When funny, charming, absolutely normal Audrey Cuttler dumps her boyfriend Evan, he writes a song about her that becomes a number-one hit and rockets Audrey to stardom!
Suddenly, tabloid paparazzi are on her tail and Audrey can barely hang with her friends at concerts or the movies without getting mobbed let alone score a date with James, her adorable coworker at the Scooper Dooper. Her life will never be the same, at least, not until Audrey confronts Evan live on MTV and lets the world know exactly who she is!
Audrey is a serious music fan, so the chapters in her story begin with song lyrics. I thought I'd take a cue from this (I grew up on Christian rock O_o, so my music knowledge is limited*) and have a little fun with this review.
Gotta admit, I wasn't super crazy about the cover when I first saw it, but I suppose it's fitting. The music junkie in Audrey would definitely do a little headbanging (but certainly not play the air guitar). The background also has that album cover vibe, especially with the title and author's name radiating outward like it's spinning. It works, but I'm a bit blinded by the colours and worried I'm getting hypnotized by the thing.
The voice, oh, the voice. Seriously, this book is a study in great teen voice, let me tell you. Very seldom do I come across books where I feel the author has nailed this spot on. All too often I find stories riddled with profanity (though, there are f-bombs in this), and lame-ass (oops) expressions meant to sound 'teen' but missing the mark horribly. Benway knows her teens. Here's a small sampling of some of my personal faves:
"My job sucks the most suck that has ever sucked."
"How would you like to star in your very own commercial?"
"I'd rather swim in battery acid."
"Get over here and talk to her. She's a reporter, not a Dementor."
"Harry Potter nerd."
"Whatever. Take the damn phone."
"Did you just say 'frolic'?"
"Is it not a word?"
"Who the hell says 'frolic'?"
"I say frolic. And more people should."
"They should say frolic or actually frolic?"
I think there is just the right amount of swoon in Audrey, though I'm always up for more smooch. James is that guy that you don't immediately notice, and those tend to be the keepers in the end. He's understanding and supportive, and exactly the kind of guy Audrey needs in the wake of her overexposed breakup. The boy that you really want to take home to Mom & Dad, without being boring (if the smooch scenes are any indicator).
While there is some suspension of disbelief here, this is a really fun book that isn't without substance. It's a story about growing into the person you're supposed to be, and not what everyone else thinks or says you are. Audrey's struggle to deal with what is first irritating then seriously suffocating is entertaining, if at times a smidge unbelievable. As for Audrey? I'm jealous of her vast music knowledge (see 'Christian rock' above), and would love to have a friend like her, snark and all. Her parents: They felt real and competent, which was a breath of fresh air. Her friends: Frustrating at times, but mostly the kind of friends you want next to you.
I've already mentioned some of my personal favourites, but here's another:
"It was like someone had stretched out my brain and shaken off the dust. My arms lost their numbness, my vision was sharp, and when I climbed out of the stall and went to look in the mirror, I felt brave and clear and not scared at all."
Right near the end of the book it suddenly occurred to me that I should have been listening to the tracks Benway quoted at the beginning of every chapter. Derp. If I had a time-turner I'd go back and read each chapter while listening to the song mentioned. That could make for a really fun, really appropriate reading experience.
How about you? Read any good books lately?_______________________________________________________________
* Please don't hate me because I thought Petra and DC Talk were cool. If you don't know who they are, consider yourself lucky—a bullet-dodger, if you will.