Sometimes as a fiction reader, branching out and finding non-fiction can be difficult, especially if you are used to the escapism of fiction. But non-fiction does not always have to be a struggle, especially when there is so much non-fiction literature, like memoirs, which still have that element of imagination; a reader is able to step into the author’s shoes and view their life experiences. Memoirs such as ‘Love is a mix tape’ by Rob Sheffield, allow readers to see real people’s stories and connect with them, through the page.

Rob Sheffield is an American music journalist and author; he is also a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine and as he mentions in his memoir, has encountered many musical artists during his career including Madonna, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Britney Spears amongst others. His memoir explores his relationship with his late wife Renée and how he coped with his grief, through mix tapes. In our modern society of online music streaming, reading about the physical mix tapes Sheffield has made, and their significance is heartwarming. At the start of each chapter, the mix tape for that particular chapter is shown, and this provides a completely different reading experience, as if you want to, you can listen to the tracks whilst you read.

The story itself tracks how Rob and Renée met, their marriage and eventually Renée’s sudden death in 1997, accompanied by comments about the 90s music scene and how music has shaped Sheffield. One of my favourite quotes from ‘Love is a mix tape’, and there were many, is ‘Sometimes great tunes happen to bad times, and when the bad time is over, not all the tunes get to move on with you.’ What’s amazing about this memoir, is that not only is it emotional and touching but it is also incredibly funny and witty – a true rollercoaster of emotions, in the best way.

If you like music, especially 90s music, this memoir will definitely appeal, but even if not, there’s something in ‘Love is a mix tape’ for everyone, as it explores universal themes of love and loss. Memoirs and non-fiction in general don’t seem so boring now, having read such moving and relatable writing; Sheffield’s memoir is truly worth the read.