My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star

My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star
by Joyce Raskin
illustrated by Carol Chu
Published 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
114 pages. ARC.
Rating: 4/5

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!

Alex is awesome and she will rock your socks off! She grows from an insecure young teenager into a strong, kickass girl in less than one hundred pages and it was so much fun to read her stories.

The mix of test and illustration really worked for this book. The illustrations have the feel of notebook doodles that perhaps Alex herself would draw to compliment her stories. I also enjoyed the straight forward, conversational tone of the book. It gives Alex even more personality. It’s nice to be able to recognize who she really is when she’s still figuring that out for herself. That kind of writing is the type of thing that has its place, and that place is in this book.

When the book begins, Alex doesn’t really have friends and she’s incredibly insecure. She compares herself to the girls in the magazines she reads and worries that she’ll never be cool. That is, until her brother convinces her to play bass in his best friend’s band. That’s when the skater boys start to notice her, then the guys in her band start to notice her. But she learns quickly that guys aren’t everything and sometime they can be downright frustrating. Once she becomes friends with an older girl, whose strong personality rubs off on Alex, she begins to find herself. She starts to learn how to make herself happy, rather than depending on playing in a band, having a boyfriend, or being cool.

I think this one is kind of unique. It has a middle grade feel, but Alex is fourteen and there’s some material in there that I wouldn’t recommend for anyone under 13. Perhaps it’s the illustrations that make it feel younger to me. Either way, it’s a lot of fun and you’ll love Alex.

After the story, the author includes a short guitar playing lesson, lyric writing advice, and some awesome biographical info. She sounds pretty awesome, and I think I might have to go listen to her band Scarce, and see if I like them.

Source: NetGalley
Purchase this book: Book Depository | IndieBound

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    Some of the books reviewed on this blog were sent to me by the author or publisher for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of these reviews. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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