Book Reviews

Review: When the Beat Drops by Anna Hecker

When the Beat Drops is a book about the second sibling syndrome, but it’s full of music, intensity, and the necessity of figuring out when our relationships need a dose of real talk.


Seventeen-year-old Mira has always danced to her own beat. A music prodigy in a family of athletes, she’d rather play trumpet than party—and with her audition to a prestigious jazz conservatory just around the corner (and her two best friends at music camp without her), she plans to spend the summer focused on jazz and nothing else.

She only goes to the warehouse party in a last-ditch effort to bond with her older sister. Instead, she falls in love with dance music, DJing…and Derek, a gorgeous promoter who thinks he can make her a star. Suddenly trumpet practice and old friendships are taking a backseat to packed dance floors, sun-soaked music festivals, outsized personalities, and endless beats.

But when a devastating tragedy plunges her golden summer into darkness, Mira discovers just how little she knows about her new boyfriend, her old friends, and even her own sister. Music is what brought them together…but will it also tear them apart?


book reviews when the beat drops by anna hecker(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

When the Beat Drops lives and breathes music. This is one of the things I loved the most about this book. It felt like we were really immersed in the music scene, whether it be the DJ warehouse parties or the music camp. (Not to mention there were music terms and some in depth scenes where Mira is learning that were fantastic to read. It felt like we were also learning – I now have more of an appreciation for DJ-ing). At the same time, I think When the Beat Drops really encapsulates a lot of the pieces of YA I like – a summer of change and a character on the precipice of a moment.

I’ve been recently loving reading about all these ‘second siblings’ who feel like the underappreciated sibling. For me, I grew up feeling the pressure of being the first sibling – more like Brittany – so reading this almost felt like looking at the other side.


I am in love with the premise because, as I said earlier, this book kind of sums up what I experience in a lot of YA which is that it’s kind of a about coming to terms with growing up? Or being on the doorstep of a major change. For Mira she’s trying to figure out more about where she will go to school and her larger future plans. Mira is a captivating character. In many ways she reminds me of myself.

She is pretty straight edged and at a point in her life where she feels like she’s losing control over many things so she turns to DJing for more control. Can anyone else really relate to this? (Not going to lie, this is how I feel sometime about my own blog). At the same time some of her relationships revolve more about mutual need or illusions – Hello past me.


When the Beat Drops has a great story line that will keep you on your toes, some really sweet friendships, an empathetic main character, and asks a crucial question: How do we stay true to ourselves as everything is changing around us? Mira needs to not only ask herself who she wants to be, but how she can take care of those around her and see who they truly are as they change. Check out When the Beat Drops on Goodreads.


Have you come across a character who reminded you of yourself?

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