isolde sacrifice events and relationship for this passion for dance and though admirable, it isn’t sustainable. In the beginning, Isolde treats dance like some kind of life support she can’t live without and I get it, but there’s more to life than ballet. I think some of the events later in the book really reflected this to Isolde and I think it’s important for young readers such as myself to understand that you can have a life outside of your passion.
Taylor is a really important character because he is witty and what some would consider swoon worthy but he is also an amputee. Taylor got into an extremely serious accident and he lost his leg. This is wonderful representation for people with disabilities, other amputees and just anyone that has suffered a life altering trauma. The novel highlights his struggles with recovery and what it is to exist when you feel like a part of you is missing. I really loved Taylor’s character arc as it showed that it is possible to come back after tragedy and that tenacity and ambition do not disappear with disability. I think that’s a pretty amazing message. I also think that many would connect to Taylor’s fears surrounding love and dating, even if they don’t relate to anything else.
I also thought it was so cool that this novel was set in both Australia and New Zealand. As an Aussie, it’s always awesome to see your home country represented and the book totally did us justice! The scenic descriptions were everything and now I feel a desperate urge to travel to New Zealand and learn how to snowboard… I think.
Overall, this book was fun, adorable and Australian! I’m rating it a solid 4/5.
Your Favourite Bookworm