Friday, June 10, 2011

My Misadventures as a Teenage RockStar Review

Author: Joyce Raskin
Release Date: June 13, 2011
Pages: 114 (E-galley)
Publisher: Graphia
Most Appropriate For Ages: 12+
Where I Got It: For review from Netgalley
Challenges: Debut author challenge

Rock ’n’ roll isn’t just about sex and drugs. It’s about self-expression, lasting friendships, and self-empowerment. That’s what Alex learns after she starts playing bass for a rock band in this almost true story. Joyce Raskin, author and musician, culls from her memories to create this funny, touching, and honest look at what it’s like to be a teenager, a girl, and a rock star all at the same time.

Also included are a note from the author, instructions on how to play basic guitar chords, advice on songwriting, and more!
While not without it's share of  flaws, My Misadventures as a Teenage RockStar was a fast, fun read that I ended up enjoying quite a bit.

Our main character, Alex, starts playing bass for all the wrong reasons: she wants to be cool, she wants a boyfriend, etc. But as she gets more into the music, she realizes that music's about so much more than "being cool", and that you don't need a boyfriend to be happy, etc. Needless to say, she grows up. A lot. It was so cool to watch this girl go from writing "I'm ugly ugly ugly" in her diary to being a confident bass player, all through the power of music.

But I did have some problems with this one. I found the illustrations to be completely unnecessary and not really fitting towards the audience the book seemed to be marketed for.

Also, I had some issues with the writing. Time doesn't really seem to exist. We're not told how much time passes from chapter to chapter, and it made everything seem way too fast and easy for Alex. I mean, as a whole, the writing was rather choppy. And Alex got kind of repetitive. I loved her character, but I think she exceeded the limit of times on can say "girl power!", "rock-n-roll power!", and "x power!" in one book.

BUT. I still found myself to be immersed in the story and Alex's character, despite my problems. And the author's note at the end included some helpful notes about writing songs, playing the guitar and/or bass, and even some basic chords. This one is the perfect read for young girls who are interested in learning how to play guitar and maybe join a band. It was a lot of fun.

Book Report:
Plot: Easy to get lost in (though admittedly unrealistic).
Characters: Good. Alex grew a lot, and her friend Sal seemed pretty cool.
Writing: Could've been better.
Ending: Worked perfectly.
Kid friendly? Pretty. There's some pot-smoking, drinking, and an attempted rape. (Though Alex decides to become straight-edge, so that's always good.)
Should I read it? If you're interested in music and can spare a few hours, give it a try.


  1. This doesn't seem like my kind of read, but I think 5 years ago, I would have loved this! Great review nonetheless and the cover is appealing.

  2. Oh the passage of time thing normally really bothers me-- so this wouldn't be for me at all, haha. But maybe for someone else?


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