Teru has been around bands and the drummer for La Rose Verboten for long enough that he has seen younger, newer bands appear and get record deals overnight while they struggle on. Between gigs, Teru works part time in a convenience store to make ends meet and afford his tiny apartment. One night, he is surprised to find a note in the dressing room while preparing for a show. Someone had left him a card saying "I can help you. Call Me." and a phone number. At first, he thinks it's a prank, maybe one of his band members? None seem to know anything about it. Later, alone in his room, unable to sleep, he keeps thinking of the card. Finally, building up his courage he dials. Then after a couple of rings, he hangs up, feeling uneasy. Not minutes later, it rings. A text appears. "I heard you sing" it says. Teru explains that he is the drummer, he doesn't sing. Then the phone rings again, and a sensual male voice speaks, telling Teru he has a beautiful voice. That he heard him singing in the dressing room. That he can help him become a better singer. He asks Teru to meet with him. At his apartment. He explains it is difficult for him to get out.
Puzzled, Teru agrees, and a couple of days later he finds himself outside the apartment of the man who was going to change his life in more ways than he expects. This man, Rei, appears to be handicapped. He wears a silver mask covering one side of his face, the other side is beautiful. He also wears a blue wig. He has other physical disabilities, but they don't diminish his talent. He tells Teru he is writing the band's new break-out single.
From this first meeting, The Stars May Rise and Fall becomes a dreamy, swoony love story. A story, not just of Teru's blossoming, all encompassing love for Rei, but about Rei's past, and his lost love and the hopeful love of a young woman for Teru. It is a story of heartbreak, and persevering in spite of it. And all around are the clubs, and bands and the fans who can help make or break a band.
Partly, this is a very different retelling of Phantom of the Opera, and it successfully gives us the broken yet brilliant Phantom figure in Rei. This is a book that will stay with you long after you finish. The characters are so real you can hear their music as you read the words. Teru and Rei's love story, too, is one that will resonate with you. What happens between these two and the others in the band and on the sidelines is something you will need to discover for yourself . Available in print and as an ebook. I loved this one so much, I bought both!