Alex is kind of a nobody. She's not that popular and not that stylish, and isn't really sure who she is. Then her brother gets the wild idea that she's going to take over for him playing bass in his band (he's going to college). It doesn't come easy to her; she has to practice and practice and then practice some more. But slowly, she gets the hang of it, and starts to really enjoy making music and being in a band. Over time, she writes songs, makes friends, has adventures, and somehow manages to come out of it all in one piece.
Warning: some spoilers ahead.
This is kind of a strange novel. It's written in style that reminds me of Jeffrey Archer; it's very tell, don't show. It's a short book and a lot of stuff happens, and sometimes it just gets mentioned by Alex. For example, when she breaks up with her first boyfriend, it's really kind of like, "well, this happened," rather than spending any time on her reacting to it. It really does read like an autobiography, only it's the autobiography of a fictional character. This leads to a number of interesting developments, like when her parents won't let her go on tour with her band. Most books (or movies, or TV shows, or anything) would tell the story of the girl who DID go on tour, rather than the one who was still at home, but that's exactly what happens in this book. It's kind of refreshing to read about a teen rock star who achieves some kind of local or regional or even genre recognition, without having her become the hottest international star. In the end, this was a book that I really liked reading, and a great introduction to Joyce Raskin. I was excited to see that she has written a non-fiction book about herself, and that's one that's now definitely on my to read list.
Here's a video of Joyce Raskin in Scarce with the song All Sideways:
My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star is scheduled to be published in June 2011. I read an advance review copy at NetGalley courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
Aching to Be by Joyce Raskin
Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway
Cringe edited by Sarah Brown