Off Key – Mark Robertson

Off Key
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Matador
Published: June 5th 2014
Pages 315 Pages

The Blurb
Charlotte has supported Kyle’s precarious musical career for three years. Now she thinks it’s her turn. When Kyle doesn’t want to play the breadwinner she looks to a future on the other side of the Atlantic.

Saxophonist Kyle has no money, no career and has now lost the love of his life. Can an autistic twelve year old boy and an alcoholic ‘has been’ be has salvation?

Rating: 4/5

The Review
Thank you to Mark for sending me a copy to read and review.

I know I say this all the time, but from reading the blurb of Off Key, I wasn’t sure what I was going to expect. Was it going to be an overly romantic love story or something else? Well, it was definitely something else but a good something else at that.

Off Key is all about Kyle and Charlotte and their love or hatred for Music. They both take turns to tell you what is going on with their lives and how they each want different things. For me, it jumped rather too quickly between each character and some of their POV’S were only a few paragraphs. It would have worked better if maybe each had a chapter to sprout their own thoughts, rather than a few lines.

At the beginning I hated Kyle with a passion, he was incredibly lazy and a right pain in the arse. He seemed to revolve his life around his music, which is all well and good, but you should be able to live a normal life not let other people do everything for you. He only decided to kick his bum into gear when it was too late and I was like ‘ha serves you right’. However, I’m a woman of forgiveness and he did have some qualities to him. He loved music and I thought that was probably only one of his positive attributes. To see someone so passionate about something is quite endearing and it lead to a loving relationship with an old Jazz king called Harry – now he I liked. Harry was a great man and I didn’t care that he was an alcoholic, we all have our vices.

Unfortunately it happened with Charlotte too, I didn’t particulary find her that great either. I’m not going to blame everything on Kyle because he was a pain, but she didn’t fair much better with life. She wanted to be a Lawyer, but wasn’t and complained about it, a lot of the time. Plus, she suddenly rekindled a relationship with her family, totally unrealistic.

Right, without sounding like a negative person, I would like to shout from the rooftops just how much I enjoyed reading Off Key. It made me laugh on several occasions and I often found myself wanting to join Kyle and his band as they started gigging around Sunderland and the country. They’re nothing like One Direction or Queen, but by gosh, they did all work hard and each band member had their own personality. I’d quite like to learn more about each member of the band.

Kyle and his band are trying to become successful (or as successful as a Jazz band can be) and visit a number of venues that includes a Hen Night full of rowdy woman and a pub that has seen better days.

I received a note from the author Mark that said ‘…If you need to give Off Key the “single star of shame”
‘ and in fear of showcasing his slight pessimism, he really shouldn’t have said that. I honestly enjoyed every minute. Mark’s writing style is smooth and full of humour. Sometimes I do feel like reading is a chore, but with Off Key I floated along and read it all with glee.

You can purchase Off Key on Amazon UK, Amazon UK and Paperback.

Find out more about Mark at his website at and on Twitter @bookmarkalex.

Published by Clare

Book lover, tea drinker and sushi fiend!

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