[ARC Review] “The Sidewalk’s Regrets” – Kate Larkindale

Here I am for my first review on this blog and I am so excited to talk to you about this book. Thank you “BookSirens” for sending me an ARC.

Trigger Warning: Explicit drugs use.

It’s a very dark, beautiful, emotional, tragic but also full of hope kind of book. As it’s written on the front cover “Despite what the songs say, sometimes love isn’t all you need.


Seventeen-year-old Sacha McLeod isn’t looking for someone to rock her world. But when she hears the boy in the music store play the guitar, the music thrills her and she falls hard for Dylan and his sound. 

Sacha finds herself spending less time with her violin and more time with this guy. Her plans for her violin-virtuoso future—and her self-confidence—are shattered when she screws up the audition for a summer music program. Failure isn’t something she’s had to face before, so when Dylan asks her to spend her vacation with him in the city, she lies to her parents, pretends she won a place in the summer school, and secretly moves in with Dylan. 

She’s expecting romance, music, and passion, but when she finds herself playing second fiddle to Dylan’s newly acquired drug habit, she realizes despite what the songs say, sometimes love isn’t all you need.


Kate Larkindale is a contemporary Young Adult novel writer who lives in New Zealand. She also wrote “An Unstill Life” and “Stumped“.

Sasha McLeod is the main character of this story, she’s 17 years old and dedicates her life to her violin lessons and her music. Her life is going to change and will take a complete different turn when she meets Dylan in a music shop. It’s love at first sight and she would do anything to be able to live this love story. Sasha is a really smart and well-behaved teenager who wouldn’t do anything without her parents aproval but very quickly her relationship takes over all her good maners and lying becomes natural.

She is working hard to get into a music class during the summer on the other side of the country, but when she doesn’t get through she prefers to lie to everyone and pretend she got in to live her life in the city with Dylan and his bandmates. She expect this summer to be all sparkles, love and about music but really that’s when her life starts getting very different and messy compared to what she’s normally used to.

I first thought it was gonna be one of those typical teen romance, where the really smart girl falls in love with the bad boy, and it all goes super quickly because it’s obviously love at first sight. But no! Not at all! At first I was a bit disappointed because the story and mainly the love story was going very fast: they meet, first ‘date’, first kiss, and then they are together but I quickly understood that it was all done on purpose so the author could go way further into the story and build them a proper relationship with its ups and downs. I wasn’t expecting the story to get so dark and explicit about the use of drugs which made me sometimes really uncomfortable reading it because it was so well written that I was so into the book and that I was kind of feeling what the characters were feeling. Also, I really enjoyed the writing of the author which was very lyrical sometimes and as the books is all really centered about music (Classic and Rock music) it was amazing and beautiful to read but also very heartbreaking.

I would recommend this book to any dark romance lover, and even if this book as been classified as Young Adult I think it should be changed to older readers due to the explicit use of drugs even though the author shows and prove you can ask for help and recover if you really want to.

5/5 ⭐

6 thoughts on “[ARC Review] “The Sidewalk’s Regrets” – Kate Larkindale

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